The Sun,

            darkened by sand,

     making night in the desert,

            wind searing hot,

                 growing fierce,

            raising walls of dust.


Wind whirling sand into funnels,

     demons driving them like chariots,

            zigging and zagging

                 in the maelstrom,

            red eyes leering,

                 shrieks shrill in the roar.


Eyes blinded by sand,

            crawling by feel

                 among the rocks,

     forms eroded by eons

                 of blowing sand

            into shapes grotesque

                 with menace.


Seeming to twist and wriggle,

     grasping and clutching

            for prey.


Struggling to stand,

     battered from ledge to ledge,

            choking on dirt,

                 filling the mouth,

     in desperation,

            gasping an exorcism,

                 The mayhem ceases.


A hollow opening appears

            in the stones ahead,

     arms pulling the body,

            sliding and crawling,

                 over sand and dust.


Protected in the recess,

            falling into an exhausted sleep,

     that drifts into a hibernation,

            dreams of melting

                 dissolving into a stream

            that flows,

                 gently cascading

                        from level to level,

            pooling in an oasis

                 in the third heaven.


Trees of grace

            bearing fruit,

     wisdom peers from the cave,

            into the vastness of the desert.


            – Gene Boehman 
               1/17/15  Feast of St. Anthony of the Desert 
               Dedicated to Anna Maria Massari Danei