an experiment in permaculture poetics



Fifteen: A Literary Inventory of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument




maybe it's the way warmth rises


              in such a celebration of sky


like a ghost or rising smoke


              even wilder in our imagination than the actual




while silently


              inside the cool spheres of our shadows


lines like the slithering silver edge


              fastening the desert




we return before sunrise


              while you dream


into the vast blue sky above


              hawk? owl? no.




we will be transformed


              untethered by photo albums and passports


a shared animal


              carrying the history and map of these mountains




echoes whistle through


              the drought-ridden tempo


of western lands


              these basins and ranges are not empty space




do you know the sweat you get after crying all day?


              this is bad but it is not yet the apocalypse


we can all be Narcissus getting lost in ourselves


              all this ruckus, only




the nights are cold, the days are hot, and the time between them hums


              we raise our faces up


into sundry directions


              first light engulfs




the arc of distant mountains


              weaving in and out


as if this were some ancient


              cryharsh and joyous, raucous and wild




that old reptilian brain


              singing when it rains


por aquí y por allá


              I hear you calling




how I miss you


              I still remain


I breathe in


              the image I have of you nestled quietly




but for your leaves


              all I saw or heard was the wind


scrambling over rocks and roots


              against one another to carry




perhaps this is where my love of


              the earth-bound


the sand, the sky, the


              agency of rain, the quick flash




into earth as if


              there was no one to hear


the mountain will not ask




"use it or lose it," as the Mayordomo says


              I also have a mask


reforming the map of your home


              I carry poetry with me and I feed it to the landscape





Spiral Orb is an experiment in juxtaposition, interrelationships, and intertextuality—a cross-pollination. This opening poem composts fragments from each of the pieces in Spiral Orb Fifteen. Standing also as the table of contents, each line is embedded with a hyperlink to its original poem. Once at each poem, you will find links to the other poems in Spiral Orb Fifteen.

Spiral Orb Fifteen is a special issue on the Literary Inventory of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

For past issues of Spiral Orb: archives

For more on Spiral Orb, see What Is.