Perception of Light
Mantles of hollowed basins and stratified ranges soften
through light, distance, and dust
in this often torrid, light-leavened land of centralized, filial faith.
Perception fades over distance through
sometimes painfully short perspective,
all colors fade to purple and blue, and from that into shades of gray.
Alas, sight and sentiment share a root in memory;
human nature is besotted with comfort and predictable weather.
The engines of discernment aren't always so simple to prime as those creating the mirage of security.
Trees planted and patiently tended with wash water
and memories of birthlands still bless us
with shade and wood for fires,
a sort of progression toward the far-off forest they had hope for-
every bit as difficult to bring up in this climate as a woman or man,
especially in those days of ague and cholera,
drought and disease, burning plagues that beat down fields and families,
dreams and hopes,
though all was well.
All was well.
Their frequent faith, anguish, labor, and tribulation have turned to blue, then gray,
and finally to a bright-washed white
in the not-so-distant past;
the glory of our worshipped ancestors imagined in clean period clothes and unpatched prairie schooners.
As our present height builds on a show of slight will
and gout brought on by fatty foods,
a season or two brings us our slender fortune,
served on an earthen platter
and lit by the short-lived fireflies of this new millennium.
Good, old Orson Pratt once said,
“If our Heavenly Father will deliver us out of the hands of the blood-thirsty Christians of these United States and not suffer any more of us to be martyred to gratify their holy piety, I for one shall be very thankful."
One might read allegorically, as well.
At the height of summer as the drought burns or the monsoon quenches,
as both rhythm and decay course with our thick, smooth blood,
each friend and infant might see briefly an unadorned soul-
despite or because of hopes worked for on the sagebrush breeze,
prepared for in this high-desert home,
whenever and wherever that may be built;
on the mountain, on the bench, or in the valley below.