Desert Soliloquy

 

 


In the desert
When the wind rattles the juniper bushes
So that you hear a crowd of people roar
As you pass;

When the rocks seem to bear
Native American ghosts,
And longings for eternity
Whistle through the plains;

Between the mountains,
Blue receding to lighter blue —
Sky so clear and sharp
That planes cut their way like dragons,
Criss-crossing the expanse;
Reminding you —
That even in the most desolate places,
People travel by.
Sometimes you wish
You were on that plane,
At other times you wish
That none were ever invented.

Desert green.
A lime green like algae.
A hint of spring —
Just enough to have you wishing
For the full explosion of summer colors.
You savor a flower;

The smallest little white star
On silver twigs
Close to the ground;
Because it may be the only flower
You will see for months.
You savor the bulging yellow cactus Blossoms.
They are beautiful
In comparison to thorns
Their triumph is your joy.

You might see a hare
Leap to the dark from headlights.
You might hear the howl of a coyote,
Or catch the small birds dart from one Bush to the next.

Each raven appears like an eagle
In the sky.
They stand by the roadside,
They circle the town,
They are in the art and sculpture,
And imprinted in the brain of every visitor
"When will you go?" They ask,
"We will be here when you
Have turned to dust.
Our ancestors were here before you —
And we have every chance of surviving After you —
Paltry humans".

Sink into the dust;
Sink into the morning apricot hues;
The evening golds, and lilacs and blues.
The jagged skyline,
The jutting stony backed hills;
The junipers like bison
Huddled grazing on the plains.

Feel the loss of a nation.
Feel the grossness of a nation.
Feel the hope —
The laughter of a Tibetan child,
The smell of incense in a courtyard
Where prayer flags have meaning.
The hustle of cars and breakfast
And coffee.
The stench of cigarettes.
Memories of tequila,
Memories
O
f dreams;
Memories of a past
So deep and profound —
You can't realize it.

Longing for water,
The sea —
The horizon of glitter.
Longing for a home you will never have
Because you can't.
We are all trying to get back
To 'That Place' where we are Not —
Where it is Perfect.

The less people there are sometimes,
The more you long.
Sometimes,
The more people there are —
The more you ache.

The snow is gone,
Apart from on the mountains.
There the illusion of winter continues.
There snowboarders parade,
And cars need to be 4WD;
Christmas postcards in March.

The sun can get so hot you get burned;
The wind chaps your skin and lips.
Hard water;
No water in the arroya river-beds. Sometimes years can go by,
Without a river through town.

The concept of time slows,
Meanders.
Perhaps the lack of water does that.
Perhaps I just want to go home;
Where boats whip up the foam on the bay,
And everyone is dashing to get out
Into the last rays of autumnal sun;
And there is a definite lack
Of spiritual pursuit.


 
     

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