Gabriel PachecoA desert place

Inside my mind

Where space to roam is vast

Except when measured

In time

A solstice comes and

Flies away

Leaving feathers mingled with dust

A bouquet of season’s change and




Pulled into the winding array

Of paths to tread and

Reasons to stay

A voice relays

The journey’s end

I follow with

Delicate delay

As though my feet became

Petals of flowers plucked,

Blown from fingers along the way.



From the clouds atop this

Field of choices

Fall a squall of raindrop voices

Some I remember

All I once knew—

They color the sky with

Gradient hues and

Texture the air

By climbing the backs of birds

Singing memories, girded by words.



The journey’s end

A target I was told

Leads my way

Whether timid or bold,

Anchors my guts

Otherwise sold to

The left or right leaning

Endless directional proceedings

Into and away from

The fold.



As I go

Echoes are sold

By merchants at the corners

Of my mind

Pushing Fool’s Gold

Footholds that shine

Buffed with cashmere sleeves,

Vials of ocean brine

And glittering gems plucked

From selections I declined.



Night falls dim

Sounds of summer

Laced with creatures grim—

Croaking frogs choking songs of

Locusts and howling dogs

In a tangled succession of

Percussive orchestrations

And clanging questions

About crumbling fences and

Established jurisdictions.



In the dark

I lay my head

Overwhelmed by debility

Underwhelmed by dread and

Its magical power to summon


Like a tarp

Made of insects that swarm and

Fall, blanketing

Eyes, nose and ears.



Fallen and wondering

About the wandering

That brought me here

Not lost but stung by exhaust

Itching the welts

An immediate comfort

Drawing attention

From the progression of

Calculations and

Counting the costs.



In moments before sleep

Escape and retreat

From this present constellation

Revolving ‘round repeat

I hear the breath of a thousand souls

Feel the cracking ground

Vibrate beneath

A gentle army marching near

Unfettered strength

Spilling into the atmosphere.



In my mind

Where the battle is lost

Or won

I give in to the cavalry

Like a prodigal son

Go limp in my muscles

And rise with the fold

Who came to gather

My traveler’s bones—

From a desert place

Where space to roam is vast

And journey’s end as they began

Compelled toward the future

Gathered by the past.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by the art of Illustrator, Gabriel Pacheco.