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The Spirit of the Grand Canyon

Updated on September 30, 2011
All rights reserved
Erin LeFey 2011

Gazing through green pines

Into crevice deep

As the wind whispers secrets

Of a long past age of medicine men

Who gathered hundreds of years ago

In a cave barely visible

From the South Rim

Of the Grand Canyon


The Colorado River rages

Far below

Churning mud and rocks

Into a dangerous roaring monster

Swallowing anything daring to

Venture down its ancient pathway

For millions of years

This same path it traveled

Carving into these rocks

Layer by layer

Carrying away remnants of these scars

Feeding the brave eyes and souls

Who call this place home


But from high above

All is silent

There is no hint

Of the violent rumbling waves

Crushing life in their fists

Pounding the riverbed with such force

The beaver bows down in reverence

Grand Canyon, south rim
Grand Canyon, south rim | Source
Grand Canyon, south rim
Grand Canyon, south rim | Source

Wild animals hunt and

Smaller animals run for cover

Survival of the fittest

Where the desert meets the river

Between the high canyon walls

Venomous snakes and other reptiles stalk both day and night

Silently, swiftly.

An eagle soars and finds its nest

Safely tucked away between long branches

Like fingers poking from the steep sides

Beautiful layered colors

Horizontal stripes of varied rock

Mark the years in hundreds and thousands

While ancient dust settles

In cracks and on ledges

Impossible to reach

Except by the hand of god

Hualapai Indian Reservation, Grand Canyon National Park
Hualapai Indian Reservation, Grand Canyon National Park

The gentle whisper and moan

Of the wind rides past without warning

Echoing harmonies of its own notes

The spirits call to forgotten tribes

They repeat the sounds of drums and flutes

Trapped in a juncture of space

The Spirits bridge the former and the present

Creating a timeless dimension

Seizing hearts and melding them into one

For an instant

Then it is gone.

Storm over the Grand Canyon
Storm over the Grand Canyon | Source

Left standing there at the rim

Lonely and empty


Stretched out like the gap

With the mighty river

Life goes on.


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    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      have a wonderful time, Tina!

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Movie Master, thank you for visiting and the trip through the Canyon with me, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, please do go if you have the opportunity. You will love it, my words don't do it justice.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Nellieana, you are so right - we are significant in a big way as well. And we should focus on the positive impact we make to our environment and culture - how we react to our opportunities and change the world for the better. We do our part to shape the future in our own little way, and that is our reason for being on this earth.

      Thanks for reminding me.


    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you Will, what a fantastic offer and great tips! It would be like a dream came through and I will let you know:))

      Thanks again Erin, the way you describe your tour there makes me realize that it is the best way to see Grand Canyon!


    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent work Erin, I would love to visit the Canyon, your poem was certainly the next best thing!

      Voting up and awesome.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      You know, it's both. We and our lives are both insignificant - in the big scheme of things; - and ultimately significant - in our own real contribution to that huge scheme of things. We have around a century, more or less, out of the millennia in which to make it count and contribute to the truly significant, not by our setbacks, either trivial or profound; but by our triumphs - whether trivial or profound. We always make a difference, either for the better or the worse, however trivial.

      Obviously it is a waste of precious opportunity if we focus on our negative experiences because it blinds us to our positive opportunities.

      That magnificent Canyon was carved, not by a gigantic overwhelming force, but by a trickle of a stream, just flowing and being its little self over those millennia from its beginning to now, when it's still at the bottom of its sculpture, still carving bit by bit.

      You and I are merely little streams but we have our 100 year turns at shaping the landscape, too.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Ruby, its so funny how that Canyon can immediately make you feel so small, isn't it? That's exactly the reason I was going. I felt that way when I was in Colorado, and it was healing. I so needed to feel that way again - this trip did it in spades.

      The other word I used quite often is "insignificant" - I don't mean that my life means nothing - I mean it in that - in the life of the Canyon, which is measured in thousands and millions of years, the forty years I have on this planet seems insignificant. The great eyes of this Canyon could just blink and not even know I had been alive. Its a good feeling. Knowing that in the grand scheme of things - being late on a bill, being harassed on the phone, a medical challenge, a silly fight over nothing - I can feel how temporary it is and know that I'll get past it to what really matters.

      Thank you for reading my friend :)

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Nellieanna, I'm so glad you enjoyed this and that it brought back so many wonderful memories! I loved visiting your page! George was such a handsome man, and it looked like you both had such a marvelous time. The watercolor is beautiful and truly captures the colors, timelessness and haunting beauty of the canyon. Thank you so much for your votes and for sharing such a special time in your life.

      Love and hugs

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Will, thanks so much for sharing that! Tours are the best way to go if its your first visit. We took one from Sedona and it was great to get the history and places pointed out to us along the way. They even showed Old West movies on the drive that were filmed either in Sedona or the Grand Canyon. Next time I think I'd like to tour the floor of the canyon. We went to see the IMAX movie of the floor before going to the rim that really brought the whole experience to life for me. Thanks so much for sharing. Please post your brother-in-law and sister's tour company if you want.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The photographs bring back memories of my visit long ago. I remember feeling so small. It truly is a majestic atmosphere. Thank you for sharing......

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      OH, Erin! This is so lovely - everything about it, the pictures, the poem - capturing the haunting beauty and ambience of one of our planet's most incredible places. I've been there twice. First was in the 1960s during a year when my little family was in Arizona for a year while my first husband was going to the Univ. of Arizona. We took a trip to the Canyon when my parents visited us. I'll never forget my mother sitting on a ledge sketching - for about 10 miinutes, with my dad urging her to finish so we could move on. It was truly an amazing little sketch and so captured HER spirit.

      We also got to Sedona, but it was before it became such a mecca for tourists. It was mostly artists then.

      The second time was with my beloved George in 1998. We were just blown away. I made a page on my personal site to capture some of it, and if I may, I'd love to share it. It was so memorable. We brought home some CDs of native American music which captured the feeling of timelessness and spirit one feels there, too. I wish I could have added some of that to the page, but I found something nice for it.

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience! Just beautiful!! And how it touches so many of your fellow hubbers- as their comments express. I feel as though I've revisited!

      I'm voting it across the board! All but funny,

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, thougtforce,

      My brother-in-law and sister run a daily tour service to the Grand Canyon out of Phoenix, so let me know if you plan to visit.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Tina, oh you should go. It was one of the places on my bucket list, and so was Sedona - now I can add two more! I imagined so much but was overwhelmed when I got there. Pictures don't do it justice. Thanks for the votes my friend.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      The Grand Canyon is on top of my list of places I want to see, it must be so magnificent! I can imagine the feeling of history and silence you have described in this beautiful poem. The photos are breathtaking and goes so well with your words. Voted up, awesome


    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      rednickle, welcome, and hello! thanks for reading and your comment. I couldn't help but be inspired, I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

      drbj, hi, my friend! It's spectacular, isn't it? Thank you for your kind comments, and I couldn't wait to share my pictures. Between Sedona and the Grand Canyon, I think I took 125!

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Will, thanks so much!

      Becky, I'm glad you enjoyed the poem! and yes, my trip was amazing, I had a lovely time.

      ahorseback, I have never been so moved than by that cayon either! The timelessness, the ancient voices, the feeling that nothing ever really dies - the feeling of being so insignificant and yet so much a part of the cycle of life. Yes, the silence!!!

      I hope to make it to the North Rim one day too!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Erin - I felt as if I were back gazing at the mystical and phenomenal Grand Canyon I had visited so many years ago as I read your lovely poem. And your photos are the perfect accompaniment.

      Thank you for this treat.

    • rednickle profile image


      7 years ago from New Brunswick Canada

      What a great piece of writing and grand pictures to go with it

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Erin , I have never been so moved by beauty then by that canyon , you can actually feel the magic there . And the ancients are there too. Last year we made it to the North rim and were just as much impressed! Silence , beaty , spirituality , and poetic ! Perfect hub...:-}

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      7 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Beautiful poem. Informative in a poetic way. I am glad you enjoyed the Grand Canyon so much.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Very nice work, Erin!


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