Desert Poetry      
If you wanted to get in my truck
you had to pound the door
just below the handle.
Taking corners, the dash lights would flicker like a broken marquee.
Its red color was pale in so many places where various chemicals had
poured out of the bed.
The turn signals were crossed,
so I was taught to think backwards.
Stepping on the gas,
one had to anticipate
a three second delay.
Stepping on the brakes,
one just had to anticipate.
The temperature gauge
always hovered near red
so it was a challenge
not to overheat by
planning a precise route.
And when orange
rusty water started
seeping from the engine,
I sold it for fifty dollars.
But, while cleaning it out
for the first time ever
I found the rolling noise
that had charmed me for four years:
a can of beer under the passengers seat.
The can was silver, all the color rubbed
clean off from hundreds of trips
across the state to see you,
but still it was unopened.
And although, the beer was horrible
and warm (you knew I had to drink it)
I could of sworn our porch light
was shining brighter than ever.

                     Scott Poole/ Cheny, WA                                                                                    
The Old Professor
A poem by an American Indian in origin,
handed down by word of mouth until
someone finally set the translation in writing:                                                                                                                                                                                        
"Do not stand by my grave and weep.
I am not here.  I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken to the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry.
I am not there.  I did not die."
High Mountain Plain
One can see for miles in all directions
And years
Stretching lonely out ahead
And behind
The rugged majesty the peaks the pines the moving clouds
Are only marred
By a cow's skull some left debris
An ancient pile of dirt
Weathered brush grown
The mute remains of an early miner's dream
Silence reigns
Except for birds the whispering pines
A voice within
That somehow here alone can see
A chance
A control of one's own special destiny
The sun comes up alive and new
Fiery peaks give hope sunrise blooms
There is time and space to fulfill ancient dreams
Daily slowly surely
Sunset comes too
Just as fiery
Purple shadows moving on the land
The empty mine a hopeless dream
Abandoned things a shaded skull
Daylight dims
There is nothing left at all
                                                          Don Meyer,  Ventura Ca.
Abandoned Tin Shack
I used to give people support
Out of the weather
Frail and patched up
But nevertheless held together
With constant care
A nail here
And a piece of wire there
What a welcome sight I was
To those struggling home
Weary and dust driven
A haven
A place of comfort safety warmth
My door has long been gone
Ripped off by a merciless storm
That howls incessantly
And slowly tears me down
A piece was just pried loose the other day
It won't be long
Before the storm will carry it away
And I'll follow too
I wish someone would hurry back
Prop me up give me support
Rebuild the strength that once was mine
But I'm all alone
Left to the fury of the wind
Sagging neglected
Just waiting for the end
                                          Don Meyer, Ventura, Ca.                                     
Desert Gas Station
The past and the future are mixed together here
Gas and beer
To get you down the road
And arrowheads and rocks
To show what came before
No hurry no water no matter
A feller was through here just awhile back
The sleeping dog yawns and stretches
Comtemplates your existence for an unblinking moment Then drowsily relaxes
Into his private world again
How alike
What's that rock
There's still gold you say
Where  did this arrowhead come from
And then zoom
                                       Don Meyer   Ventura, Ca.      
Sometimes I don't know which way to go
Down a dusty road
Looking for a mine
For the rich outcroppings of ore
The marks of early man
One way seems right
Urges me to follow her along
Sometimes I do
And sometimes find
The followed path is wrong
But I keep looking
Starting off in new directions
Retracing weary steps on an old familiar trail
Searching seeking
Still looking for the way
My way
To the hidden riches waiting there for me
I get discouraged
Always seem to fail
Wonder if I should continue on
Sometimes I don't know which way to go
Or how far
How long
Turning down uncertain roads
Hopeful helpless
                                        Don Meyer,  Ventura, Ca
Mountain Climb
I stand back and look at the peak
In all of its afternoon glory
The late sun shining on it
Purple and gold
The shadow creeping up its side
As I did once
The ridges and valleys standing out in sharp relief
Against the darkened back the shelf
Which huddled me
Gave me rest
Jutting out in arrogance
Into the thin disappearing air
I stopped there
For awhile
Continued on
Hand over weary hand
Until the day was nearly done
And then turned back
Darkness brings danger
And one seeks safer heights
With the slowly sinking sun
But now the wonder
If I had continued on
Straddled the furthest point
Follow the moving sun
Would things be changed somehow
Would the peak look the same
And would I
Be a different man
                                                        Don Meyer, Ventura, Ca.  
Desert Questions
What's the difference between a Jeffrey and a Ponderosa Pine
And why are some growing here
And some there
And nothing in between
Who dug that mine
And when
What were his expectations
His achievements
Will it ever bring forth ore again
Why is that lovely bloom
A shaded purple
Growing there alone
How do birds survive
How hot is it
Will it rain
How long have I been standing here
And how much have I seen
Where was I
Where am I now
And where am I going