back desert trail

~

In a small cafe of this strange strange land, there appeared one day a long-legged, blue-eyed & blond widow of a deceased Papago Indian.  She darted here & there in her new work-place, a timid critter full of curiosity & wonder.

That beauty is gonna give some poor sucker ’round here a real heart thrashing, I thought, as I bit into a burger & gulped down some hot coffee.

Little did I know, that sucker was I.  And little did I suspect that this 42-year-old, chunky-shouldered damsel was the ethereal Desert Goddess ~ personified!

So 48-year-old me wasn’t thinking much about this long-haired blond gal who come to work in the little cafe in the little crossroad where I sold books outta the Book Mule.  I was just minding my own business.  But, as it turned out, I kind of looked like her late husband whose memory she lingered upon, & who had died less than a year before she & I had a conversation or two.  Then I got hoodwinked into going to a birthday party where she showed up.  And then one night I stopped by the bar where she was “grieving” and she bought me a beer.  And then, and thennnnnnn, the desert goddess coyly rubbed up to me as we sat a ponderin’ on our bar-stools.

The next day, there we were in the desert of my dry dusty dreams come true.  I had parked the Book Mule in one of my hideouts that was lost in cacti & solitude.  And two lonesome souls went on a little stroll.

We embraced ~ and I boldly fell to my knees.

As the world turned, the delicious dianthus of my desert delusions decided she didn’t want anybody to know about us ~ because if the Indian clan of her late husband suspected that we were “seeing each other” before her “grieving” year was up they might murder us.  So she decreed that we could not be seen together in public.  Then she declared that I could not talk to her in front of anybody.  Plus, she demanded that I not go see her ~ or even call her.  My beloved would come see me.

So, after she got off work & became properly inebriated at the local saloon, I would on occasion hear her sandals come a crunching in the gravel, in the still nocturnal hours, outside the Book Mule, inside of which I slept ~ in my “monk cell.”  Incidentally, behind this cell, thru a narrow door, was the book store, which was quite original & quite a store.  It’s amazing what you can do with an old one-ton Ford van.  And it’s amazing how elated I became when I heard the gravel crunch outside.  At first barely audible ~ the crunch step by step crunched closer ~ louder louder ~ and then ~

The melancholy voice of the Desert Goddess still reverberates across the Sonoran silent-night of my mind:

“Chewy,

are

you

in

there?”

~

 Slave

to the

Desert Goddess

by Cloyd Campfire

(2000 A.D.)

~ 1 ~

Chewy Sunset, thee
old hobo, knelt at
Her
  nail-cracked sandaled feet ~

Upon that terrain
from which grows
cacti
creosote and mesquite ~

And thru which meanders
jack rabbits, dry washes
& the unpaved
Pipeline Road ~

About a mile from which
this strange drama
did
unfoad…

~

~ 2 ~

Yeeeeeeeap, swathed in
the singing silence &
dry
summer heat ~

Chewy Sunset
knelt at
Her
immaculate feet ~

To pull a thorn
outta
Her
toe ~

After which occurance
Her eyes
magnified their
inherent glow…

~

~ 3 ~

She was divine-
ly
fine-
ly blessed ~

With long legged
long blond
earth-
iness ~

Frill free
Salvation Army fare
was
Her dress ~

Which detracted not
one tithing
from
Her worthiness ~

She wore a crown of
nothing
but memories
of thee humility ~

Of wifehood to
an Indian bully
a-flirt
with criminility ~

While isolated for years
on thee olde
Indian
reservation ~

Now widowhood in
a tiny desert town was
Her
current station ~

A beauty was She
whose child-like
smile
would never grow old ~

She gazed down upon Chew
thru
slashing blue
eyes made bold ~

By his
ob-
vious
dedication ~

To
Her
desert goddess
radiation…

~

~ 4 ~

Her catharsistic eyes
of
splintering
blue ~

Cast
a
paradisical
hue ~

From which
there
was
no escape ~

Across the
arid
land-
scape ~

Yea, these immensely talented
eyes also melted down
the poor
old boy ~

Who had stayed a-kneel
at Her feet
like some kind of
thrift shop toy ~

Yea, Her eyes melted him down
into
the
desert ground ~

‘Til he heard the
desolate land’s
every
sound ~

From deep in a burrow
the snor-
ing of
a squirrel ~

To the dancing vibration
of
a distant
dust devil’s swirl ~

From chanting ants to
a cactus’s
deep
toe-wiggling feet ~

From horizon
to horizon
Her kingdom played
a cacophony replete ~

Chewy fanned out deep
into the terra firma ’til
he be-
come a part of it all ~

A new mineral deposit en-
slaved to the
Desert Goddess’s
siren call…

~

~ 5 ~

Yeeeeeeeap, there
Chewy Sunset lay
gravel buffed by wind
dirt fine as dust ~

A real part of
the land
or
bust ~

A rattlesnake limp in the
heat, crawled across the spot
looking
for shade ~

The Desert Goddess crushed
the critter’s head with
Her foot
n’ silently bade ~

Them both not to follow
Her and
walking on air
She wandered away ~

Then toward
the end
of
the day ~

Quite a few
miles
a-
way ~

She entered the
local saloon
to
slay ~

An endless thirst
and an endless sorrow
for the end of which
Chewy doth pray.

~

~

photos

Raquel Welch

~

(text copyright Clyde Collins 2012, 2017)

~

Back Desert Trail

http://backdeserttrail.yolasite.com/we-the-people.php

~

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