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Canyon Flame: poems by Mark Weinrich

Updated: May 29, 2022

carnival glass, photo by Janine Pickett


High above Forsyth Creek

the mountainside

is dappled in apricot gold.

Just below a thicket of blood

red maples conceal a spring.

Two water strings

dangling with the iridescence

of icicles spill from a fractured

boulder and flow around

an ancient root. Forced from

darkness these droplets rejoice,

glistening with new birth

like pearls of rain.

The scrambling climb

is worth the struggle

just to sit in that tiny alcove

and taste again the freshness,

the vitality that reminds me

of Jesus’ living water.

These shimmering gems

visualize the abundance

of Jesus’ promise, the transfusion

that has changed my life.

I fill my bottles so others

can taste this earthly sweetness,

if only a symbol

of Jesus’ eternal delight.


cardinal, photo by the author, Mark Weinrich


We have been drawn

down canyon like moths

to flame. The redbird is sowing

notes on the Spring breeze

warning others of his kind

to stay away.

He blazes a tree peak

like a signal fire, clinging

to the sparest of limbs,

tail flung full like a sail

balancing in the wind.

He spins the thread of a song

fluted notes spinning faster and faster

finishing with a trill.

We are caught up in the glow

of wonder. Unable and unwilling

to move on. Such burning

excitement is rare.

The beauty of knowing

one’s place in this world

the God-given joy

of brightness.



The vivid shimmer on

Grandma’s carnival glass bowl

was like rainbows I chased

through sprinklers

yet didn’t vanish

beneath my fingers.

Grandma called it, iridescence.

I found a treasury in musty

lakeside shells, shifting pink

to blue with the turn of my hand.

I laughed at mallard drakes,

gobbling bread we cast;

their dark heads flickered purple,

blue, then green.

But none could match the hummers’

dazzling neon glow, flash-dancing

ruby to emerald-green as they

zipped in and out from the feeder.

I wonder if all these rainbows

from Grandma’s carnival glass bowl

to the pearly shells, from the hummer’s

throat to the mallard’s head,

are these a foretaste

of the brightness yet to come?

When we gather

on that glorious morning

to revel and behold

the rainbow completed

around the Throne.


“The One seated there looked like jasper and carnelian, and

a rainbow that gleamed like an emerald encircled the throne.”

(Revelation 4:3)


Mark Weinrich is a gardener, hiker, musician, cancer survivor, and retired pastor.  His work has been published in numerous literary and inspirational magazines. He has also sold eight children’s books and currently has two fantasy novels on Kindle.

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