W.F. Lantry

Ocotillo Wells: February

Clear bells ring in our dawn. Just last night, rain
watered our enclosed gardens, now the light
reflecting knotted roses, starts to glow
along edges of clouds, whose movements slow
with a small wind, like breath, while I recite
a waking Salve as I brush away

all cinders from the hearth. Small coals repay
my labor, glowing even as I place
some branching twigs cut from our orchard near
their lasting warmth, a living flame, a clear
remembrance of the prophecy. I trace
in memory, while working, all the words

I still hear echoed in the songs of birds
waking outside, descending now to drink
the first water of morning from the stream
flowing into our fountain to redeem
the desert air. Its whispered musics link
all earth and us, as if no boundaries

existed, as if water, flame, and trees
became as one, in concert, and remade
a song of praise outside. And here, within
this room, the kindled fire warms my skin
just as those waking voices start to fade
yet I renew, within me, their refrain.