Thursday, May 14, 2015


It's become a bowl of dirt

cracking into patterns

seen on Waterford crystal

but no fluidity --  only tumbleweed

blown across the lake

like a cage skirt

discarded yet belonging

to someone glimpsed beyond

the Palo Verde trees,

light shifting from a female shape

to breathless cloud. Some woman

who first  appeared -- retracing her steps

from older days, (the homesteader's plot)

and then gusts into parched silt.

The asthma of drought.
To me, the mystery of story telling is also what is revealed to us through the natural occurrence of things: dreams that spontaneously enter our subconscious or the landscape that enters us physically and spiritually with its wind, stillness, eerie light and smell, dust, water, and shadows; its overall feeling of loss and want. If we're open to the reception of these things, our imagination will ingest what comes and in some way, the story will be disclosed.

When I came to California, the high desert, I felt a certain kinship with the dry earth, the Joshua trees, the constant wind and  stark light. It infused me with its spirit; and now some of those elements appear again and again in my writing. The landscape's story keeps unfolding and beckoning. And though I have no known ancestral connection to this place, I feel a kinship with its unseen spirits and ancestors.

Even now when I look at a reservoir, completely dried up, but surrounded by Palo Verde trees and that "certain slant" of glare or ghostly light, I sense a presence, a story of someone who was there centuries before, someone who still haunts the place searching for something lost or seeking to relay some kind of message, especially during this historic drought. In the dust, there is still breath, something/someone that is both dead and vital someone that once was flesh but now spirit.


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