“Xeric Xanadu”

First Posted on April 26, 2013
All photos by frugalchariot


Monday, April 22, was Earth Day.

For some, at least.

For me, though, Earth Day is every day, of every month, of every year, century, millennium . . . I mean, I live here. I live here, exactly as do all those weeds, flowers, wolves, grizzly bears, dolphins, whales, birds, tuna, perch, minnows, mosquitos, cockroaches . . . apes . . . idiots . . . Republicans . . . humans?? . . . amongst each and all of those various multitudes of other. Life. Forms.

Like that.

No ‘humans’ . . . in our own curious lingo . . . are anything other than yet one more of Earth’s multiple hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of trillions of life form entities, nor is any single one of ‘us’ of any more cosmic import than a bee, or a flower, or for that matter even a virus . . . or an IDIOT! . . . billions of ‘them’ . . . idiots. People. Humans. Not cockroaches, not houseflies, certainly not flowers. IDIOTS. The proof is everywhere. It fouls the air. It pollutes ALL the waters, every drop. It’s everywhere across the land, across ALL land, all water, and in the sky. It. Is. Everywhere!!

I mean, here’s the question: will cockroaches ever decide to go ahead and build something like, say, the Keystone XL Pipeline? That yet one more human-erected gizmo which will surely aid in the killing off of all life on this otherwise remarkable little chunk of cosmic rock? Nah. Cockroaches are way too SMART to engage in anything THAT stupid.

Ok. So then, that’s it. Enough already. I’ve said my piece. I’ll leave it there and proceed, instead, toward that other realm . . . that vast span of life on Earth which does NOT see itself as ‘created in the image of a god’ . . . that vast span of life which simply exists in context thus enabled by nature . . . that realm of life which embraces all but us. Humans, I mean. “Intelligent” life. You know. “Intelligent” (??).

What follows is a diversion of sorts, one which includes a few shreds of poetry presented alongside a handful of old photographs, the combination of which . . . with luck, with hope . . . will demonstrate that, when abject ‘beauty’ comes to define the case in point, then the sole purpose of any human is to record, via words and (again, with luck) images, the reality that is ‘out there’ . . . that pure and unadulterated . . . Beauty. Or, as William Wordsworth put it (in his poem, Lines Written in Early Spring)

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Bee on Saguaro Cactus Flower

Bee on Saguaro Cactus Flower


The Flower-Bee Song

A bee upon a flower did light,
With curious eye, I watched it;
And after moments passed, it flew
Away with nectar’s booty,
Life’s sustenance for bee,
From flower’s heart.

I asked the flower, in whispers hushed
(Lest uninvited ears might hear)
If such intrusion to its heart
Were injur’ous to softnesses
As which, I thought, must linger there.

The flower replied, “No, of course,
For bee and I depend upon
His forays, he for food and I
For life; Future’s generations
On his excursions do rely.”

“May I, too, then, such pleasures seek
Within your golden heart?”  I asked.
The flow’r said, “No, for you are man,
Not bee. Your footsteps weigh too heavily
On softnesses.”

Reflective, then, I walked away
Through desert’s springtime scented air
With heightened sense that I, myself,
Might someday find – like bee and flow’r –
A sustenance in Beauty — there —
Plus in this life, alone.


Desert storm, springtime bloomsXeric Xanadu:
A Paradise of Paradox

Paradise is Paradox:  When silence
Affords the wistful mind a sense of soft
Rapture born of sand and rock; when intense
And windblown multi-colored clouds aloft
Drop scant rains on arid lands, life begins.
O’er deserts vast,  beyond the winter’s edge,
Xanadus of Xeric Floral Xanthins — 
Profusive sprawls of hue-struck landscape — pledge
Another season rich of life, a year
Reduced in size and scope, till moment when
Aridity and heat-waves reappear.
Determined though it is to thrive again,
On withered wing, on waves of blist’ring heat,
Xanadu joins Paradise – in retreat.

Mexican Poppy -- Golden Barrel Cactus -- Globe Mallow

Mexican Poppy — Golden Barrel Cactus — Globe Mallow 


Of Life; Of Death

On arid plains and hillsides in the Spring,
Resilience savors warmth and gentle breeze.
In desert silence filled with buzzing wing,
Life’s essence bridles forth, though never sees
Black clouds which roil beyond the summered hill.
There, darker fates, with patience, trace their prize,
And silently as cougar stalks to kill
The fawn, each holds its breath  — in Cold surprise.
None can rescind that fate which serves all fates.
Though life and love each glory in the bloom
Of life, no soul alive e’er hesitates
Upon its road, in journey toward its tomb.
Each disavows, like flow’r as petals fall,
That final death — which lives within us all.

Saguaro Cactus Skeleton

Saguaro Cactus Skeleton


The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
[ . . . ]

Flowers of Ocotillo and Yucca

Flowers of Ocotillo and Yucca


Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
by William Wordsworth, circa 1802)


(written by T. R. Nissle, circa 1972)

Praying SaguaroThou, whoever art above, hear me die,
Hear my silent, lonely prayer,
For tongueless creatures everywhere.

We neither savage, jest, nor boast of soul,
But flower unmaliciously,
Disjoin us from humanity.

Springtime on the Sonoran Desert

Springtime on the Sonoran Desert

Oh, and lest we forget, the George W. Bush Presidential “Library” opened. Yesterday, I think. Somewhere. Wherever. Interesting that at least one order of magnitude MORE information is embedded in a single springtime desert flower . . . than there has ever been, or ever WILL be, in the total earthly experience of the entire Bush family . . . since it first evolved from its predecessor Apes (probably in the late 1800’s, give or take a month or two).

I have to wonder: in whose Presidential “Library” will the grand story of the magnificent Keystone XL Pipeline reside? At this moment in time, I guess I’m really not all too sure I want to know the details. I mean, destroy the world for PROFIT? Really? But then, of-course-and-as-we-all-KNOW, “Corporations are people, my friend,” and . . . well, you know, us poor people, we of the 47%, are basically useless . . . as useless as . . .

Flowers. On the Desert. In Spring.



About frugalchariot

How Frugal is the Chariot That bears the Human soul. (Emily Dickinson)
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