Spirit of the Land

“Love Poem” by Leslie Marmon Silko

Rain smell comes with the wind
out of the southwest.
Smell of sand dunes
tall grass glistening
in the rain.
Warm raindrops that fall easy
(this woman)
The summer is born.
Smell of her breathing new life
small gray toads on
damp sand.
(this woman)
whispering to dark wide leaves
white moon blossoms dripping
tracks in the
Rain smell
I am full of hunger
deep and longing to touch
wet tall grass, green and strong beneath.

This woman loved a man
and she breathed to him
her damp earth song.
I was haunted by this story
I remember it in cottonwood leaves
their fragrance in
the shade.
I remember it in the wide blue sky
when the rain smell comes with the wind.

“Cover Me” by Michele Lee

A grey blanket stretched across the valley,
cleansing not just a few, but many
who walked, who rode, who drove–
opening their doors or peering through windows.

Rain, glorious rain
covering me as I splashed across the black-top lot,
dancing before the music began.

I thought of the land
recently captured through my lens–
sand turning to mud,
cracked earth filling up
with rain, glorious rain
trickling down rocks,
and dripping into washes.

Desert life renewed
by rain, glorious rain!

Since writing last Saturday’s post, I have thought a lot about the Indigenous peoples of the southwest. For them and their way of life, I have always held reverence and tremendous respect. As it should be. They did/do not just learn lessons from this land; they are this land. There are spirits here, resting in the soil and soaring through the trees, and whose messages are accessible for those ready to listen and receive. I honor their presence, their stewardship, and sacrifice as I walk along the dusty road. I am just a traveler, a fair-weathered friend, in this place – their home.

Featured poet, Leslie Marmon Silko, grew up on the Laguna Pueblo reservation in New Mexico. She is an acclaimed poet, novelist, and essayist. She is considered a “major contributor to the Native American literary and artistic renaissance, which began in the late 1960s” (Poetry Foundation).

Thank you for visiting and reading. Be well. 💗 Michele

Find more of my photos on Instagram ~ @mlsefton

Photos: My images

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton.

60 thoughts on “Spirit of the Land

    1. Thank you so much, Brad. It is my pleasure and honor. I love Silko’s work. I read several poems this morning written by Native American artists. What a treat! This one had a lovely addition of rain and it spoke to me.💓 Thanks for your visit – best to you!

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Michele girlfriend, thanks so much for featuring this beautiful poem by Leslie Marmon Silko. 🙏🏽 Sadly, we don’t hear a lot about our Native American poets, but like many unknown or non-famous bards, that is slowly changing. Take my girl Joy Harjo who became the first Native American to become U.S. Poet Laureate in 2019. It warms my heart to see this dynamic shift in literary recognition. 🏆

    Now honey, your poem is truly a refreshing dip in the ocean of a desert. 🌦 Oh how we don’t realize the life-giving source of Mother Nature being quenched renewed with the falling of glorious rain. Great reflection my friend. 🤗 💐 🤔

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh, it is a joy to feature soulful poets. Just having my words next to Silko’s is an honor. Even if I put them there. 😆 I love Joy Harjo’s work too.💖 Yes, we are seeing a shift with recognition toward woman voices of the past and present. Wonderful!

      Thank you, you are too kind. A quick write after getting rained on. 🥰 A glorious shower and dip!😁 I am glad you enjoyed my reflection. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Native American poetry before the sun came up this morning. 🌞 A beautiful day to you my friend. 😘

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You have great insight Michele and I love the way you build on your awareness. Continue pumping out those prose, poems and short stories my dear! ✒️ 📓 ✍🏽

        And a divine and glorious day to you too my mountaintop poet! 💖 🤗 💝 Smooches! 💋 😚 💋

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks fellow desert dweller, photographer Price! I sure enjoyed reading some Native American poetry this morning and taking the photos last week. Last night’s rain was pretty awesome too! A nice respite from the heat. Have a super day!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Glorious rain covering the land in a renewal of desert life, evoking both dance and delight to the eyes of refreshed inhabitants. Yours are wonderful words, Michele ~ thanks for sharing. ✍🏼 I also enjoyed the included work of Leslie Marmon Silko, and your respect ascribed to the indigenous culture, past and present. 🙏🌞

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh yes, so delightful. My pleasure to write and share, and include the moving words of an accomplished poet. 💖 Thank you for reading. 😁 I am glad you enjoyed Silko’s work. I read many Native American poems early this morning – hers was my top choice. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The spirit of this woman and her connection to the land and nature creating a melodious music with the beautiful feelings and lovely pictures, awww it truly spils the cool rain drops on a reader’s heart. Happy to know that the rain has chilled people who were deserted to see the high heat ended to enjoy the carpet of green lopes and rains drops. Angelic n Beautiful poem dear Michele 👌❤🤗

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Silko’s poem reveals a beautiful and intimate connection to the SW and her last stanza is breathtaking. 💓 Thank you so much, Jeff. I am glad you enjoyed my post. The desert doesn’t make living easy from June to September, but she has a unique beauty. 💚

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I love reading that my joy extended beyond the rainy moment. Thank you! It was a lovely earth drenching rain. People drenching too! 😁 Yes, rain is rare, with very little over the last year, so recent showers have been needed and nice. It rained again yesterday.💙 I am not sure if the rains here were part of that system. How did your area fare?
      Thanks for the visit, Dwight.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How beautifully both these poems hail the sweet and rich scent of petrichor! I love particularly these lines from Leslie: “her damp earth song.
    I was haunted by this story
    I remember it in cottonwood leaves”

    and these lines from you complete the story: “trickling down rocks,
    and dripping into washes.”


    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wow, they were both so beautifully written! I love the way you bring about such strong imagery – it’s such a wholesome experience to read and feel yourself transported away! Such a lovely and refreshing read!❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Michelle, a fantastic post…two gorgeous, heartfelt poems and hauntingly lovely flute music…Love it! Your photos capture the subtle beauty of the desert. ❤ Here in SW Florida, we have had a particularly wet rainy season which is just beginning to taper off. I love rain but will welcome some cooler, drier days. 🙂 Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I really appreciate your words and sentiment. Native American music transports me. 💖 Thank goodness we actually received rain this year. It has been a long dry spell over the last year, literally! Thank you, you too! 💐


  6. Pingback: The Desert INvites a journey withIN – My Inspired Life

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