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Desert poem

Updated on January 3, 2010

Returning from living six months in a small coastal desert town in Saudi Arabia, a roundabout outside London's Gatwick airport seemed like the Amazon jungle, so green, so lush. The emptiness of the desert was spiritual. A place to go mad. A place to feel the real size of the earth. The desert was also like most things, diverse and changing. Dunes, yes, but not Lawrence of Arabia dunes, but rock strewn, gravelly, stoney, rubbish strewn, pristine, with different colours, ugly and beautiful. We crave the sun. They crave the rain. We all crave the other.


to sit in tents and smoke and chat and drink endless tea


to break fast triggered by a distant call


to stand before the open land and know the breadth of sky


to measure the smallness of man in the emptiness


to see a shamal hang a pall of sand and smother the world


to see the desert drink a little rain shoot sprouts of green


to watch mile after mile of emptiness unroll


to see the edge of town in a road that ends


to open your door to scorched air


to watch the gecko flick its tail across the wall


to breathe the desert air sucked dry across a million dunes


is to reach the oasis of God’s infinite arm



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    • hotspur profile image

      hotspur 8 years ago from England

      Hey a pot plant you can't kill through neglect! Thanks for comments glad you enjoyed the desert.

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 8 years ago from United States

      Excellent chronicle of the wonder of the desert, I have two

      tumbleweeds in my house that I brought home from a southwestern desert, they might be the only tumbleweeds in the northern part of my country, but I am fond of these itinerant travelers, so I put them in two clay pots with some sand to hold their restless souls and now I can enjoy a bit of the desert in the winter. ~~~MFB III

    • hotspur profile image

      hotspur 8 years ago from England

      Thanks for the comments! They are much appreciated. The thing with sand is there's always a grain that remains.

    • brandonfan profile image

      brandonfan 8 years ago from Mid West

      There is something so welcoming about loneliness. I think that it's because it asks for nothing back. This poem took me there hotspur. I'll go clean the sand out of my ears now!

    • Arthur Gulumian profile image

      Arthur Gulumian 8 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      Impressive work =]. Very enjoyable and your use to imagery is great. Glad I stopped by, welcome to Hubpages.