Kalahari Skies – Judith Mikesch McKenzie

If you go to the Kalahari

   try to arrive in the deep desert

   well into the dark of night

   when the black is an impenetrable

   screen all around you

when eyes are forced upward

   to find light

   to the thick blanket

       of stars, so bright

       you cannot breathe


So brilliant that

    You do not want the dark

    to leave

    but stay in its slow slide

    across the sky

    above you


And when the dark does leave

    the ground around you

    visible in stretches of

    sand and brush and the

    air wavering in the heat

will force your eyes up again


and you stop

the dun-colored sky

    hints at the sun hiding near

    the shifting haze and the

       very air

    shifting in rhythm with the sands below


and you wonder that you were ever


    by any other sky


Leave the Kalahari and

   a part of you

   will always be

   shifting and wavering

      in the sands

      and the Kalahari stars

Judith Mikesch McKenzie has traveled much of the world but is always drawn to the Rocky Mountains as one place that feeds her soul. She loves change – new places, new people, new challenges – but honors a strong connection to the people and places of her roots. Writing is her home. She is a recent winner in the Cunningham Short Story Contest and the Tillie Olsen Short Story Contest. Her poetry has been published in The Poetic Bond X, The Wild Roof Journal, Rogue River Review, Sad Girls Club, and Halcyone Magazine.