SNOWSHOE IN SUMMER
by Jeanine Stevens
In this high desert,
the marker we find tight
against the base of the Sierras.
Modest, the stone stands alone,
perfect for one who loved solitude.
The name seems newly chiseled:
Snowshoe Thompson. Age 49 YearsThe next purpling range ripples on heat waves.
He loved to hear the colors move.
At my feet,
between sagebrush and sand,
a garter snake wriggles around boulders,
brings his own
gold stripe and small bones.
Near the road,
a scrawny mule deer
startles away from the green
of a new golf course.
We look back; in the white noonday sun,
Thompson's headstone glistens alabaster,
crossed long distance skis
SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK by Brenda Yamen
by Carol Hamilton
"The certainty without being sure."
Charles Bernstein, "High Tide at Race Point"
What did the Desert Fathers discover?
Landscapes with Jimson Weed
I think, instead, stark Saharan sands
bare mounds like those captured
in a bottleneck corner
where the Sangre de Cristo range
slips out of Colorado
into New Mexico
those sands that burned
our feet when the sun came out.
We splashed happily through the sparse river
to cool our car-weary selves
those crowded around the billboards
with instructions for safe passage
toes slipping down into bits
of glassy particularity.
Then the clouds parted
pain scorched us
and we knew we had made some mistake.
Now I count each grain of sand as error
on a rosary I finger constantly
trust the touch
whether cool or searing
as the only true thing
I have ever doubted.
DESERT SNOW by Lynn Crounse
THE CACTUS IN THE GREENHOUSE
by J.R. Solonche
The cactus in the greenhouse
has three arms.
At the end of one arm,
there is a broad, flat, open
palm of a hand,
with slender spikes for fingers.
It holds up against the pane,
a single pink flower
it looks to be made itself
of pink glass.
"See," says the cactus,
"what I have had to do
to get to the sun.
I have had to make love to glass."