The Poet Watches

Prickly Pear Blossom ©2016 Bo Mackison

Prickly Pear Blossom ©2016 Bo Mackison

the poet watches

the branches shake the yellowed leaves
i watch the leaves scatter,
some rustle along the path
others snag in a ragged patch of grass.
i watch.

in this season of cold and death
the first snowfall, cutting winds, frozen landscape
exposed, sharp branch silhouettes.
frost-killed stalks sag under the weight of
dead flowers, a shroud in ice crusted snow.
i watch, and silence breaks open
so much change. alive.

writing from the center
in the center of the temple, a labyrinth
in the center of the labyrinth, the desert
in the desert, sun ablaze, high noon,
shallow breaths and arid breeze.
where is the safe space? “nearby, come closer”.

tangled cacti protect the perimeter
in shadow, tangles and textures
bloom with fuchsia-orange roses
hummingbirds dart amidst bees,
alone, my heartbeat a hammer, erratic,
in the gloaming I find protection.

ancient voices offer a cocoon within the darkness.
if i do not speak, I cannot be heard, cannot be hurt
by words. looks. judgment.
i cannot be denied. i cannot be touched.
i claim no feelings.

it is when i am not seen, when i am not heard,
then pain spreads like kerosene-soaked wood touched by torch
touched by sun

the place of safety lies within,
words to protect.
knowledge to save.
awareness to live.

step into the world,
ablaze. speak. be. visible.

fire burns away old perceptions
flames explode, i step from the ashes,
from charred remains

i step into the dawn, carrying the empty urn
ablaze with beginnings


Daily poetry for the month of April, National Poetry Month.

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. Carrie Prentice says:

    especially lovely, so many images of an inner battle . . . keep finding the courage to continue!

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