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Highway 89 - A Poem About a Trip thru Utah

Updated on November 8, 2012
"Mountains of the West"  - My own emotional representation of the mountains along Highway 89. Painted with PhotoShop
"Mountains of the West" - My own emotional representation of the mountains along Highway 89. Painted with PhotoShop

Highway 89

Oh, take me down ol’ Eighty-nine,
Along the mountains of the West;
I long to see the peaks of Timpanogos
In the morning light.

What greater varied and colorful array
Will other roads present than this,
Which, from Great Falls to Flagstaff,
Presents a view of history’s best:

Montana’s majestic mountains
Left alone for nature to sculpt
To unique shapes ne’er seen before
In layers of different artist’s work,
Each not marching with the others,
But oriented to its own preference,
Will play with the mists and clouds
Both with glow or silhouette mask.

Travel to an enchanting, alien world
Through the ancient stories of Yellowstone;
Rich in color and near fantasy, but real!
Your journey will end too soon.

But marvel anew, not long after,
The exclusive view of the Grand Tetons,
Generous in their snow and rock,
Willing to pose between pine and aspen,
Changing their shapes as you go.

Ne’er a brighter rainbow shown
Than o’er the secret, cool valleys and lakes
Nestled into the heart of the northern Wasatch
On a road where leisure stroll is built
Into the very spirit of the land.

Watch the Great Salt Lake tip itself to you
To show off its thousand pieces
Shining like silver or gold near day’s end.

You’ll never tire of the rugged mountains
Of Utah Valley, where sun and snow and clouds
Interact upon their sharp faces,
Nor of the verdant, flowery, rolling valleys
In the very heart of Utah,
Where the sky tells the truth at night,
And you can see every star in the heavens!

The old man backs a pick-upload of corn
Toward the lazy road,
Puts up a hand-made sign,
And the people come to see,
To lift the ears,
Open the ends, silently inspect,
And mute, make their exchange in the end.
Ere much time is passed, the corn is gone,
And he drives again slowly away.


Casually pass even the detailed hills
In layers distant and near
Warm with rocky earth
Or cool with blanket of leaves,
To let you watch them with their colors,
Their foliage of quiet shades,
Their sleepy rocks peeking out
From the protective cover of undulating earth.

What aging beauty elsewhere? already grown
Into the barns thru the years!
Rich with history in the warm, gray wood,
And separated joints,
More a brush and camera they attract.

Cross the Grand Canyon in a single pass
Near its origin, getting a preview
Of its greatness, making it seem
That you’ve witnessed its entire life
In a moment of reverent reflection.

Oh, what a world apart, ol’ Eighty-Nine,
Which takes me to the past,
When silence was the attitude of life,
‘Mid peaceful colors of green and gold
In manicured fields painted by both God and farmer,
Fields constantly rich with Springtime’s youth,
While still reciting the old, old script
Written by the eons of work and life!

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