North Kaibab Plateau, East Rise, Morning

Navajo Mountain, from the south

Standing in a forest of snags, a dead woodland.  Ponderosa scorched by fire.  No less in beauty than a living thing.  Aspen goldening in autumn.  Sun rises.  Navajo Mountain, a bluing turtle’s back, looming above the Paria Plateau, framed by the bleeding maroon of the Vermillion Cliffs.

A bevy of does just before the rut, snorting, on the move up a hillside from a glen.  A raven croaks, skating a ridge.  The broad, umber sweep of House Rock Valley rolls up to the Echo Cliffs.

The warm and soft wind rises through pristine air. Stainless light pours through the branches.  What does anything matter?

© 2022 by Michael C. Just

Mike’s novel, The Dirt: The Journey of a Mystic Cowboy, is available in softcover or eBook formats through Amazon.

You can purchase the book through this website. Or go straight to amazon at

Mike’s other titles, including The Crippy, The Mind Altar, and Canyon Calls, are available through this website or through Amazon at

Four of his short stories have recently been published online:

Lies, Ltd. has been published by The Mystery Tribune @ Lies, Ltd.: Literary Short Fiction by Michael C. Just (

The Obligate Carnivore has been published by the Scarlet Leaf Review @ Category: MICHAEL JUST – SCARLET LEAF REVIEW

I See You, Too has been published by the 96th of October @ I See You, Too – 96th of October

Offload, a short story about a man who can heal any disease, is now live and can be read at The Worlds Within at Offload – The Worlds Within