Dust On Her Feet

fireshe sits on a sheepskin rug
crafted by her own
Italian-made hands

digging in the dirt
with a sagebrush stick
declaring
she’s so tired of taking

with a
a scratch on her arm
dust on her feet
glint in her eyes
mud on her chest
fire in her heart

she exposes herself
sharing gifts
of song and fire and laughter
and glimmering beads of seashell

making it EASY to love her

like the jicama
that made the face
of a wild german girl
wince because her taste buds
were confused

like the birds
when the moon
covered the sun

but she’s as clear
as the morning star
rising through the desert sky

a testament to rebirth
committed to making beauty

giving it away
as an offering

to the wilderness within

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Desert Vows

Inyo_Mountain_WildernessThe ceremony really begins
when tears
of remorse
fall into the desert dust

like a long-awaited thunderstorm
releasing all the heavy, old stories

and ends with tears
of joy
swelling like the waxing moon

which is how Life
committing to itself
looks on the face

Why some take a wedding walk
and others a funeral march

is not for humans to know

Anointed with essential oils
and wearing a desert gown
some hold hands with themselves
carrying a bouquet of sagebrush and mormon tea

Anointed with blood and sweat
and wearing a torn mountain cloak
another holds hands with death
and a bouquet of heart-shaped rocks

The Great Inyo sun shines on both
with equal regard
the great witness
to the vows

which are the same for all:

Thou shall not abandon thyself

Do you take this Beloved,
lovely creature of the earth
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do us part?

and with an exchange
known only in the bones
of the land
and the wellspring of the heart

the Yes
is born
once again