Standing in the sand

Of a deserted land

Where rockiness below

Contrasts with the

Smooth and

Even flow

Of clouds rolling by

And away




A kind of dread

In the mind

Where space and a little bit

Of time

Roll around like a dime

Dropped and alive

On the floor.



But the sand

In my hand:

A proof

That hourglass shapes

And the space they hold

Give way to

Entrances and exits—

Still the sun is heat

The moon is a signal

Of what has been done

Of what will come

In the form of a morning

Made new.



But the sand

Fills my hand:

And I laugh

Crunching down

Grit clasping

The sides of my tongue,


The sloughing off of

Dust from the feet of travelers

The dirt from thousands of years

Wet with tears

But still I laugh

Because the road has been lost

As I steady my fingers

Counting the cost

While sand falls all the way through.



People will come

People will slide

The same way—


They came:

Like births

Like death,

With mutiny burrowing sand crabs

In the hearts of those who nurture—

Whether they come to comfort or torture—

The sand will gather them up

The wind will cover their tracks:

Raindrops shy with tears of their own

Will moan into the desert

And erase the path

No looking back

Only forward

Filled with every direction

To go.



It is good

To burn

Pinned ‘neath scorching heat—


Good to stand

Find balance in your feet—


And to walk from the place

Where your name was written

In the sand and

Good to remember

The spot

Where your finger dug the trail

Between teeth-bitten nails

Hopes and betrayals

In the desert






Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: The intriguing and beautiful photo featured with this piece is by the photographer Jo Fischer.  His photography inspires me to ask questions about the people and places he captures . . . and sometimes simply to feel.  If you would like to view more of his fine work, please visit his website and/or his Facebook page :Jo Fischer’s Website , Jo Fischer on Facebook