Some call them The Three Gossips.
Some The Three Kings.
How different, depending on the name,
follows the kind of whisperings
that piggyback onto blowing desert dust.
The Gossips say things
never meant for others’ ears, delicate
and delicious malingerings.
The Magi ask questions, or for directions,
and sometimes sing
when they are lost and looking up
at stars, bright and blinking.
The gossiped air churns sluggish and dragging.
Slowing , sinking,
the dust-devil hardens into a
shower of pebbles flinging
themselves against the cliffs,
scattered like beads off a string
into crevice and rut, mute in the mud,
underneath the faintest hint of frolicking—
a merry melody, free in the breezes—
the laughter and pipe-smoke of kings.
This poem continues my series of poems inspired by various famous sandstone arches and towers found in Arches National Monument, Utah. These poems are meant to use the famous natural structures as foils to reflect on the nature of human becoming. The three-towered structure pictured above is sometimes referred to as The Three Gossips and is sometimes referred to as The Three Kings. Deciding which name to use for the poem would send the poem in very different directions. And this in itself struck me: how powerful the name we give ourselves to shape who we become. Suddenly this idea took over the poem itself and shaped its becoming. Everything depended on the name!