The Desert

Harry H. Harvey


Dreary, desolate, dry as sage;
A vast, void waste where the sandstorms rage,
And the sun beats down blatantly bright,
The dull drab sands turn blinding white.

And the heat waves ripple and gleam and glare,
And a million demons are prancing there;
Demons of drought and thirst and fear,
Dance and dazzle and taunt and jeer.

They mock and beckon and lead astray
With visions of water that fade away.
Mirages of rivers lined with trees,
Shade and quiet and cooling breeze.

High in the sky, the carrion crow
Trails the traveler down below,
Gliding expectant in circling loop,
Poised for the quick triumphant swoop.

The buzzard knows there is no water there,
That the rocks are sizzling, that the sands are bare.
And the only breeze is the dragon’s breath,
And the only shade is the shade of death.