“Half the painters paradise will have gone
if the desert is brought back to life”-Aldous Huxley
Desert is God’s country:
quiet, desolate, dangerous.
Dry like Egypt’s burial grounds
and full of as many unknowns
except that is where I used to hang around.
Jungle owned by animals:
howls and hoots and power struggles,
red mouths, yellow eyes and a presence
that splits the shining night in half
like a coconut crashing on a rock
and opening it’s belly to the sky.
we build things to claim:
the tan slabs of gravel and crow bones
full of tread marks and dead thoughts
and dead soldiers
and what not
that lead us on our way,
that lead us to our homes,
that trick us into thinking
we are invincible and growing
we belong in this place,
this place belongs to us.
But the arid west belongs to God.
Follow your inner moonlight,
someone remarked once:
curiosity is but a root,
the limbs are hanging there like saints’ unanswered
get a foot hold and jump.
I made a deal with God:
I’ll do my best to live gently,
to tread softly over ant hills.
I’ll never pick the flowers or upturn any stones.
I’ll trust you if you just send me little reminders:
little reminders that you’re a cushion
and I spent my life falling
and crawling across our roads
but I can land without a THUD.
I can drink when I’m thirsty
from your munificent creeks.
Little twinkles to spot the black.
Little zephyrs in my uncombed hair.
that remind me that you’re there;
in this lurid urban landscape
that we would bulldoze
had you not claimed it for yourself.
The desert tried to cry today
to show me she still cared.
A pipe burst over my brother’s old crib
and I stopped bleeding for almost a whole
“high plains desert”