The Devil’s Eye

by Marlene Ryan

Rock formation, hole in rock cliff, Devil's EyeWay up high where the winds do blow,
Where ordinary people rarely go,
There’s a rim of rock ‘neath the sky,
And in that rock is the Devil’s Eye.

It must be part of Satan’s work,
For there, only stray cattle lurk.
Seeking shelter in the caves so deep
Where snow blows round and winter winds creep.

Is that a warrior standing watch at the door?
Looking down, down, down to the canyon floor?
Or is it but a speck in the sky,
Way up high near the Devil’s Eye?

Devil's Eye, rock arch, canyons, hole in rock cliffA lone cowboy comin’ up the trail
Seekin’ shelter from snow, wind and hail.
Been chasin’ strays ‘most a week,
Rides into the cave so warm and deep.

Biscuit and jerky from his saddle pack
Will stave off hunger ’til he gets back.
Rest his hoss in the gloom.
Always watchin’ that big eye loom.

His lot in life he contemplates
While waitin’ for the wind to abate.
Devil's Eye, hole in rock, canyons, rock archWay up high
‘neath the Devil’s Eye.

Maybe that wind is Lucifer’s tail,
Whippin’ and whirlin’, sendin’ air mail
To the cowboy for disturbin’ his rest.
Ole Satan gives it his best.

He’s rantin’, he’s ravin’ and bellerin’ with glee,
Tryin’ to get our cowboy to flee.
He snorts and spins and commences to growl,
Wakin’ the coyotes, who start to howl.

When the storm quiets, the clouds part,
Ole son has lost all heart
For tryin’ to frighten the man and take control
Of that cowboy’s very soul.

But the eagles still nest
Undaunted by their newest guest.
Sensing he’ll soon be on his way
From this makeshift hideaway.

Year after year some things never change
Chasin’ cows, ridin’ the range.
Down below the rim or way up high
’round the Devil’s Eye.


  1. Great poem and photos. I have been trying to find the devils eye. I know it’s somewhere near Yakawawa canyon, but not where indicated in the USGS map. I may try again now that the weather is cooling.

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