Judah’s Desert by Brandon Marlon




Gradually descending coulees

seaward, I survey tawny vistas,

waylaid by soughing wind,

a sharav speckled and humid,

sapping my brio, not my motivation.


Skirting the contours of wilderness,

I seek waymarks holistic and curative;

my thoughts drift as I mill about,

sifting memory’s fragments,

ruminating on travels and travails,

musing even as I spot the amusing:

a prinking gazelle enamored

with its reflection in a tepid pool.


We share currants then part ways,

kindred spirits affirmed by the other.


My tanned hide alerts me to midday;

I, on the way to myself, overstep

runnels and scramble down scree,

propping burlap, tamping pegs,

wallowing in the momentary umbra,

single-minded in my goal of molting.




With thorny bramble for kindling,

I pair the dusk with firelight,

igniting nightfall, groping after sparks,

evoking visions arid and barren.


The mind at night is a porous fortress

leaving us vulnerable to sharper pangs

of afterthought, scruple, regret,

disquieting shadowgraphs projected

against wasteland’s expansive slate.


Solitary and bare in the gloom,

in stealth I hunt the elusive quarry

of my best self, sculpted and burnished,

floating oaths on high

to a vault of understanding stars.


Twilight discovers me smearing

remedial liniment into topical scrapes;

having cast skin, I scale rugged heights,

deserting the dun plain below

as I clamber jagged ridges

and summit plateaus to behold

the cambering rainbow overhead.






Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and has been published in more than 85 publications in Canada, U.S.A., England, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Romania, Israel, India, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Trinidad. www.brandonmarlon.com

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