caldera summer sunrise

Sunrise over the Cerro Pelado Fire, Jemez Caldera, New Mexico
opening day’s eye pierces dawn
shredding fragile cloud with sun daggers
rising light enlivening early lizards on red rocks
warming creosote bush scent
and following the dipping dance of the hummingbird
salt cedars stand sentinel through the drought
in spectral rivers of sand
where the swallows serenade their hunt over dry beds
feathered grasses flutter in the freshening breath
all silver green growth only to fuel the fires
and the brittle fingers of winterfat
point widdershins in accusation
ashes float down wind
from towering cumuli of forest infernos
these grey gravestones of smoke and cloud
mark death in the high desert
this is the summer sun
no monsoon to bring relief
from this burning thirst
nor even virga to shade burrow and shelter
this is summer in these harsh times
season to fear the morning

Wednesday Word

for 1 June 2022


I am a child of the desert. We do not love summer at the best of times. But this year… it is a season of terror… and it has hardly begun. More of New Mexico is currently on fire right now than during the entirety of the previous record-setting year, 2002. And fire season has many months to go.

It is hard to enjoy the green around me. I don’t trust it, I suppose. Trees this close to the house translate into destruction where I’m from… So I have to keep reminding myself that June in Vermont is benign, full of blossom and strawberries. Even the drought is little more than inconvenience.

But my heart keeps turning back to the images on my computer screen of the places I love best burning to ash. Because we would turn from this path in time…

©Elizabeth Anker 2022

Wednesday Discourse

Wednesdays are open posts. Anything you feel like sharing (except the usual injunctions against foul messaging). If you have something happy to talk about, I could really use the smile…

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