The Journey Between Two Homes – A Poem

Book Making in the Sonoran Desert - Flying Across the Sky


Flying. I request a next-to-the-window seat. Always.
So I can stare into the sky, lose myself in thick cloud cover, or watch the country far below,
farmland platted in tiny squares, river snakes,
mountains erupting from plains, sunlight slides across the face of the earth, disappears.

I watch cities and towns morph into bullets of lights.

Each time I board a plane, I haul my soul into the heavens
breathe with calm intention until I reconnect with land, my return,
my soul again searches for desert red. And settles.

Book Making in the Sonoran Desert - Flying Across the Sky

There are no guarantees.
I came to the desert Southwest for its sunshine years ago,
sunlight that promised to flip a switch in my brain, drench it in
neurotransmitters, make smiling easier than weeping.

I come still.

For that sunlight boost, yes, but just as much
I come for the tree cholla with golden auras
gleaming in the waning sun, beyond breathtaking.
Reflection of sunlight burrows deep into my being.

Saguaro with a freakish coat of snow are as mystical.
Desert mountains – green riparian corridors,
yellow in a blaze of autumn sycamore leaves,
or black in the desert night –  all are my magical potion.

Book Making in the Sonoran Desert - Flying Across the Sky

I talk to trees. Tree connection is energy.
I rest my hands upon their bark, lay my cheek against their rough grain.

I have leaned the art of calming under the influence of this land –
sky islands stretch – from Sonoran Desert habitat, saguaros and mesquite,
to near alpine conditions, bald rock above the treeline of firs.
Like traveling from northern Mexico to southern Canada.

But always. Always.
I yearn to return to the desert floor, to the spaciousness
and solitude that warm my spirit.

Book Making in the Sonoran Desert - Flying Across the Sky

Moments measure time; maps measure travel.
As desert spring blasts its way into desert summer,
comes my time to leave the desert.
Each moment becomes more precious as I cross off the remaining days.

I spread maps upon my desk and ponder routes,
choose the blue roads, the dotted roads,
roads with mountain passes that may or may not be snow-packed.

I’ll take that risk. I travel the small towns and villages,
stay in court motels, feast at diners where conversation never stops.

This is the way of easing into my return.

Book Making in the Sonoran Desert - Flying Across the Sky

The journey. I anticipate it even as I mourn my leaving.
Anticipation and loss held simultaneously.
I’ll hold the days of travel in my memory,
scribble in my journal as I cross the country.

Place notes. A town and its motto, the population,
a story-telling hand painted poster in a shop window

The washes and dry river beds I cross.
Dead Wash. Red Wash. Car Wash. Dirty Laundry River.
Humor found in geographical monikers.

Washes disappear, meandering creeks appear,
then singing streams, raging flood-stage rivers.

As I travel, mapping the earth,
there is joyful, bittersweet.
Palpable. My heart pounds with unexpected sights.

I am exultant and saddened, hesitant and expectant.
I want to slow and speed time concurrently.
There is much to practice, this being in the moment of traveling.

Journey between two homes.


Flying Across the Sky

Flying Across the Sky © 2014 Bo Mackison

There was an afternoon when the desert floor was still and heat rose like fire. I went to a nearby sky island to write and create…and to explore my desire to be in two places at once – to be in the desert where I feel a deep, soul connection and be with my loved ones in Wisconsin.

A book and poem were born.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Beautiful, mural and poem.

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