In the great leaching canvas of the sky,
The Sun hung heavy
Probing at the sunken shadows down below.
By the fast receding waters edge,
Rattling branch and bough like bones,
Sloughing, rough rasping,
Wind wreathed and wrapped the ground
In shroud of sand,
In preparation for the passage,
Across a dry arid sea,
To the world below.
Each grain of sand an echo
Of things once past,
A part of what once was.
But the desert,
Bereft it seems of life
Fecund no more,
Can still be gripped:
But not yet ready to spring
From this sun drained mortal coil,
Image instead of cool moist oases,
Date swollen palms,
Sweet pomegranate lips,
And fingers cool like water on my hot swollen tender skin,
Haunt me still.
© Greg Richards