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Selection 18 of

Fate and the Desert

by Mary Lambert

Desert scene

The west wind's lonely elegy
keens uncanny second-sight,
folding itself around me,
whispering my fate.

Swaths of desert show themselves,
commanding a craggy, hard-won respect.

I feel kinship within its dry, rocky vistas.
Such raw, wiry, whisker strength serves well
to find the pearl of its hidden beauty.

The desert knows how to fight the impossible,
how to transform alien elements to perfect form and balance.
Their strange beauty savagely protects the sweet inner fruit,
the true nature of its being.

The heart understands this kind of savagery--
tough love blessed by the softness of its opposite.
The savagery perhaps an initiation, a rite of passage.

The birthing and balance of animal, mineral, element
shows more heart than we are used to, more love of its kin
and its harsh god because it knows its own soul.
It understands its journey toward its place in the sun.

A mystical rapport emanates from such struggle,
combining shadow and sky in dramatic
beauty: The dune needs the shadow to
show its long, slender spine and seductive,
dervish dance.

At night, one hears the dinosaurs move
in their shifting, sandy graves, still trying
to reclaim what the meteor took eons ago.
Even the dusty remains struggle for what is theirs!

The elementals, the salamanders, the cacti,
the little birds that live in the Saguaro
understand these things ...

Selection 18 of

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Copyright © 2007 by Mary Lambert. All rights reserved.