Deserts


Today at dVerse Poet’s Pub, Meeting the Bar, I’m happy to introduce Pamela Sayers, who makes her home in Puebla, Mexico. I’ve always been impressed with Pamela’s ability to capture a sense of place in her poetry. Today she shares with us a bit about her own process of bringing us into the heart of Mexico, and invites us to join her by sharing something of our own, about the place we call home.

Photo: David SlottoChaparral CC

Photo: David Slotto
Chaparral CC

While I make my home in the high desert of Reno, Nevada–a short 40 minute drive to Lake Tahoe, when those cold winter winds and snows start getting to our old bones, my husband and I pack up the dogs and head south with the birds to Palm Desert, California. The desert is in my blood from my childhood, when we would head east from the LA area each April to soak in the sun and get our first sunburns of the year (big mistake).This poem is more of a reflection on what the desert means to me, than a travelogue. If you have a sense of deja-vu, I have posted it before!

I look forward to reading as many of your poems as I can and Pamela will support me since my husband and I are currently in the midst of a small renovation project.

Photo Credit: All Posters

Photo Credit: Tim Laman

i
Sometimes something
we judge to be barren
throbs with life.

ii
Wind scatters sand
like gossips spread destruction.

iii
If you go to the desert,
you will see the stars.
Perhaps one of them
holds your life purpose.
Then you are no longer
afraid of the viper’s kiss.

iv
The power of thirst
consumes all other desires.

v
Shifting sands
are like people
who vacillate—
you don’t know
where you stand.

vi
The desert is a canvas—
open to splashes
of vibrant color.

vii
The desert is
a state of mind.
Are you alone?
Or lonely?

viii
The desert is
a place of temptation.
There the devil tempted
Jesus—
bread,
greed,
power.
Nothing has changed.

ix
If you try
to leave your mark
upon the desert,
Nature will erase it.
Wind.
Earthquake.
War.
We don’t really matter.

x
The hotter it gets,
the fewer people hang around.

xi
Many people
do not understand
the beauty of the desert
or of wrinkled faces.

xii
At some point
you will visit a desert
and discover
aridity.

xiii
When the desert blooms,
you will find grace.

images

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36 thoughts on “Deserts

  1. Hi Victoria, let me start with how beautiful the first image is! Bravo to your husband! As for your writing, outstanding as always, I liked best the ix. Regards, Blaga

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  2. Lydia says:

    Spectacular, Victoria! Do you know C.E.S. Wood’s The Poet in the Desert? It is a work I treasure (I have an original print) and your poem reminds me of it. I posted snippets of his epic poem in a post with some of my photography of Steens Mountain/Alvord Desert, my favorite place, at this post here.

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  3. kaykuala says:

    The desert is a canvas—
    open to splashes
    of vibrant color

    That’s true! The desert may be thought to be barren. It’s a matter of looking around for the colorful ones to feast the eyes! Nicely Victoria!

    Hank

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  4. Imelda says:

    Beautiful. I love the way you described life and people using the desert as metaphors. Your lines are touching.

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  5. wolfsrosebud says:

    do like the desert being a canvas… so right, at first, it looks barren but all we need to do is open our eyes

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  6. Tony says:

    Your love of the desert, and your knowledge of its moods and seasons, shines through in every line.

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  7. vivinfraynce says:

    Never having seen a real desert, you made it live for me, evoking feelings clearlly. Last night I watched a beautiful BBCtv documentary called Wild Arabia, so I had the visual images in my head. Synchronicity?

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  8. heidi says:

    Hi Victoria. I like all the layers of beauty that you have worked through this poem, especially the use of the desert literally and metaphorically.

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  9. Bodhirose says:

    Life itself seems to be reflected like a microcosm in the desert. Such as all traces of us will be erased and it is in constant motion whether we notice or not. I love this piece.

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  10. I grew up in the Arizona desert, lived in Pam Desert, and Albuquerque, so I know and love the desert. You do it great justice with this poem, and I do think I saw it when you posted it before.

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  11. With each stanza, I thought, oh this is my favorite – and then rereading, I so like them all, but must say the final one is just beautiful! K

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  12. David King says:

    The second stanza grabbed me and then the whole poem held me. As clouds differ in the changes that they bring, one bringing shade, another rain, and so forth, so I found your stanzas with their different thoughts totally compelling.

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  13. Victoria, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting about Mother Jones. This meditation on the many faces and characteristics of the desert is romantic in its own way. I’m suddenly feeling a deep longing for my days among cactus as neighbors and sand underfoot. Also, the references to Jesus were a good reminder during Lent. Well done! Amy http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/03/06/night-bus-nyc-3ww-real-toads/

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  14. ninotaziz says:

    Absolutely beautiful.

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  15. Steve E says:

    Again I am in awe over the talent displayed on these blog posts. Feels like I just read a book titled: THE DESERT–A WAY OF LIFE (and beauty!) I soaked this one up…and loved every line, SO much good philosophy!

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  16. I experienced a taste of the desert in your beautiful series of small poems. Quite vivid. Grace does bloom in unexpected places.

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  17. nico says:

    Excellent work–viii and ix are incredible. Well, so are xi and xii. Aw hell, they’re all tremendous.

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  18. Such a stunning poem, you captured the desert beautifully in a word painting. I just love that no one can make their mark on the desert, the elements erase all, such a defiant place and finding the beauty of wrinkled faces…wonderful!

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  19. kkkkaty says:

    What a variety of poems…and in the desert world…it’s gorgeous indeed!

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  20. ihatepoetry says:

    This was a beautiful set of poems. You captured the desert masterfully – from your pal in Moreno Valley.

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  21. aprille says:

    Deserts scare me, because I don’t know them. We forget how beautiful they can be. Nice to hear your love for them. Why do I associate you with France?

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  22. i love the desert and have visited many times. today i was there with you…and there is a grace in the end of the day after all the dust settles.
    thank you

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  23. I love the stanza in which you so aptly observe that if you try to leave your mark on the desert, nature will erase it. Thus was it always in life…

    Lovely poem and what a neat opportunity!

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  24. Rowan Taw says:

    Your poem has convinced me that I’m sadly lacking desert experience (The closest I’ve been to desert is flying over Arizona).

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  25. janehewey says:

    sumptuous and imploring, this is a beautiful piece of work.
    ‘the viper’s kiss’ sticks with me.

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  26. Pamela says:

    Victoria, you have captured my sense of the desert when I first saw her here. Oaxaca has some of the most beautiful desert I have seen. Cacti in full bloom and such a sense of peace. Beautiful entry, and thanks for inviting me.

    Pamela

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  27. brian miller says:

    so very cool…love your piece….or pieces….the one on temptation, ha…i like that…nothing has changed…there is life there as well…just different or you have to look for it a bit……

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  28. Jamie Dedes says:

    A wonderful post. The poem set is perfect.

    You must relate to her love of the desert.

    Victoria, you should see a ping back on a post I did inviting you to a challenge. I thought it might be a good way to introduce your new book. No obligation to participate, just a suggestion. I can’t remember whether I alerted you before or not. So, if this is the second time: apologies! 🙂

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  29. I got so captured by this piece. More than 20 years ago I spent one year living in the Phoenix area, and I grew to love the desert. I still have a big part of the desert inside.

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  30. claudia says:

    very cool victoria..i only was once in a desert in israel…even stayed there overnight in a nomad’s tent…it was a breath-taking experience…the quiet and still it has voices and i felt so small and fragile…there is beauty in the desert’s face…we just need the eyes to see it… hey…beautiful pics as well.. a place to stretch the soul…smiles

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  31. Laurie Kolp says:

    Nice, Victoria… I especially like 1, 2, 4, 7, 11, 13.

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  32. Mary says:

    This is just beautiful, Victoria. I love them all, but I really like the one about if you try to make your mark on the desert nature will erase it; also the one about a desert being a state of mind! I visualize a small book. A poem and a picture on each page! Think about it.

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  33. I love this perfect pearled chain of micropoems. My favorite is #8, if I have to pick one, but they are all so lovely, especially read one after the other.

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