Earth: I am the desert

I am the flowery city with its spanning urban neighborhoods.
I am the narrow and winding road beneath the starlit night.
I am the rolling dry hills growing with sagebrush against my side.
I am the desert lakebed toward which we drive.

My terrain is dusty and ancient and white.
I lie under the bluest of skies.
I am the daylight hours.
I am the bulging red disc of the sun
That rises against the red horizon.

I am the warm alkaline soil of the lake basin.
My worn body’s heat rises in the midday sizzle.
I am the frying pan into which we have fallen.
I am the swaying temple chiming in the wind.
I am the lost souls drifting in the air
Hoping for a prayer to save them.

I am the moon looking down on the cold sand
Where the revelers roam.
My shadows span far and wide.
My body is dusty and old.

I am the orange earth that rises stark in the sunset sun.
I am the silhouette cast against the half-light.
I am the swooping ravens that fly low on the valley
Before the mountains beyond.

I am the land where a cry of rejoice is hailed to the sky
To announce that another day has surrendered to the coolness
Of the jet-black night.
I am the lilac and majestic mountains that embrace
The white desert within.
I am the starry night sky that chills the earth
Until a new sun rises.

I am the dancing constellations.
In my movements I repeat the tales of old.
I am the dance of the heavenly creatures
Until once again the chariot rises over the horizon
And devours the night.


3 thoughts on “Earth: I am the desert

  1. Oona, this is a great poem. It flows backward toward the start of poetry in Mesopotamia and the Celtic lines where “I” did not refer to an individual, but to gods or desert or some other magnificent idea of earth or spirit. It is also a riddle. Have you ever read Nick Moore, gonecyclingagain? This poem reminds me of some of his wonderful riddles. He uses formal iambic pentameter and other traditional meters and rhyme, not free verse, but you might enjoy reading his very-English work. The bicycle photo, which is great, with its shadows and the riddle reminded me of him. I am really impressed by your work.

    • I was astounded by Nick Moore’s work. I am starting to really enjoy the artists and poets I am encountering on wordpress…and to get the hang of finding work that’s interesting. Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction.

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