Life in Death Valley


Like another world,

Or a future not so far,

Dry, aching ridges.20161118_172928

Oceans in mountains,

Only distant illusions,

To the yearning shrubs.


Dreams scrape the blue sky,

High above the sand shadow,

Never touching down.20161118_170544

But to float in space,

Over a rippling ridge,

Is a safer place.20161118_170248

We are a moment –

Our long shadows can attest,

Cast once and then gone.20161118_170244

The vectors remain.

(Unchanged by some unknown fate,

Or coincidence.)


This is the world now.

Fragile, and shifting slowly,

Just beyond our reach.20161118_164853

But still we are small,

Before monumental walls,

Arresting our speech.20161118_163056

And what surprise then,

That our weary eyes may rest,

In the sand-soft curves. 20161118_162234

Just beneath our feet,

The fractured salty sand dunes,

Thirsting for our time. 20161118_161048

In this foreign place,

Where life may have seemed to stop,

Just an hourglass.20161118_143737

A resilient shrub,

Carrying secret wisdom,

Leans into the sun. 20161118_140350_001

Once upon a time,

An ocean filled this valley.

(Forsaken salt brine!)20161118_140348

Single silent sun,

That has watched us all along,

What do you see here?20161118_135124

Ending? Beginning?

To some unknown mystery,

In a blunt landscape?


But not a mirage –

There is even water here,

And life in death valley.20161118_131447

On the horizon,

I see cool hopeful mountains,

And certainly rest.

Red Rock Canyon


Bold rocks that stand strong,

Revealing every moment,

Compressed in pressure.20161119_125840

Prism of mountains,

Like a light spread through diamonds,

Kissing the heavens.


Dip-dyed and patterned

In the highest of fashion,

Haute-couture ranges.20161119_124753

Can we disagree?

(Though some rocks will never move,

And skies never clear.)20161119_124611

Even in the past,

There was a string connection,

Holding hand to hand.


Along the red road,


I feel fire in my soul,

Hopefully passion. 20161119_123507

I want this power,

This indescribable strength,

To hold my mind still.


A solid boulder,

Protecting a single thought,

For eternity.


Wistful sky above,

Never to know the hard weight,

Of a long-kept thought. 20161119_122031

Sentinels, soldiers,

Lining the Red Rock passage,

In proud lineage.


If only we had,

A thousand years of climbing,

And a thousand rocks. 20161119_121842

Sometimes I feel tired,

And I would like to lay down,

In these quiet coves.20161119_121656

Inside honeycombs,

Sweet wishes wind around rocks,

A golden river.