Shadows of mountains
guard the thin ground of this life.
 
The high dry canyons stretch
out among seamless dunes
in the magic Western plains.
 
Footprints in leaf rot,
the sweet smell of season’s end
in cool shadowed green.
 
The beauty of light
is cupped in silence
in cactus flowers,
ghost flowers,
in the trickling mirror
of freshwater pools.
 
Can we go on from here?
Have we the power
to lift the balm of shadow
for the silence of light?