Mongolia Notes 2011



Easy to Empty My Mind Here: A Few Poems from Mongolia

June and July 2011


Flap of felt in wind

Outside, camels close their eyes

Sleep is hard to come.



Morning sun subtle

Dawn breaks without announcement

No trace of night rain.



Shimmery grasses.

Over there, pools of water.

No! Only mirage.



Betsy’s Camel Ride:

Sad! Deflated humps!

Nothing much left to hold!

Old woman’s flat breasts.



Dandelion tufts

Waving from my camel’s neck

Otherwise, naked.



Bright bleached bone trees

Stand forlorn on stacked stone mountains.

Above: bunched sword grass.

Disturbed, geese cry out.

A legion of them

Wing their way between the canyon walls.



Sun dancer camel:

Hide lashed and taut on sturdy poles.

Witness: bone of one leg.




Smoke from the bathhouse.

Water heating for our ablutions.

Smell of desert brush.



Our drying garments

Are prayer flags.

Hung on camel rope:

Boons for our journey.



Near the high dun cliffs,

White butterfly on my leg:

Request: bless my day.



Paws trace moonlit ridge:

Silent Mongolian wolf.

Below, mindful dog guards us.