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Friday, January 13, 2017

The Beauty of God's Work: Dinosaur Ridge

Susan Fox 
by Susan Fox 

Colorado has more dinosaur footprints than anywhere else in the world. Dinosaur Ridge outside Denver is one of those prehistoric clusters. The irony is that the exposed ancient beach is now high in the Rocky Mountains!

Let us go to the Front Range!
An elemental air gusts fresh as a savage surf. 
A cold gale has stirred up all the beauty of time. 
Taken on a wind, I climb an ancient seaside
in a mundane mobile coach powered by pistons. 

Smell the ancient salt shore.
Hear the cry of the hoary goliaths  — 
                        dinosaurs marching in parade! 
Once in their living glory... 
now a cavalcade in extinction — evidence preserved in the Rockies.
Dinosaur footprints at Dinosaur Ridge, Denver, Colorado

I sing of a merciless existence, fierce and true
hulking feet sucking in the mud, 
cries of mountainous brutes,
dancing by the low sea high in the Rockies.

“We were here! We spun, strutted, swayed and danced!”
We capered along the shore!
It was life!” 
Now who would believe it? 
Who would imagine He (peaking from Outside Time) could capture their feet
on a lofty once aquatic peak? 
Behold! God’s polaroid shines. 

I am here! I am alive!
I would run on the beach with the beasts.
Feet sucking into the same mud. 
Fantastic cries echoing down the eons.

Smell the antediluvian coast:
A duck-billed brute issues from a dense jungle, 
driving palm fronds, flowering monocots and mangrove leaves from his path. 
I love the squishy sand and the tropical breeze now on Colorado’s cold prehistoric sea! 

I will walk with the duck-billed dinosaur,
while he frolics on the shore,
snorting, thundering, hollering for his kind
— followed by 
               a crafty Tyrannosaurus.

These brutes relished the shore that God raised to the sky. 
Their hope was in the briny sun:
the glorious feast scattered about the beach. 

Now the waterfront is frozen, and they are done; 
running no more, 
leaving only prints of their wandering feet,
leaving not a single wave, not one tropical tree,
leaving me no place to run — 
with dinosaurs by the sea.

Instead, I must labor up a rocky path alone
examining their footprints in stone 
and then return home
in a smelly motorised and moving bundle
running on the remains of a prehistoric jungle.