MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh

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water now with color
bright, penetrating white
crystal on crystal
intertwing, regulated clinging
dictated by structure
complicated by individuality
resulting in skim of white
edging a puddle
shimmering the back side of a leaf
disguising chaos and contamination
sparkling a fresh vista
simulating fairyland
shifting us toward hope
but holding us tied to reality
recieving us with thrall, and chill


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stories told in simple sketches:

stick figures distinctly human

hand prints

paw prints

prey and weapon, atlatl

big horn sheep, lizard

hare and tortoise

short, parallel lines capped by single longer line

short, wavy lines capped by single longer line

what do they mean? why were they etched

on black, desert-varnished rock face

at times high above, reached only

by perilous climb


warnings? maps?

celebration of successful hunt?

prayer to the great unknown?

we know only that humans

were here – this desert place –

eons before

felt this heat, squinted against this glare

worked to feed themselves and family

huddled together against night’s sudden cold

anxious, relieved, joyful, fearful, mournful


reaching out over thousands of years

to us, who barely comprehend,

but feel their common humanity

Valley of Fire, Nevada