and the dunes brought words


What words allow the sand to accumulate?
Did I mistake my power with the wind
like water carving today’s geography.
Tomorrow there is no promise
this swell to valley
an edge smoothed
one step of the cricket a whole mountain may crumble.
I am small here
left alone I would be absorbed.
Wind and sand forming epochs in hours
while we wait for snow the dunes know better
they count change not by season but with inches
millimeters make geologic years turned sideways.

foot steps

I tried to memorize all the words for wind in the seven language dictionary as a child,
not the sounds of the words but their shapes
letters combined always became buildings and mesas.
Winter days turned our street into a wind tunnel
an unintentional trick of urban planning.

The contrast is not lost
the sand soft against skin the wind all but vanished
still every step is intentional.
The dunes, the sun, nothing could be further from
a cloud filled city winter’s day
except for the footsteps and the way my mind connects them.

grains and dunes

can numbers cause vertigo?
try quantifying the sky
or a dune
a handful of sand is more than I have patience for.
distance too,
every day or place recalculates
an inch
a foot.
what is a mile to the inspired?
or the exhausted?

in a basement of one university they have the official meter
unemotional and absolute
scientists and architects will swear it is a constant
until they walk the sands without clouds.

Perhaps this is why science has always been the realm of the overcast north.
Beyond the dunes there are incalculable places where
the sky
the land
the water
bend the absolute truths of distance,
even of weight.


“If we were a family that prayed I would pray for you.”
the words echo in my mind since I wrote them
the strings that tie us as a family are
an atlas of our love
would be how our life would be published.

Deism in the face of nature or love is
ego or fear
the human need to quantify and control.
In this life, the one you gave to me
equal parts science, art, and community
there was so much holiness in nature
and human ability
there was nothing to be missed.

I look out at the way the wind moves the sand
I know it is perfect
without a god
my spirit is filled by being
by the world around me
by the family I love
and by the wind.


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