Following is my next submission of poetry I wrote in my twenties. I don’t remember exactly when I became so fascinated or fell so in love with America’s magnificent mountain ranges and its Western landscape. I truly believe I lived another life, either as an Indian or a pioneer woman. That’s just part of my weird side, and I think you need to be a little weird to be an avid writer who is as much in love with his or her subject as I am.
I live and breathe the American West and American history. The one time in my writing career when I tried to write other genres, I went almost ten years without selling a book. It was only when I returned to my favorite subject that I sold again. Now many of my older titles are selling better today than when they were first published. That devotion to my genre is finally paying off, after roughly 35 years of writing; and the base of that writing has always been my love for the West and for American history.
The following poem shows how much I loved America’s West long before I published a book. I was probably 22 or so when I wrote this, but I didn’t start writing books until I was 34 years old. This poem has no title.
I am your mountains!
Rising, rising to the heavens with white peaks,
Come and climb my peaks and greet America!
I am your rivers,
Wandering, wandering into the wilderness,
Rippling, splashing, cold.
Come float the rivers and greet America!
I am your forests,
Green branches reaching upward in prayer and praise.
Dark, mysterious, enchanting.
Come and walk through the forests and greet America!
I am your prairies,
Stretched out in unknown limits to hazy horizons.
Vast, endless, rolling and yellow.
Come roam the prairies and greet America!
I am your deserts,
Quietly shifting while lizards bake in the sun.
Silent, dry and burning.
Come to the deserts and greet America!
I am your canyons,
Gouged out of the earth by nature’s timeless hands.
Rugged, and splendid with color.
Come view the canyons and greet America!
I am your cities,
Concrete monsters in a race to be the tallest.
Noisy, dirty, bustling.