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Mystic Desert (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Based on research I’ve done into the folklore from around my hometown.]

I know a desert land where spectral stagecoaches rumble through the night

     never to reach ladies dressed in wedding gowns who forever pace well-worn stations

             desperate to reunite with distant lovers

                            White horses once owned by bandits

                                    now run wild and free among hills

                                            in which ill-gained bounties

                                                   have been hidden for more than a century

                  Small flames flit

                                                 around certain mountains

                            while skeletons with lanterns in their ribcages wander

                                  in constant search for treasure-leaden mines

                                                            lost to time

        Coyotes yowl beneath the full moon inhabited by a kind goddess

                and in the summer               greedy spirits dance

                           about an old well in happiness

                                                                                     at riches they cannot touch

          Owls guide gentle souls to their eternal slumber

                safe from a malicious being known for thunderstorms and meteors

                        exiled to a mountain peak by the ancestors of a people

                               whose descendants still inhabit the land

To passersby in the day             

                                              it is a sleepy place

                  quiet and remote

But to those who know

          even a few of its many stories

                the desert reveals its magic

                         and grows in strength

                              much like the Santa Ana Winds


10 thoughts on “Mystic Desert (A Poem)

      1. They were stories from the Dominican Republic, which is where they are from. Usually mysteries about mermaids, siguapas (a mythical creature) and interactions with spiritual presence. All in Spanish.🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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