Grand Canyon Lands

written by John Adams

Grand Canyon Lands

— John Adams

I'm in a wild neglected niche,
Mojave joins the sublime ditch.
Out from Lake Meade where deserts burn
As heat surrounds a cooking urn.

These fiery winds may take their toll
Infernos' depths; devil's punch bowl.
Bright ochre sands like burnished chrome
Reflects the sun, earth's nascent home.

Grand Canyon's wild. So am I.
Wild donkeys thrive with coyotes nigh.
Cactus water, at least, is clean
When hunger gnaws, there's mesquite beans.

Let coyotes howl. Old owls can hoot
Snakes can't pierce my heavy boots.
I had to come. There was no choice
The greed, the bias, the deafening noise.

Moon and stars and desert air
May heal my soul. It is my prayer.
Skoal to the west with spaces wide
Where souls can hope, dream, and decide.

About the poet


John Adams

John Adams (October 19, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was the second president of the United States (1797–1801), having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States. An American Founding Father, Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a leading advocate of American independence from Great Britain. Well educated, he was an Enlightenment political theorist who promoted republicanism, as well as a strong central government, and wrote prolifically about his often seminal ideas, both in published works and in letters to his wife and key adviser Abigail Adams, as well as to other Founding Fathers. Adams came to prominence in the early stages of the American Revolution. A lawyer and public figure in Boston, as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, he...

Read Full Biography

More poem by this poet


Poem of the Day

Prayer—o Thou Dread Power

Robert Burns

O THOU dread Power, who reign'st above,
I know thou wilt me hear,
When for this scene of peace and love,
I make this prayer sincere.


The hoary Sire—the mortal stroke,

Read Full Poem

Poet of the Day

George Crabbe

George Crabbe was an English poet and clergyman. In his early years he worked as a surgeon. As a young man, his close friend Edmund Burke helped him greatly in advancing his literary career and guiding his career in the...

Read Full Biography