Desert Snow




Shark gray clouds

swim across the sky

before daybreak.

Is the river holding her breath?

Prickly cholla is gesoed

pearl white.

Desert sage and scrub wear

tender winter coats.

Raccoon ‘s midnight identity is

revealed through

sharply etched foot prints

circling the Russian Olive.

Bird hieroglyphics

create patterns – a new language

written in wonder

on wet ground.

In the distance higher mesas

accumulate thick layers

of silver light.

I sweep away an inch of fluff

from my door –

no backbreaking shoveling here,

just my joyful heart singing…

High desert

soaks up sweet moisture

plumping out withered limbs,

her thirst quenched for a moment

as cottony clouds slide by.

A few star filled snowflakes drift

by my window…

Even the patches of blue

breaking through

a thick gray dome

cannot dim my enthusiasm

for this watery gift at dawn:


Blessed, Desert Snow.


Working notes: It is hard to believe that I would long for snow as much as I have coming from Maine where snow is never welcome, especially now with climate change and the perennial freeze -thaw that makes walking and driving a nightmare, not to mention the amount of daily shoveling required to simply get out of my house and up my hill!

But here in Abiquiu, New Mexico we are in a drought and all moisture has virtually been absent for months. To wake up this morning to paths painted white and drifting snowflakes was pure joy!

Prayer to the Cloud People



Dawn is streaked

with scarlet ribbons

pearl white, slate gray.

Purple shadows cast omens

above the trees,

rippling over the river’s ebb and flow.

The sunstar is absent

though an eerie glow seeps

through fur clad clouds.


Geese fly over my head

so close I imagine

I can see glassy ebony eyes.

And ducks in gay abundance

sail by as I scan the horizon

for cloud laden ice crystals.

So many shapes

to choose from on this

hopeful gray winter morning

as I conjure up falling snow.


Working notes:

We have been without precipitation for many months now, and the parched cracked high desert is deeply distressing to witness for many of us.

I also believe as Rupert Sheldrake postulates, that all Nature has memory and that S/He hears the prayers of the people when their hearts are opened on behalf of the Earth.

I appeal to the Cloud People in this time of deep distress, in the hopes that either rain or snow will grace the mesas, cast white shadows on the undulating reptilian mountains, coat the scrub with life bringing moisture and soften the hard ground that only the gophers are able to move as they negotiate their tunnels six feet underground.