tattered dress sways with wide hips
(curved like sunlight over western ranges)
moving to the rhythm of the grass, of drums beyond drums:
a beat buried beneath generations of thundering hooves.

her sunshine-forest eyes are masked
by lashes longer than even night's thirsty reach,
dark as its worldly resonance. tree-green irises
bloom in wonder; drinking in Mojave landscape,
tasting ochre reds and burnt sienna

she is music: a vessel of earth's blissful song,
fluid as the lithe river's tide, limbs stretching
like the shoots of a desert flower found its first rain.
she speaks, and sparrows trill response:
she laughs, and wind will follow,
braiding her hair in its silken fingers
like a childhood friend, calling her to play -

she knows no bounds from man to earthly kin.
nature is civilization, bighorn neighbours
and kitfox tenants.
("home is where the heart is" - she is the heart;
always at home under blankets of blue skies,
lullabies of stars)

she is the quiet before sunrise, still as the
jackrabbit waiting for the last hint of moonlight;
cowboy boots on the cliff-edge looking like they'd
grown right from the rock, unmoveable
indifference between girl and her kingdom.

bowed down before her is the Valley:
yet she is disciple, sister to coyote,
welcomed beneath raven's wings.

dry plains hold richness beyond element, beyond
stone and water and soaring waves of clouds.
she is peace –

eternal summer of the soul