Friendly Land

The desert is on the whole a friendly land.

“It has become a habit among writers to describe the desert as a region of desolation, cheerless and dreary, a land of relentless heat, with every plant vested in thorns and every animal poisonous or savage. They have dwelt upon the difficulties and perils of travel in mule-and-wagon days and would have us think that it is equally difficult today to make our way by auto over the miles of desert roads.”

“As a matter of fact, the desert is on whole a friendly land, its beasts no fiercer than those found elsewhere; nor is travel in it, except in rare instances, unusually dangerous for those who use discretion in taking care of themselves…” —E.C. Jaeger, The California Deserts


Moonrise Over Sedona

a brilliant
setting sun
bathes earthy
stone mountains
in golden light as a
waxing white moon
rises into pale blue sky 

ice, water, and wind 
carve flat land into
free-standing pillars,
striated in hues of 
toasted malt,
blazing ember, 
and fire dust 

whittled away with 
the elements, 
loose sediment
fans down for
swarthy green shrubs
to creep up
steep slopes

To see the photo that inspired this poem, visit Cindy Crosby’s blog, Tuesdays in the Tallgrass. The photo was offered as a writing prompt in Cindy’s Foundations of Nature Writing course through The Morton Arboretum, which I highly recommend to everyone who would like to learn to write more descriptively in any genre.