Between the rocks at Joshua Tree
For some reason I think of Egypt.
The wind there, they say, is the
sound the dead make, as they flow
between the stone hills, out
of the Sahara. Pharaohs, scribes
farmers, the diggers of wells
tall fathers shouting across fields
This voice then, the only familiar
whistles itself up, then dies away.
The buzz of a fly, bore of a plane
cry of a bird. Silence is always
The dead trail behind each one of us.
They have followed me here, stacked
high in the strata of rock, gusted in piles
of boulders, whispering in the pinion.
They could have no voice without
these impediments. Like wind
the dead must have their instruments
to claim our attention – their right
to haunt our movement
to quiet places.
worth a damn, unless
being with other
people: little bright
very bold, immensely fast
needle the jasmine
the sky hurries
past with you gone
A pine cone rat-tats
on the Buddha-hall roof
– delivers the moment
A Stellar’s Jay
rasps the winter evening
smooth and quiet
Anita Harmon retired to the desert from London six years ago. She lived in London for 60 years so it was a bit of a shock! In her working life she was an actress, a psychologist and a Business consultant. Now she works on memoir in various forms, as well as poetry. She has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism for twenty years.