Slaughtering Sands

Across these golden, fiery sands,

singing wind with sculpting hands

scoops and furrows, digs and funnels

over bones and ancient tunnels.

 

In the evening heat I walk

while the desert vultures stalk

every step with raucous call,

waiting for my form to fall.

Mortal scythes in timeless clime

hop and flap and bide their time.

 

Mirages in the distance sway

‘Rest, and rot,’ they seem to say.

‘Sand is soft and warm and dry.

Rest  your burdens, rest and die.

Never will they find you here.

Those who search will disappear.’

 

‘Traveler, why are you here?

To bury love? To uproot fear?

Why walk into the burning sun

alone, afraid, the only one?’

 

‘Have you a reason? Mission? Goal?

Perhaps a precious gem you stole?’

 

As the evening came about,

I would never make it out.

Laying down to die, I write

letters to describe my plight.

 

Now my final grasp rescinds,

sending them by desert winds.

If someone should find me here,

should my words e’er reach an ear,

mark them down, and mark them well:

Deserts are an earthly hell.

 

In these sun-scoured, blighted lands,

challenge not the slaughtering sands.