Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Two Poems
by Gregory Opstad

​Slot Canyon, Kasha-Katuwe

The wind echoes through the canyon,
Following the same course for eons,  
Changing only when it changes the land,
And the future is shaped by its passing.
It follows the same course for eons,   
Ponderosas live through their generations,
The future is shaped by the passing wind,
Seedling, sapling, latewood, deadfall.
Ponderosas live through generations,
Roots exposed as the land shifts below,
Seedling, sapling, latewood, deadfall,
The trees are only seconds in time.
Roots exposed, the land shifts beneath,
The canyon deepens and widens.
The trees are only seconds in time,
And rocks are shaped by the wind.
The canyon deepens and widens,
Sands shift, the course changes slowly.
Rocks are shaped by invisible forces.
The wind echoes through the canyon.
Walking About

As if raked and smoothed,
like a parking lot, gravel
and stones remain locked
into position after the dust
and sand has blown away.
Geologists call this desert
pavement but that gives
a false impression, as if
it’s permanent, man-made.
The land changes, slowly,
but it still changes. My
footprints at Cabazon
are still there after two years,
rounded around the edges, perhaps,
but still there from where
I wandered around and broke
through the crust. It took
93 million years for the sea
to become a desert, for me
to find that shark’s tooth.
Wait long enough, and, like
all of us, my tracks along

this pavement will blow away.
Gregory Opstad is a retired teacher and divides his time between Cloquet, Minnesota and Cochiti Lake, New Mexico. He is a member of Lake Superior Writers. His work has appeared in the North Coast Review; The Rag; Migrations: Poetry & Prose for Life’s Transitions; Trail Guide to the Northland Experience; Liberty’s Vigil: The Occupy Anthology, 99 Poets for the 99%; and More Voices of New Mexico. His chapbook, Lake Country, Finishing Line Press, was published in 2013.