by Betty Holden

To know the desert
read your blistered  body
with sand and sun
at work    furious      scribbling

Eyes fix
where desert meets  sky
and  distance to a  spot
never changes

Drive drive drive
hour after hour after hour

Sunfire        in the sky
scalds       roasts        boils the brain
we question what we  see
who we

Out here       wind
when it comes    sweeps this sea of sand
carves  chalk         rock
into  shapes           pinnacles and arches
jut  from the desert floor

 Thoughts  spin
 Bishop Pike       lost
 his car breaks  down
 him  looking  for help

                   how    death
                                       and  silence             swell
                                                                                                       and    thinking

Betty Holden lives in Black Mountain. She works on her poems as well as her art, which she describes as meusching, wherein she combines acrylic paint with oil pastel—rubbing and scratching to find form.

About Redland—Last April, I visited the Black Desert and the White Desert to the west of Cairo. It was a magnificent experience of sun, sand, and sky, and sleeping under the stars was something I shall never forget.