Dropping into Death Valley…


Telegraph Peak.JPG




I wrote this poem on a Death Valley camping trip, not long after my mother had died. The names of the geological features are examples of “found poetry.”


Dropping into Death Valley…

I see no spring blooms yet,

the ridges on

the Funeral Mountains

still raw.

Then looking for

some message, a sign,

for days I hike up

broad washes

into canyons,

until rock cliffs


to my body’s


but the the trails always

leading me up

into the shadows

of the Black Mountains.

Back at camp

simply sit for hours,

watch the sun and clouds shift

while silence stuffs my ears,

and I try to understand

the heart-breaking distance

from the Last Chance Range

to Coffin Peak.


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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

2 thoughts on “Dropping into Death Valley…”

  1. So impressive, and touching too. I am so sad to hear your mother. Rest in peace. I pray for her. The Death Valley is really amazing place. I can almost feel the ambience/feelings through your poem… Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nia, your comments encourage me. as for my mother, my pain has mostly subsided, although i still wish that i could pick up the telephone and call her. and, yes, although death valley has a morbid name, it is actually quite full of life and beauty. — michael

      Liked by 1 person

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