At dawn the sun ignites the desert,
a sudden flash of light,
a golden-red exposes the land:
cactus, snake bush, miles of sagebrush,
jeweled flowers, spiked yucca aflame,
and the wind-shaped boulders radiant.
For a moment, a shining glow over all, then it passes.
The desert remains, patiently,
silent, no signs of human life.
Wide and expansive,
more than the eye can consume,
it awes the mind into gentle submission
and opens the senses to wonder.
The flat sparse land stretches out
like an ocean to brown undulating hills and in the remote distance,
a mirage of snowcapped mountains.
The desert ignites awakening
whatever its mood;
still and contained, no waste or profusion
it stands bare and essential,