For no particular reason,
Borrowed time has given us
another day
upright on the earth,
in all of its exhausted duskiness
& anxious old New Mexican
first lights
of morning;
             the serene immutability of
eternity, the sunlight piled
up in the doorway, here
in these greathouse ruins
                           of the canyon.
This must be where real peace abides,
in the deep kiva shadow roots,
the burning
yellow chamisa
roadsides of September,
where all forty-nine years of me trudged seven
miles to Penasco Blanco & back,
where an eight hundred year old shamen
tried to pray away a killer drought
at the nexus of river & desert
with a 
fresh macaw feather in his hair.
I thought of fire-breathing
Charles Bowden
Author of Blood Orchid &
Blues for Cannibals
deconstructing & reassembling
border consciousness
who marched in the
summer heat across the Sand Tank
mountains to Gila Bend carrying a fist-
full of water, serene
in the cold sweat of his ritual-
because it was there.
This is where real peace resides:
with these bellowing clouds that
melt like whispers on the dry horizon over
Charca Mesa,
its pottery shards,
fossil sea shells,
parrot feathers, 
copper bells & bird points,
the furnace hell of the far ruin in the hiking heat
eating peanut butter on wheat bread
upright against an
                    Anasazi wall
every brick
whispers all time is simultaneous.
I listened carefully & could hear a
scorpion cast its shadow on the bare
slickrock & a flute voiced woman
singing in the river:
"This is what we do.  This is living, 
taking its walk."
John Macker
(from Desert Shovel)



return to Desert Shovel