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  • Writer's pictureAlice Wyatt

Finding Life Among the Dead

A Sacred Place

There is a sacred place

in the wilds of New Mexico

where fear of death

has no hold on me

I visit often

wind, wildflowers

black storm clouds

pouring over the

mountain top

My only companions

carved stones identifying

those voices silenced

by death

A faint path pressed

into dried grasses

winds through

scaly Alligator Juniper

ancient tombstones are

tucked willy-nilly among

stunted Pinon Pine

Some families gather

even in death

but mostly

nature thwarts

man’s desire

for orderly posterity

Fierce sun

incessant wind

eat away



etched sentiments fade

fences collapse upon the dead

wooden crosses hang askew

Despite this, it is an

indescribably beautiful place

Recent rains have released

pungent scents

mesquite and creosote

damp earth and juniper berries

Softened red clay holds my footprints

hummingbirds zip overhead while

red Indian Paintbrushes pop their heads

above tangles of purple sweet pea vines

This sacred place

calls to me when

life is bigger




than my heart can bear

It comforts me

when days are

dark, uncertain

to be reminded of

my own mortality


fortifies my soul

An odd place to find

spiritual life

an all but abandoned


but I have learned

not to question

a timeless diety

On a high point

overlooking layers of

grey mountain ridges

a meandering creek

with its blanket of cottonwoods

descending into the valley

on the east

I stretch my arms wide

lift my face to absorb

the midday sun

quiet my soul

Here - in this place

if God were to say,

“This is the end.”

I would be able to reply,

“It has been enough.”

and then, hopefully

“Thank you”

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2 commentaires

Alice Wyatt
Alice Wyatt
30 nov. 2021

Thanks Jim. Usually nature is not a place that moves my soul. I like it but it’s people who really make me contemplate life. Think if it weren’t a cemetery it wouldn’t have the same affect though it is very beautiful.


30 nov. 2021

Very nice Alice. One of your best I think. I visit graveyards too to find peace and to contemplate. And of course gratitude for my days on this earth.

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