Somewhere along the Santa Clara River Valley,
The Chumash call it “a place protected from the wind”.
Aging men without women, pass it
on their way to a prospector’s desert.
Only want of being temporary Nabataeans, hiding out.
We set up camp at Emigrant Pass.
Vista of wild expanse.
Cold, stony ground – fine comfort for lonesome sleep.
The ravens cack,
fill the air with the woof of beating wings
and follow careless, cashew-dropping emigrants.
Wind whipped through Mesquite Spring
bending bachelors into weather thrashed bristlecone pine.
Wabi-sabi we are becoming.
Japanese for old, bent, broken.
And as such – beautiful.
Kangaroo rats squirrel into the cab at night,
eat a hole in the bag
and nibble on date crumble.
Out in the desert even your loneliness
is something of value
and will get eaten up.
Or dry up
leaving only salt pan
to rub into your wounds
and wake your sleepy awareness.
Silence reigns supreme here,
and in this silence you need no saticoy,
taking refuge in voidness
and endless desert horizons.