The high mountain Earth seeps
Blood-red mud
After her molybdenum

The rapist does
Nothing but chuckle
And ask, “Did you

— Stace Johnson, 1987


A note about this poem:

A couple of people have mentioned to me that this poem bothered them because of the rape references, so I decided I’d better create some context.

On the route from Denver to Durango via Leadville lies the Climax Molybdenum Mine. Tailings ponds from the mine step down the valley on the north side of the mountain, and on one trip through there I was disgusted by the lack of respect for the area’s natural beauty. As I rounded a corner, a spring bubbled out of the ground by the road, soaking the iron-rich soil and turning it a deep, dark red.

From here, you can probably put all the pieces together, and see that this is really not a poem about violent male-female interaction, but about the negative aspects of large scale mining.