Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Poem for Jill and Wonder Valley

Stenciled warnings are often ignored


It was May the first,
and Jill was right.
Wonder Valley was never designed
to be a success.

The unseasonal Burning Man
reeling drunk on Faux Squalor,
a cocktail of reclaimed wood and rust,
slumps forward, and rests on uncalloused elbows.

The predatory rictus of lax capital fails to conceal
his impatience, awaiting a spark to engulf him
in a side-scrolling self-immolation.
All your tropes are belong to us.

But Jill was right.
Our island floats upon a basin
of fossilized water, a gift of briny surprise
that poisons outsourced dreams and nurses
a Potter's Field of yellowing dice,
bold ventures reduced to bone dust and gossip.

In the desert, shadows are treasured.
We brought our own shadows to mingle with the others
and loved them like our own.
There they were accepted, embraced,
tolerated, shunned, but never chased.
Empty space, like a lover at a loss for words,
the empty space needs respect.


This was written following a spirited community meeting about a proposed 'wellness' resort to be built in Wonder Valley, CA.