Elizabeth Horrocks

The Song of the Ute

(the Ute are a tribe of native Americans, from
the Colorado and Utah border area)

The spirits of the foaming waters
warned us.
and those that guarded the hot springs
told us to beware.
In the thunder of those waters
fed by the melting snows,
or in the steam of those
nourished by the earth’s deep heat,
they spoke.

But we were weak,
weaker than the Others.
Cowed by their weapons
and tempted by their wealth,
we chose to believe them.

They did not pay, of course.
They reneged in the name
of their One Nation Under God.

And now the voices of the sacred springs
are silenced or shifted
by the shabby souls of the tourist tribes,
who bathe in the warmth of the spirits,
and gasp at the force of the falling water,
ignorant and uncaring.

But in the changing winds,
in the capricious rains,
the gods still speak
to those who will listen.

Elizabeth lives in Alderley Edge, Cheshire though she was born in Cardiff. She went to Bristol University, and taught English in a variety of settings, but now becoming more involved in the writing world, especially poetry. She was BBC Mastermind Champion in 1974, and have been on several “Specials” since then.