The Edge of the Galisteo

by Cathy Lewis

The Galisteo Basin, 400,000 acres of grassland and hills southeast of Santa Fe, was formed when a portion of the crust of the earth subsided. Like many parts of New Mexico, this area was once covered by the prehistoric Western Inland Sea that stretched from Canada to Mexico.

Mourning Wind

Racing over the ground
tearing at air, wave after wave

and within each rush of sound
the unease of unspent emotion

as though wind remembers sea
and cannot release memory of its loss.

After the Storm

Color layers the sky
wind penitent, softens

sun edges clouds
washed grass gleams

a rainbow, not an arc but an arrow
dives straight into earth.

A Congregation of One

When the crust of the earth fell the sky grew
into an ache of blue reaching for the edge

emptiness disorients
only the mountains hold my place.

First Light

Barren hills wear the morning alchemy
of light on newly fallen snow

each fragile prism gathered by the sun
as if it never was.

Red Truck

It comes over the hill
as if the sky itself were giving chase

he drives like he rides
dust flying

wild as a string of horses
racing the moment.

State Road 42

I am a regular parishioner
finding solace in familiarity

the line of trees tracing the river
the Jemez blue against blue

the road’s easy rise and fall
comforting a mind weary from dreams.

Open Canvas

Storm clouds build across a reach of sky
sun settles at the long, level horizon

the moon cuts shadows
but it’s stars that hold

all those stolen stars.

Cathy Lewis was born in California and lived in northern New Mexico, outside of Santa Fe, for several years. She received a BA from Pitzer College, an MA from the Claremont Graduate University, and her JD from the University of Denver. Two years ago, she moved to the mountains outside of Hendersonville, North Carolina.

About The Edge of the Galisteo—For seven years I lived at the edge of the Galisteo, close to the Sangre de Cristo. These poems are from that time and place.