Revisiting Joshua Tree National Park by Carolyn Martin

Revisiting Joshua Tree National ParkTwentynine Palms, Californiaby Carolyn Martin Joshua fit the battle of JerichoAnd the walls come tumblin’ down . . .        — An African-American spiritual The terrain hasn’t changed. The Cap still tilts.The Skull glares over a parking lot.The Jumbo Rocks? This careless pile nudgedfrom eons underground lazes in theContinue reading “Revisiting Joshua Tree National Park by Carolyn Martin”

The Naked Desert by David Del Bourgo

The Naked Desert by David Del Bourgo Coming home from a sales call at the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, stop at McDonalds in Mojave for take-out coffee. Winds gusting from the west at sixty-miles an hour slash around the tail-end of the Sierras. It’s too damned hot to be wearing a long sleeve shirtContinue reading “The Naked Desert by David Del Bourgo”

Pandemic Escapees by Leah Mueller

Pandemic Escapees by Leah Mueller Lying in our motel bed halfway between Washington and Arizona: fitful crossroads of a dirty central California town. Steinbeck country minus the romance. Days Inn of Westley, ground-floor room with a parking lot view, 68 dollars plus tax. I shove my ears tight against the pillows to stifle the endlessContinue reading “Pandemic Escapees by Leah Mueller”

California Hills in August by Dana Gioia

California Hills in August by Dana Gioia I can imagine someone who found these fields unbearable, who climbed the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust, cracking the brittle weeds underfoot, wishing a few more trees for shade. An Easterner especially, who would scorn the meagerness of summer, the dry twisted shapes of black elm,Continue reading “California Hills in August by Dana Gioia”

Arizona Desert by Charles Tomlinson

Arizona Desert by Charles Tomlinson Eye drinks the dry orange ground, the cowskull bound to it by shade: sun-warped, the layers of flaked and broken bone unclench into petals, into eyelids of limestone: Blind glitter that sees spaces and steppes expand of the purgatories possible to us and impossible. Upended trees in the Hopi’s desertContinue reading “Arizona Desert by Charles Tomlinson”