White and Red


By Sarah E. Seeley

White and red

The earth extrudes

In brightly-banded bed

The air is hot

My pack

It weighs

Upon my neck and head


The road is gone

My path


Is of my choosing


And I will blaze it

As I judge

To study




To climb a slope

To brave a ledge

To dance and bathe in red

To grit my teeth

Against a piece

Of rock



Types of sed


And leave myself

To nature’s hand

To be one

With her sand

To find

One’s inner genius

To read the earth and land


To notice

The smell

Of Junipers

And be whole

With past

And present

All in one


My secret stage of intellect

In my heart


My mind


White and red

The earth extrudes

In brightly-banded bed

The air is hot

And still


For a breeze

That can be heard


‘Round the hill

And trickling


The trees


It catches me

By sheer surprise

I hold my breath

And close my eyes


The breeze

Hits me

It tickles

My face

It teases

To pluck away

My hat

And papers

And scatter them


The steeper

Crumbling face


It overrides

My voice

To carry

It bids me


And hold still


Its force

Against my body

Challenges me

To remember

I am


By Heavenly Father’s Grace


It buoys me

By my invisible wings

And lifts my soul

Into flight


I inhale sharply

And look out

On the beautiful


Before me

I had not noticed

My breath is stolen away


As I sigh

I am


And refreshed


About White and Red

I wrote this poem when I was working on my summer field capstone course for my undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University (summer of 2009). It is inspired by my LDS religious perspective as well as the incredible experiences I had studying geology out in the field. I love geology and I love studying the earth. In my mind knowledge, discovery, and divine inspiration all go hand-in-hand.

Since I don’t post my creative works themselves on here as often as other content, and the old blog where I used to have this no longer exists, I thought it would be fun to share this poem again. I hope you enjoyed “White and Red.” (Once titled: “Finding The Inner Genius On a Geology Field Trip”)