January in the Desert

Photo: David Slotto


January in the Desert

I am
a wild strawberry
woven among
low-lying oleander branches,

I am
the fear that brushes
by your body in
the darkness of a dream.

I am
slipping over
mounded slopes

of snow-capped
Santa Rosa mountains
bringing rain
and night.

I slap
the rounded curves of
wind-stroked cheeks
turned skyward.

I am the hummingbird.
I wait outside
your window
with promises of joy.

I’m linking this to dVerse Open Link Night and Write2Day, which I will post on Wednesday afternoon (4 PM PST). Be sure to stop by the pub to enjoy good friends, superb poetry and an on-going celebration of the new year. I’d love to see you here on Wednesday, too.

I wrote this last year during our stay in Palm Desert. My husband photographed this pure white (Leucistic) hummingbird that loved to visit our feeder and truly did bring us joy.

37 thoughts on “January in the Desert

  1. dragonkatet says:

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said many times? You do beautiful work. I’ve never been to the desert (in any season) but I imagine it has its own, strange beauty. I had never seen a white hummingbird, either, and it took my breath away! Wow. That something so small could cause such a huge rush of amazement and emotion is quite extraordinary. Thank you VERY much for sharing this one!


  2. Eve Redwater says:

    Amazing image – what a bird! A beautiful poem, too – it’s so tranquil! 🙂


  3. Your husband is a very talented photographer, he should keep the images coming. His icons compliment your words even more. I like the title- January in the desert- it speaks volumes!


  4. Lindy Lee says:

    You could be some poets’ very helpful muse…


  5. You have such a way with words. “Cloud fingers…” Brilliant!


  6. Beth Winter says:

    Beautiful personification. There is a sense of greatness in the gentle beauty.


  7. tinkwelborn says:

    wow! great photo of that white hummingbird. thank you for sharing all of this: your poem, the hummingbird, and your memory.
    they are all of that and Joy, to boot!
    nice write.
    thank you.


  8. dani says:

    beautiful, Victoria! i love hummingbirds and it’s amazing that your husband was able to get a photograph of one at rest.

    happy new year!


  9. Beautiful and touching Victoria. So many things touch and pass us quickly, never to return, and to capture just a few is to capture a prize. Lovely.


  10. Divya says:

    Lovely weaving of words … liked every word of it.. sublime and tender to soul..


  11. Bill says:

    Thanks, Victoria, for the concise and beautiful desert experience, so important for this soul lost in the frigid grey of New York. Palm Desert is great – I love the springs and the crazy people.


  12. christi moon says:

    stunning Victoria. standout poetry. this stanza my favorite–

    I am
    the fear that brushes
    by your body in
    the darkness of a dream

    this was a delight to read. — C.


  13. Heaven says:

    I would love to trade places with you… I like the “I” in your opening lines specially the first one ~


  14. the images you speak of are so lulling and tender. I adore the gentleness of your work and the execution of such in softness. Loved this, truly. ♥



  15. zongrik says:

    that was just lovely. i really liked taht.


  16. Pat Hatt says:

    I’ll take january in the desert too, screw all this cold weather crap. And great verse, what a wonderful shot as well.


  17. souldipper says:

    There it is, Victoria…I’ve been watching. And your poem is well worth the wait. The wee hummingbird has been in and out of my attention a number of times today. I remember this unique little albino…


  18. tashtoo says:

    I am so ready for January in the desert! What beautiful word painting, Victoria! Absolutely stunning write…thanks so much for the escape! 🙂


  19. Chris G. says:

    If that’s your winter, I do believe I would gladly take it. The photographer in me was swooning at the description here. Made me antsy for nature. Lovely piece!


  20. Louise says:

    I love the ‘I am’ ….that ethereal ‘something’…beautiful poem. So vibrant…yet peaceful. Just lovely..


  21. ayala says:

    Love it, Victoria!


  22. vivinfrance says:

    Beautiful, both words and picture.


  23. Lovely imagery. I’d never seen humming birds until I moved to Canada. Such beautiful little things. Males so colourful. amazing to see up close too.


  24. wolfsrosebud says:

    love all the word pics in your lines today


  25. brian miller says:

    nice victoria…i love me some hummingbirds….had a kid i worked with we would sit on his porch and they would come right up to us…bring that joy…smile.s..


  26. df barker says:

    There are some gorgeous lines here, my favourite would be ‘I am/the fear that brushes/by your body in/the darkness of a dream.’ but that would be tantamount to tearing the wings off a butterfly! And what a photograph and what a bird!


  27. Ruth says:

    Beautiful. I like the I am’s (somehow reminds me of Rumi, one of my favourite poems by him) and image of hummingbird bringing joy…


  28. Bodhirose says:

    I remember when you posted this previously, Victoria–the desert sounds beautiful in January. I’ll never forget that amazing bird that your husband photographed!


  29. I found this calming, like a walk in winter 🙂 pretty!


  30. Mary says:

    I love the picture of the hummingbird. I have never seen a pure white one. I like the poem very much, written from the point of view of the bird, and (who knows?) maybe it IS aware of the joy it brings. One can hope!


  31. Lovely Piece, Victoria! 😀

    Happy 2012!!


  32. Absolutely lovely poem, Victoria. Outstanding photograph by your husband too. Beautiful!


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