The Sunday Poem: John Garmon . . .Church Goer


Church Goer

When I grew tired of living in the Body of Christ, Texas,
I moved myself to the Blood of Christ Mountains
Up in the northern part of New Mexico, where I got lost
In the ponderosa pines, trying to track the rainbow trout
As they ran the rapids down from the high meadows
Spilling from Eagle Nest Lake. I followed the highway
Through Cimarron Canyon where the boy scouts camp
And to the Tooth of Time, that old peak of mysteries
Where the sun casts its white light on the limestone
And the valley of the Cimarron spreads out to the east.

The mountains in their green tree robes smiled at me
As I dropped down on my knees and put my hands
Together as if to say a prayer, but I was only
Trying to rub the sand from my palms to take away
The sticky sap I’d picked up from a ponderosa stump
When I sat down to rest at the end of a long journey.

I could hear the old hymns singing in the trees
As the wind grew stronger coming from the west
And I couldn’t ignore the feeling I had of a cathedral
Surrounding me as I sat in the forest clearing
Wondering which path I should take to make my way
Out into the open prairie down towards Amarillo.

John Garmon

Cimarron Canyon State Park, just below the dam for Eagle Nest lake.

Larry, I spent lots of time in and around Cimarron when I was growing up (in the Texas Panhandle). My uncle was a ranch foreman and a New Mexico native. My two cousins raise horses near Raton. I once was vice president of academic affairs at New Mexico State U. in Carlsbad. I am now an assistant in the writing center at the College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas. A few years back, I was president of Berkeley City College in California. I love New Mexico.

Best wishes,and thanks for featuring Glen Sorestad's poem last week.  John Garmon

Send submissions for the Sunday Poem to Tell others about The Sunday Poem if you like this, and check out the weekly poem in the New Mexico Mercury.    Larry Goodell        



Views: 250

Comment by Margaret Randall on January 26, 2014 at 8:40am

Is this poem by John Garmon or Glen Sorestad? In any case, I like it... even an old atheist like me could get with the movement and images...

Comment by larry goodell on January 26, 2014 at 9:04am

Glen's "Inside the Duomo" must have got around last week because several of his friends sent poems including this one by John Garmon. 

Comment by Johnny_Mango on January 26, 2014 at 10:16am

Just beautiful!  The mountains of New Mexico heal so many things.  Time slows down and washes over the skin.  Getting the sap off your hands becomes big enough to ruminate on.  Thanks.

Comment by Teresa Gallion on January 26, 2014 at 11:03pm

"The mountains in their green tree robes smiled at me"  ...yes, yes  love that image.

Comment by Izquierdo on January 27, 2014 at 3:51pm

Not bragging on Texas, but I think there is a cathedral or two buried in the Cimarron in the vicinity of Lake Meredith.


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