Elephant Rock at Valley of Fire
State Park, Nevada

This massive rock shaped by wind, fire,
and rain, charges forward like Ganesha,
the Elephant God that removes all obstacles.
His legs rooted to the deep caverns of earth,
his trunk drinking up vast clouds of heaven,
and before him, a cluster of daisies.

A wild elephant trampled 44 villagers
to death in India last month, but here
in this valley I see the 12th-century sage
of Elephant Mountain, Lu Hsiang-Shan,
lecturing to his students— “The universe
is my mind and my mind is the universe.”

This elephant can't fly yet, but I recall
one who almost did— a giant African bull
elephant that Lauren Hutton was watching
one night. Suddenly the wind shifted and
the elephant charged. She ran, fell, heard
the earth rumble and was ready to die.

Then an elephant's giant shadow fell
out of the sky, and darkness turned
to starflakes covering her like snow.
When she came to consciousness,
those massive feet had stopped their
charge an arm's length from her head.

I see that bull elephant now in this Valley
of Fire, heart overwhelmed by beauty—
his gentle mind ready for flight.

                Peter Y. Chou
                Palo Alto, 11-5-1993

Elephant Rock
Valley of Fire State Park
Overton, Nevada

Ganesha, Hindu God
"Remover of All Obstacles"

African Bull Elephant

Lauren Hutton, Supermodel