Oenothera organensis

Organ Mountain evening primrose
Dana Dryden



Summer, the backside of the Organs

Early on the trail

Already hotter than hell

Walking with hydration

Visually parched

The goal to encounter water, if only one drop


Singular, pensive, severe

Meandering toward quiet desolation

You stop at a small rugged meadow

Gather the dreamy mineral crystallum

Gaze at the rock-spired-cathedral-towers as they reach out to God

Who gazes at you


Continue upward, footing loose

Concentrate, you must, as you pass by the Baldy

Emerging from the petrification

You arrive at the timberline

Weaving in and out of the vista pathway

The open spectacle of the desert basin, vast and longing

An illusion of mist and mountains surround still air

Time does not move

Mystically aware


You, alone


So much faster, the journey down

Running, you stop to slow your pace

Drawing it all out

Not a spot of water, still

You are not ready to make your way out

Or resume that life that you are living


At the bottom, you climb into a canyon crevice

Rest in the coolness of a shaded boulder space

Stretch as if a mountain lion

Desert cat, you are

Rising subtly, you begin the twilight return

Lifting up, there at eye level, gentle bouquets grow seemingly from sand


Delicate flowering beauty gifts

Crown this hiking day

Oenothera Organensis, the Evening Primrose

Light, lithe, rare, whimsical

Optically medicinal

Water imagined


You, alone, not abandoned




Dana Dryden is a graduate of the University of Arizona. She has lived and worked in New Mexico for over thirty years, focusing on journalism, government, and the arts. Currently, she resides in Las Cruces where she hikes and writes extensively.