Stones in the Desert – Ash Wednesday

Beginning a series I will call Stones in the Desert. A small practice. An intention.

Open the first gate of the desert path

that I may begin my journey.

-Derek Webster

The Desert Gate, this day at the beginning of the ancient season of Lent, the portal into the pilgrimage to spring, to rebirth. It opens onto a wilderness of the soul, a place of solitary going. When one steps thru, one never knows what one will find. There are clues in the old stories. There are instructions from the Poets who know the place.

Wendell Berry tells me that To Be a Better Poet one must “make the best you can of the little words that come out of silence”

Gary Snyder says in What You Should Know to Be a Poet  one must meet “the illusory demons and the illusory shining gods. Kiss the ass of the devil…” (among other things)

There is a poet I have stalked thru long nights and days in the desert of earth and dreams. Footprints and shadow, heart beat and wind.

Setting myself the task of a small poem every day thru Lent…It doesn’t have to be worked, simply found, picked up, turned over in the hand, looked at with a “watchful and elegant mind”. Little yogas, mudras of time. Knowing they have been left for you to find your way across the tracklessness.

What The Poets Tell Me…

This is what you will find in the desert:

silence and terror

This is what you need to know to be a poet:

their names

their faces


About wrensong

I am a poet who collects stones. I am a wanderer of creek beds and forests, canyons and high desert who, coming home, sometimes finds words to tell the story. I am a companion with others in the search for Deep, Wild Soul. I shape containers in time and space for others to come together to write, to tell their stories, to hold each other in the telling. I am a grandmother and the companion of a cat named Alaya. I often travel out into open country with a man who calls himself Dunewalker who has hung his hammock in my heart.
This entry was posted in A River of Stones, aros, Poetry, Small Stones, The River, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stones in the Desert – Ash Wednesday

  1. WildBill says:

    There is little doubt that you are a poet. Even when you compose prose it rings of images, sounds, and smells. I often reread your writing just to be sure I didn’t miss anything the first time.
    And part of your writing charm seems to be how you interpret the nature of things from a personal perspective. I love this about your writing. And I will continue to look forward to the next piece.

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