Desert Poems

September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Desert

We drove all day, snaking our way from Marrakesh to Ouarzazate, down from the mountains and into the valleys, past the lush blooming almond oases, far out, driving as if to the end of the world.

Like a prehistoric landscape or a moonscape, we drove to where winds had flattened the earth, carried away all dust and debris, leaving but a dry mud cracked by the relentless sun, on which we drove

To the desert

On the crusty passageway, we came to a screeching halt at a place where the earth had opened up, a great cavernous ravine cut through the road, into which our car might have tumbled, and never found again

Taking a detour, we drove on

Until, ever so slowly, the sand began

We drove in the direction of the dunes

Until we reached Merzouga

A tiny village built by hand of terracotta clay

Barely discernable from the sea of sand

Where we stood at its shores

A Berber family invited us into their tent for a pot of strong gunpowder tea

Twarag dressed in elegant blue shawls, their inky black eyes haunted the landscape

Solitary, mysterious

That evening we hiked a mountain of sand for hours until we reached the summit, looked out over the dunes to Algeria.

Boarderless, seamless, endless.

Utterly open, unencumbered.

When night fell I lay down in the sand

Under the stars I felt small

Felt sheltered

Excited then terrified

“I could disappear here.”

Felt held



There are things I know I should not have thrown away

My weathered Moroccan guidebook

Was the instrument on which I had played many tunes

My old companion

What compelled me to leave it on the sidewalk when it didn’t sell at the garage sale?

Now a pang of regret lingers, sharp in my chest

Why was I was so sure there would not be enough room

To hold onto all that is beloved?


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