June 28, 2016

Just before midnight the sky comes undone, its seams rip open and great flashes of lightning loosed from its rents and even greater booms that shake the window glass–then the wall of rain slams into the Ridge House from the north. Everyone I know is up and figuring they might as well enjoy the drama of the first storm even if the lights of the valley have gone out soon after it all began. The world on our Desert and how we dance with it is changed, utterly, the empty glasses of a thousand thirsts forgotten in the rage of the downpours …

Merciless heat like a furnace blasting
desolate waste, no shadows casting
watch him–now his horse he’s leading …
horse is down, stretched out and dying
horseman kneels, to the sky is crying
watch him–hear the mournful pleading:
Demon Desert!…
–Sons of the San Joaquin, “Watch Him (Demon Desert)