"Interesting Places and Things"

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  Interesting places

Ghost Mountain - Yaquitepic; Experiment in Freedom.<Link brokenClick here to read an article transcribed from the October 1944 edition of Desert Magazine written by Marshal South.  For 15 years the South family lived above Blair Valley on Ghost Mountain in their home "Yaquitepec."  After the South article is an afterview of life at Yaquitepec with added insight from Ryder South, Oldest son of Marshal and Tanya, who grew up on Ghost Mountain and is now retired in New Mexico.

Poetry by Ruth Sipila

hills conspire
in the desert

as we lay,
innocent in sleep,
the hills gather,
knees pressed
in conversation.

“what shall the dawn bring?
how can we
appease them?
larger displays of color?
more birds to sing?
no, this must be
an immense event,
an act of gratitude.”

we wake, light
opening our eyes,
to the sound.

the hills rub
strong shoulders
and shapen thighs,
soft against each other,
moving the air to song.

they chant
before the dawn,
bringing us along,
to open windows
and hold our faces,
to the first sound
of wind.

(for thomas)

the indian rests in the desert,
his sadness complete,
calcified beneath
the evening sky,
a final tear for his race,
a boulder on his cheek.
eternity holds him
in this valley,
blind to the beauty
that sweeps his shoulders,
and echoes still
his beating heart,
for his eyes are sealed
with an eon of sleep.


i have languished
at her knees,
lain my head
upon her rocky lap,
i have spilled my tears
as stones
before her and asked,
will you show me the way?

the desert harbors
a great sadness,
for, she cannot feed
her children,
and hears their echoes
as chimes in the evening,
soft in the breeze.

oh, mother,
can you hear me?
i have dressed my self
in the feathers
of your choice,
i have coated my skin
in ocher and ash,
i have danced for days
beneath a setting sun,
calling nothing
but your name.
where are my people?

i will lay my head
between her breasts
of stone, where the oak
reaches for heaven,
there, i hear the voices,
the children of the desert,
my spirit siblings
calling me home.

Photos by Doc
Click to see the full sized images:

Blair Bajada
Little Blair Valley, view east

Little Blair, different light

Storm approaching behind Mojave Yuccas

storm clouds
Sunset clouds