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:








to the

Desert Goddess

by Cloyd Campfire

(2000 A.D.)

~ 1 ~

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

Upon that terrain
from which grows
creosote and mesquite ~

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

About a mile from which
this strange drama


~ 2 ~

Yeeeeeeeap, swathed in
the singing silence &
summer heat ~

Chewy Sunset
knelt at
immaculate feet ~

To pull a thorn
toe ~

After which occurance
Her eyes
magnified their
inherent glow…


~ 3 ~

She was divine-
ly blessed ~

With long legged
long blond
iness ~

Frill free
Salvation Army fare
Her dress ~

Which detracted not
one tithing
Her worthiness ~

She wore a crown of
but memories
of thee humility ~

Of wifehood to
an Indian bully
with criminility ~

While isolated for years
on thee olde
reservation ~

Now widowhood in
a tiny desert town was
current station ~

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

She gazed down upon Chew
slashing blue
eyes made bold ~

By his
dedication ~

desert goddess


~ 4 ~

Her catharsistic eyes
blue ~

hue ~

From which
no escape ~

Across the
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
desert ground ~

‘Til he heard the
desolate land’s
sound ~

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

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

From chanting ants to
a cactus’s
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
bust ~

A rattlesnake limp in the
heat, crawled across the spot
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
the day ~

Quite a few
way ~

She entered the
local saloon
slay ~

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




Raquel Welch


(text copyright Clyde Collins 2012, 2017)


Back Desert Trail




hello butler


till your hair is white

ye shall

cultivate my grounds

be wary

harsh I am to the


the senseless do not stay with

me for long

I will weigh as heavily on the

senseless as a grindstone

I am Sofia

goddess of wisdom &

 I am true to my name

I am not accessible to many




take my advice

do not reject my counsel

put your feet into my fetters

& your neck into my collar

offer your skinny shoulder to my burden

do not be impatient of my bonds

court me with all your soul

& with all your might keep in

my ways

once you kneel before me

I will not let you


I hope

you are possessed by me

my property

in the end you will find rest in


& I will take the form of joy

for you

my fetters you will find

hasty pasty & tasty

my collar a precious necklace

my yoke will be a golden ornament

& my bonds be purple ribbons

you will wear me like a robe of


you will put me on like a crown

of joy


seeking sofia







sofia is a spirit friendly

to humanity

though she will not let a

blasphemer’s words go



her jealous ear overhears


not even a murmur of complaint

escapes her


so beware of uttering frivolous



restrain your tongue from finding


even what is said in secret has


& a lying mouth deals death to your



blessed be ye


whose hand

commits no crime

& who harbors no resentment

against her wisdoms

a special favor will be granted to

you for your loyalty

a most desirable portion in her





the book of wisdom

jerusalem bible


time machine minority media

mario837 deviantart


elvis bojangles


lamentations of sofia

by SharOn Alder

I have given them eyes to see,
And they have not seen.
I have given them ears to hear,
And they have not heard.
I have given them a mind to discern,
And they have not discerned
The ways of holiness.
I have given them a heart,
And they have not loved one another
Or the Holy Mother.

I have given them a bright star
To guide them to the Holy Land,
Yet they have wandered in the deserts
Of desire and despair.

And when they came to the Holy Land,
The Chosen Ones took with them
The ways of desecration and war.
The Chosen Ones defiled and laid waste
The holy cities, the holy temples,
The children, the mothers and the old ones.
The Chosen Ones defiled her holy daughters
And sacred land.

From their way, who has returned
To the ways of sanctity and holiness?

Who has prepared their hearts for her return?
Who has raised for her, her sacred temples?
Who has clothed and honored her sacred daughters?
Who has fed her little children?
Who has cared for the aged and the crippled?

Who has purged her Holy Land from the ways of war
And laid the sacred ground with the ways of peace?

Oh ye children of man, I say,
Prepare yourselves with fasting and with prayers.

For the lamentations of The Mother are great.

For her temples and beloved are naught,
And they see and behold her not.


art / clyde caldwell


editor / elvis bojangles