Joseph Philipson Visual Journalism661.727.4057
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Gaunt Statues of the Sonoran Desert

“They stood alone and heralded the dawn;
Gaunt shadows
Etched upon a rim
That tore the jagged edge of day.

They stood like phantoms grim,
Within a world alone,
Upon a lonely way.

With muzzles pointed toward the stars now dim
In dawn’s first undertone,
They filled the sleeping sky
With eerie wails. Each dismal cry
Came drifting on the winds,

Borne through the silence of vast desert plains,
As though from out a realm unknown.

I think that I would choose a statue such as they
Within my garden wall:
Gaunt shadows
Etched against the rim
Of pomegranate hedge,
Their muzzles lifted to the desert call,
Their restless fee poised lightly on my lawn.

Then in the drowsy sunshine I might dream
That just before the dawn
When earth is grey,
Their answers weird and long would sweep
My garden’s cloistered calm
Like phantoms trailing down a lonely way.”
– The Coyote’s Desert Call, Ida Flood Dodge

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