Two Poems by Walker Storz

Poem for L (Gary Snyder Emulation)

Many nights, camping near death valley
In a mostly flat plain of hard packed dirt and

An abandoned rv campground with
Concrete pads which I used
Charcoal to draw things on: myths, stories, charts,

Rolling grey black hills surrounded it

No plants but spider-branched
creosote with its
Small potent leaves

In my mind there was great silence

Moonlight on the ground made it ash-grey

When it rained it smelled bitter and fragrant,
The creosote

I didn’t always think of you then. I didn’t grieve for what we
Could have had

I grieved instead for what my body
  could have
     been, and for lost time

But some nights that year, colder nights, with a
thrill of pure chill air rippling over my face
In my sleeping bag, I did think of
you, and with less bitterness than usual

The past is not the
Past, time is not a
Line, but a
Twisted juniper tree

Desert Space Time

At the top of the lookout in the
Valley of death
It felt like we were on the edge of a great
Beach. The air was salty and stinging

The landscape felt like an ocean presence
Despite being the driest place around
It was shaped by water and it had the
Memory of water

The badlands, the dry light tan hard dirt hills, the ones that
Look unearthly, a sun-infused yellow
Lunar canyon with black Rock jagged

One could see them as waves frozen
In time and in a different substance than

Time doesn’t move straight forward
Yes, it does kill, but it
Could move backwards and revive
It circles like a hawk on a
An ever-turning great gyre

Walker Storz is a musician, artist, and writer living in Vermont. His work covers the themes of faith, suffering, and illness.

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