Melody Scott – The Desert


A secret life beneath the ground is sleeping in the sand
bleak and dry, pruned and parched, in a wizened dusty land.
Oppressive heat to dog a man, to wither up his life,
to bleach his bones who falters near, yet tuneless, almost blithe.
River paths deceitful lie, with proof of moisture past,
barren now they undulate like ribbons long and vast.
Siren mountains beckon clouds and lure them for their rain
then shed their drops like fickle girls left to cry in vain.
Angered by their treasure spurned, the clouds amass their size
and, darkened, blanket every vale, immune to alibis.
Trickles merge with rivulets which mingle more with streams,
cascading soon to river beds, forgotten but for dreams
and little sprites of color pop with flowers on their heads,
tiny hats of yellow pods, purples, whites and reds.
They chatter, nod and look about, faces clean of stain,
bobbing, laughing in the breeze, flush and bold with flame.
Across the miles and miles of sage their little lights prevail
enhancing cactus, rocks and sand, decorous in detail
but relentlessly the sun invades, taking back its toll,
banishing the clouds of life and burning up the soil.
The little buds just close their eyes and fold their leaves to store.
They pack their tiny seed size bags and go to ground once more.

Copyright © Melody Scott 2000

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