I walk off alone
through the hot winds
that flap my clothes
like the broken sail of a dhow
beaten by storms on the Red Sea,
across the ochre sands and scattered rocks
and past the caves where desert fathers
once dwelled and prayed.
My eyes settle
before the calm expanse,
trace the subtle gradation of hues
and up ahead I see a man
cloaked in the winds;
his face is dry and cracked
yet tilled by the work
its furrows rise vast trees
abundant with flowers
and gliding the blazing gusts
firebirds alight in their branches.
‘Syrian Desert’ appears on p. 44 of the author’s collection Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013).
“Fischer has a seemingly effortless ability to blend visual detail and imaginative vision. His poems relish in the natural world. He has an impressive lightness of touch. His lines fall as calmly and elegantly as snow, layer upon layer, and are just as transformative in their beauty. These often wistful, always subtle and intimate poems fuse thought and feeling with great poise.” Judith Beveridge
Luke Fischer’s book of poems Paths of Flight can be purchased directly through the Black Pepper website (postage is free): http://blackpepperpublishing.com/fischerpof.html