August 11, 2011

I Stand Alone

To the mother who bore my body;
To the land that mothered my soul;
To the Ultimate Guide who led me
Scarred through battle, but whole;
Mother, and Land, and The Vision,
Stern trails where my feet were set;
Take these from the Price I owe ye—
Whose life is less than the Debt.

Introduction to Cactus and Pine, Songs of the Southwest by Sharlot M. Hall


  1. Quite poignant. It does feel this way at times. I mean, when you take a serious glance at all that went before you. And, now here you are. It is quite humbling. Challenging, even. To respect that, live up to it, go it some step better. And wish the best for one's children. Thanks, Stickup....lots of food for thought here!

  2. God, I love this poem! Makes me think of a mother swan with her cygnets in tow--who ultimately must make their own way--but always with the lessons instilled by the mother swan, the pond and nest, the instincts that brought them thus far...

  3. Awesome poem my friend! I'm glad you like my photos urban, I understand because I really like my own. Your desert landscape and your mountains to me are equally interesting. Kisses!

  4. Good introduction to her writing. Have you been to Prescott and the Sharlot Hall Museum? The last time I was there was in 1969-70 when I worked for O.E.O. My favorite poem of hers is:

    Cash In

    O life is a game of poker
    And I've played it straight to the end;
    But the last chip's down on the table
    And I'm done with the game, my friend.
    The fire in my blood it flickers
    Like a guttering candle light,
    When the tallow beads in greasy tears
    And the wind whips in from the night.
    The deck was stacked by the Dealer
    Before he would let me in;
    The cards were marked, and I knew it—
    There was never a chance to win.
    But I bluffed the game to a finish—
    Till He nodded and called my hand—
    Palms empty and crossed—but the lips still smile—
    And the Dealer will understand.

  5. The photo wasn't there earlier . . . it's beautiful – as always great composition.

  6. So stark it is almost surreal. I appreciate the poem, too.

  7. This shaggy beast of a conjoined cactus family reminds me of another desert creature, the camel. The colour, the coat, the ugly beauty, the nourishing waters stored within, the hardiness in the face of Nature's harshest challenges to not only survive but thrive.

  8. Louciao's comment resonates. Desert species of all kinds are so remarkable. It is so beautiful to go out in the desert, and see something like a Joshua Tree. One has to be humbled. One has to ask the question, "How do you do this? I can't even balance my checking account!" There are lots of lessons to be learned in the desert, I think. The tree doesn't answer, of course. It is for us to figure out how to cope!

  9. WOW! What a gorgeous Joshua Tree! Awesome shot.

  10. A very nice liryc. An amazing photo.
    Thank you. (my english is know...kind of a big mess...sorry!)

  11. The prayerful Joshua tree, a lone sentinel in life's desert.

  12. I like the tree (joshua tree?) but it's really set off by the panorama behaind it.

  13. made speechless by this prayer, both in words and image...

  14. Dear Stickup, simply magical, I could drown in your style of magic, and not once think of coming up for air...

    A beautiful photo, stirring poetry, and a tribe of comments that warm the heart... what more could one want ?

    Thoughts with you and hoping all is well...

    PS now, if only there had been a four legged relative of the horse in the picture, then our ecstasy would have been complete... :-)

  15. PPS and funny, just saw another photo from Joshua Tree... here :

    Enjoy... he's from Pennsylvania too...

  16. The words and the photo are so beautiful! It's a pleasure to see your artwork!

  17. I like the way that your photograph puts the conservatism of the Joshua Tree on display. No flagrant displays of greenery there. Just some discreet flashes off the tips and back to the business of surviving the odds... Very nice.