The Witnessing


The Joshua trees

sink their Jurassic roots

into a field bordering

the golf course


and watch as  sprinklers turn on

swinging their long necks  of water

toward some higher trees.


As they rise and reach for the green

leaves, the blue breadth — they become akin

to  shy herbivores


who rustled the foliage

and strolled the  earth  (one perfect day)

before a colossal rock

cratered their primeval world

and showered the air in flames. The planet

a molten clock of extinction


Now the slim fountains arch

and sway in the summer  light

as if it were their last, most beautiful dance

before dissolving into dust

or salt spray spitting

from the tsunami’s mouth,


as if it were a sudden rite

reminding us

of the aquifer’s gift —

its underground rivers,

and the rain that soaks through


or runs along the gutters

of  roof and curb, rippling

with the thumbprint of life.






  1. I am nearly speechless with the images here and the grand sweep of time you portray. Joshua trees, the oldest living things on earth; how many humans must they have seen come and go like mayflies to a human?


    • Hi Michael

      Thank you so very much for this wonderful response to my poem, I am so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, The Joshua trees are fabulous, ancient, wise, and steadfast. They were around at the time of the dinosaurs and have thrived over this long period of time. Yet, I worry if as a global community we are not good stewards of our earth, its environment, atmosphere and inhabitants we will end up as those dinosaurs millions of years before, just bones in a crater while the rest of the earth burned out.

      Again thank you!
      my best,


  2. Wendy,

    There is a feeling of forever in Joshua trees.

    You have given life and breath to the page. Every image
    comes alive and engages the reader. There is music in
    “a sudden rite
    reminding us
    of the aquifer’s gift —

    It dances from the tongue as I read this poem aloud. It has visual
    appeal as well. Just perfect!

    To use your words out of context, this poem absolutely:
    ripples with the thumbprint of life

    Another beauty, another joy!

    Thank you,


    • Hi Sarah

      As always, your wise and beautiful words keep me writing and encouraged that my poetry matters! Thank you so , so much for that and your continual interest in my work. It means so much to me. There is nothing quite as beautiful or reassuring than the sound of fresh water, its presence near, cool, and flowing . And add to that the longevity of the pines and the Joshua trees, and you have an affirmation of life.

      Again, thank you!
      Take care,

      Liked by 1 person

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