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Superstition Mountain

“The Apache Indians were probably the first to set eyes on the mountain, followed by the Spanish conquistadors, including Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. He came north from Mexico in 1540 seeking the legendary “Seven Golden Cities of Cibola”. “Lost Dutchman Mine” has been the quest of many an adventurer, and a place of doom to luckless others.”

Visions of dust wind sprinting
As we trek across the mountain,
watching the dazed specter, who
splits the crevices, feathered cracks, 
Burnt umber-hued rocks.

Sunlight burning forth from the sky,
A bullet hole of purple blues, red
Iron orbs melted into a chocolate sunrise
Painted mist subduing us, 
the jagged expanse etched into
our sunglass reflections.

Imagining the weathered Indian faces 
carved into the rocks, melting into the
West, as a russet auburn flood of gorges, 
cavernous craters where microcosm
landslides drop.

Landmines where cacti river demons dwell, 
sought for miles upon miles, hunching
over like the “Seven Golden Cities of Cibola”, 
after battlegrounds littered with Indian 
bodies fell.

The region, conjures words of local Indians, telling 
conquistador Coronado, in the foreign tongue of
golden mountains, with pyramid peaks ragged, with
sounding abode churches seeping city
languages into dusty streets.

Terrified by the “Thunder God” illuminating wrath
on who’s sacred ground we trespassed, while 
names, utterances of our mouths, clinging to our lips, as 
language wriggles in and out, while mythological tongues 
put fire on our foreheads.

“The Spaniards tried to explore the mountain on their own, they discovered that men began to vanish mysteriously. Many bodies of men were discovered to be mutilated and with their heads cut off. The mountain has taken the lives of many men and women and has perhaps caused a madness in them that has encouraged them to kill each other.”

A reddened Jesus resurrecting above,
Encompassing us in a spiritually
bone-chilling response  
Dutchman’s Mine visions, while
decomposition erodes prospector’s
souls, carried on by the wind.

The crossing lays out skeletal fragments,
cow skull and cactus brambles,
floating up to the surface of 
stop motion air, like an O’Keefe 
painting etching sand dunes.

River gorges below, blood of the river god’s lip
an area forever pot marking stress, and 
straining the fault line of hostile territory, with
mysterious disappearances climbing, into
the heights, a tectonic maelstrom pushing upward,
born of war whooping eruptions.

Soaring spires rise, heated smoke of ancient flame,
the powwow dance of dust on the rocks, circling, 
rising to the height of 3,000 feet above, like
spiral bound smoke of ghosts, ash crackling bitter, 
against ceremonial skies, while generations 
flood the red clay earth. 

The sweat rains in sheets on our backs, the Thunder God, 
towering over the upper rock, numbing us, with
feverish shadows,  the needle pass over the entrance 
to Lost Dutchman’s mine, a sign of the skies pursuit upon
us, as he whispers sage into our eardrums, while
his rough sandpapered hand tires to kill us. 

“Don Miguel Peralta, discovered a vein of rich gold while searching for the treasure described to Coronado, while the peak, or spire, looked more like a finger pointing upwards, or the “Finger of God.” Pauline Weaver used the rock as a place to etch his name with a knife and subsequent prospectors discovered the etching and dubbed the landmark “Weaver’s Needle”.”

Dodging the expanse, in sweltering heat, which
chokes the forearm of the Weaver’s needle looming 
behind the “Devil of Superstition Mountain”, who
stole daughters from Pima Indians, while
the path becomes Satan’s trickster, standing 
with his mouth agape, swallowing us with a 
rising altitude, full-fisting the landscape

A vulture observes, bloody-eyed and gall-footed,
Residing on the cloud-split peak, with such 
hungered tenacity, our route ascending beneath it, copper 
rhyolite pinnacles charge forward American soldiers, while
the war whoop of Indians and hawk 
cry overhead, subtle hypnotizism dizzy-headed

We felt as though we were spinning circles, screams
going down into flames with every step
Every twist, knifing a maze of dead body undergrowth, with
boulders on stones broken like tomahawk heads, the 
“eye” of the needle compelling, a 
a large eroded eyelet rock, swirling in 
mesmerism of kaleidoscope colors.

“Prospector Elisha Reavis, the ‘Madman of the Superstitions’, was held in ‘superstitious’ awe by the Indians. It was said that he ran naked through the canyons at night and fired his pistol at the stars. Coyotes had eaten him and his head had been severed from his body, found several feet away. The same year that Reavis was found murdered, two Easterners went looking for the mine and were never seen again.”

Unimaginable expanses, brambles rambling on, like
tumbleweeds, where two crows take wing, beacons, painted
on the blue purple sky, taken aback by the winds force
Gliding as we climb, our footholds barely
carrying our weight, dust clinging to the heels, 
almost toppled over by clouded thickness. 

Slithering snake heat beats down, collapsing over 
our heads, in nibbling jackrabbit dryness.  
Slowly reaching the summit of the mountain, 
feeling the desert as a pair of hands, 
pulling its unblinking weight in grains of debris.

An interlude of silence wisps past our ears, 
a ghost of flying arrowheads, coyotes preying upon 
the labyrinth of dusty remains, our ability to tred on, lifeless.
Howling winds whip past our temples, the wolf on the inside
trying not to move, just as his spirit passes through. 

The deep engorged ravine pulls us forward, reaching
the surface of the mountain, sighting those who ride 
horses below, in persuit of this haunted terrain.   
Territorial asylum of the hunted, descending, where Indians
In the Superstition wilderness surrendered, years ago, 
a skeleton canyon.

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