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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015

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Bruce Ross
Hampden, Maine, USA


Filled with Water

Indian Head near Big Bend National Park was once the home of Apache and Comanche Native Americans. On a chilly winter day I entered the starkness of their home set between mountain highlands with workable soil for gardens and a stream for drinking water.

two petroglyph hands
fit into one of mine
the desert silence

There were carvings created by scratching out desert varnish reflecting the abstractions that were in these earlier minds such as an inverted triangle centering three white triangles, but the concreteness of their life was clearly present.

the boulder metate
deep from endless grinding
filled with water

They recorded the important events of their life in such carvings in which the spiritual and the day-to-day existence elided into each other. In an enclosed area with spiky ocotillo guarding the entrance and an opening leading to the heavens a miraculous event took place, perhaps evoking their place in the universe.

birth-giving carving
near the birth-giving cave
cold desert wind

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