Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Great Basin Watercolors

The Great Basin: call it the unpainted
desert. Pronghorns fade into dry grass.
Bitter alkali dust, silver sagebrush

saltbush, savory wild onion and juniper:
colorless landscapes of smell. Spring pours
over the rimrock, filling basins like paint

with colors named lupine, primrose, poppy
yellow-headed blackbird, blue jay, scarlet
tanager, dust devils, Indian paintbrush.

As if a careless angel had kicked over the can
they use to paint rainbows after sketching them
on the basin of the sky— spilled paint

all over the desert. Time to stretch, breathe
gather up the travelling easel and palette
shake the dust from your favorite sable brushes.

Waste no time. The bloom doesn’t last
and if you linger on the lichen-crusted rimrock
a basin full of watercolors may turn to dry paint
and only dust greet the caress of your brush.

Visit the Sufi Poetry Carnival here on May 28th 2007.

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