Broken Lands

Amargosa River at China Ranch

There is a broken land where mountain ranges rise like angry tidal waves in turbulent, slow-motion seas, senselessly wrestling in convection.

Occasionally, countless battalions of clouds march briskly left to right without leaving a drop of water, all saved for a brutal assault in a faraway war.

Broken people–adapt or die–that is all that can be said.

Broken animals and plants living in arrhythmic symbiosis.

and above; thrown into the wind, birds fly incorrectly and confused
then tumble from the sky in mid-breath.

tiny fish in the broken river’s warm water quietly dance an intricately choreographed ballet.

Trees are not trees, . . .
and the rabbit is not in charge as he would have you believe.
remember that.

Bragging coyotes arrogantly squawk after a kill

The Rorrim Mirror


Savan Navas examined himself in the mirror above the dresser. He studied himself; his eyes, his nose, and mouth. He studied the pores in his skin, character lines in his face; these were made from laughing, crying, and talking, and singing, living a full and enjoyable life. He looked good.

Savan completed his inspection and paused–then he watched himself turn around and walk out the door.

Savan was shocked. He froze. What did he just see himself do?

“Should I follow?” He smiled at the thought.

Leaving seemed easy enough–however, for some reason he could not remember ever leaving before.

“If I go, what do I do?

What is beyond the door? Where do I go? What do I do when I get there?”

Savan could not remember any of these things.

“Nowhere,” Savan thought. “Out there is nowhere.”

He was still looking straight into the mirror. He hadn’t moved a muscle.

He felt fear. Savan felt fear. It came up from behind, from a dark place that had always been there, off to the side, somehow. He was aware of this darkness–this was new to Savan.

His fear is not unfounded as he cannot remember anything more than what happened in the mirror. He had no memories.

Savan wondered if he may be the reflection.

It was a subtle agony that overtook him as he realized he may be nothing more than a reflection of a man, and this was his existence in total. If he turned around there may be nothing. This was the fear. Nothing. Fear nothing.

“What if I am the reflection and the real me left the room?

“Is this what happens every day? “

If it were his destiny, to be ephemeral, he fretted, he may cease to exist once he turned, looked away to move to the door on his side of the glass–to try to leave the room and face a future.

Since he could not recall a past there was nothing, and he could not imagine a future without a past to gauge it by.

Still, he felt cold and empty.

“Do I exist at this exact moment?”

“Certainly, I do not exist to the me that left the apartment.”

To have doubts that you are here or just this fleeting spark of thought, a neurologic activity that jumps through space as particles of energy–a reflection.

As long as I am conscious of my reality I am real. I am looking into the mirror and not seeing my reflection which may indicate that if I look away (turn around) I may no longer be capable of maintaining my reality and that I am the ephemeral reflection.

Or will I be able to walk through that door into an uncertain reality, a future, and live from this point forward free of preconceptions and learned behavior?

Savan turns to leave the room.

Is it real? Without Savan there may well be no room, no door, no mirror.

Savan has slipped into nothingness. He had no idea where he went in reality–when he walked out that door–however, now, this may not have happened at all.

How Survival Looks

I believe it misleading when looking out over the broad plains and shallow valleys; that it appears nearly lifeless. This, however, is how survival looks. A lot is going on out there; birds, lizards, rats, rabbits, and snakes. It depends on the season. Some varmints only come out at night. All come out to eat–some to be eaten. The tussles and killings are kept discrete and as quiet as possible so as not to disturb the next meal, now searching for its food in the crevices between the rocks and hollows of the cactus plants. Every single thing dies. Out there, every single thing dies bravely, without fear–we imagine.

Kelso Wash
Mojave National Preserve

Enrico Caruso Island

This is Lake Tuendae (to be beheld) at the Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx. In the center of the lake is an island with a fountain. The name of the island in Enrico Caruso Island.

Enrico Caruso Island is named Enrico Caruso Island in honor of Enrico Caruso but not Enrico Caruso the famous singer but the Enrico Caruso who built Enrico Caruso Island was named for the legendary Enrico Caruso and named it Enrico Caruso Island for himself.

Enrico Caruso

Early One Morning

Hidden Valley

Very early one morning in Joshua Tree National Park . . .

It was, of course, quiet. It was, of course, dark. It was also a little bit chilly, and after a moment it was a moment before dawn.

Midnight blue to dark blue to blue and sky blue.

Clouds in waves of deep red, red, orange, yellow, and ultimately white.

Everything collected the light, saving it, glowing with it. Warming.

The night was over. The day had begun.

Joshua Tree National Park . . .