The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Simpson Springs

The dead predawn has snuffed out all life,
all sound,
the centurial dirt road torn into the
desert below is littered with a thousand
hoofprints, trampled and endless and eroded,
a shrine to an age and an instinct
from which we're far removed--which we
ourselves removed and polished and placed shardlike
in houses and museums, books and display cases.
Memories so sharp and honed they draw blood.

Slept with the tips of Cassiopeia's W facing left;
woke and she was right. Slept and
watched the world rotate round on the north star
like spinning a plastic globe;
woke and watched the liquid midnight velvet drain
the sky, disappearing stars hidden only by glare,
Capella the last to exit.

The desert slowly steadily stirs,
no memory, just now,
just a robe of filtered sunlight capping
eastward hills and highlighting butte and rock
and military runway.

The wooden walls of the restored station creak and shake in
the heat of the morning sun. The real ruins tell
their own story with crumbling stone and foundation--
tell of death in place of birth, abandonment and
decay, a man left a widower in a harsh world
when life was more fragile, more visceral--
the liminal space between the dead and living thin
and vulnerable.

We put our hands into the old old dirt,
finger the coarse bits of gravel weathering
from the slight hillside.
Our pores are pockets for the windblown dust,
red and pale and dun, flown in from the brine
left by ancient Lake Bonneville--its salt,
the earth's salt, mixing with our salted skins,
marking us, painting us all as one, a
living mineral touched by and breathing each
element. Mutual symbiotes, products of one another.

We have always been dependent
on these stars, this dirt, these trampled roads.
The orange lights of Dugway may shine at midnight,
the desert may erupt and the earth tremble as the
army tests ballistics during midday,
but nothing has changed.
We are still here, still the same;
like cells crawling a continuous membrane
we are minute and indistinct
yet one and the same.

The sunlight breaks the hills and heats stone and sand
and throws our shadows long like darts cast
across the plane of the world, and our cracked
lips curve and turn upward and bare teeth
and tongue, eyes slit and creased
and noses upturned we breathe and taste the salt,
taste it with every wild heaving breath.

--- ---

sunrise awakening
sunrise over simpson buttes

that road
pony express trail looking at the dugway range

life among death
desert flowers

--- ---

This was all inspired by or about Simpson Springs, an old Pony Express station out in the west Utah desert where Jarom and I camped last September on our way to the geode beds. There's just something about the desert . . . Written between 20090326 and 20090404.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Today I explored. I stood on top of this small hill over Soldier's Pass in the southeast Lake Mountains. Here's what I saw:

soldier's pass, southeast lake mountains

It was really beautiful out there. My complaints: too much trash--people seem not to care about the west desert; it's simply dumped anywhere they can let it go. Also, too many shooting relics: shotgun shells, bullet shells, broken and unbroken clay pigeons. The land is still beautiful. Let us try to keep it that way.

Here's where I witnessed it:

View 2009.07.05 rockhounding, exploring in a larger map

other things I saw today:

graffiti train, spanish fork, utah
the graffiti train

open house
a house for sale

west mountain
West Mountain lookin good

the wasatch from the west side of utah lake
the Wasatch front from the west side of Utah Lake