Ode to Voices in Desert Sands

Ode to Voices in Desert Sands …

desert sands

The desert where I have lived for many years
is vast, beautiful, with sand dunes, fragrant sage,
cacti and succulent plants with lovely flowers.
This is where he died.

It was many years ago, when we were young,
when life was joyous with the beauty out here,
and with the harmony of the love we shared,
a love so divine.

He asked me to walk in the desert once more
with him, for it would be his last to walk here.
Our doctor waited for me at the cottage
then took him away.

Three months later I buried our baby, too,
next to his father at the cemetery,
and cried my heart out every night for
so long afterwards.

I started walking in the desert again,
when I felt healed, to listen for his voice,
with his dying breath he said he would tell
me he loved me still.

Voices of the past in desert sands linger
during the night under a full moon, above
the cacti so tall, casting shadows, like ghosts
wandering around.

I know some voices are from eons ago,
and they cry out to be heard by anyone
who will understand, try to guide them along
to their place of peace.

For those who know not the quiet desert
at night, it is a foreboding place to be,
for the sands shift with the wind, moving shadows
like apparitions.

Ghostlike images seem to be whispering
as the voices of the past rise from the sands,
drift like a wisp as a faint voice of a soul,
calling to someone.

It is to me they call, these ageless lost souls,
for I walk each night alone in the desert,
to search for the one I once loved long ago
in the distant past.

To me the silence of the desert at night
is hauntingly beautiful and so peaceful,
tho a wisp and faint trace of voices calling,
falling upon me.

I listen and try to make contact to help
them know where they are and to understand they
are in the spirit realm and need to let go
of the past, find peace.

Some of the voices have come closer and hear
me I know, for they seem to stop mourning and
sound calm, peaceful, then I feel a gentle touch
like breeze on my arm.

Those ones who find the peace they so need appear
as a faint, wispy shadow for just a second,
reach out to let me know they do understand,
then they fade away.

Some voices in the sands are always distant
and I cannot connect with them when I try,
they seem to not want to leave the ghostly world,
so I leave them be.

For years I walked alone, waiting each night to
hear his voice in the desert sands and often did.
Sometimes it was very faint then grew stronger
as time passed slowly.

And I listen for that one voice so loving
to me, the one I long to be with again,
to walk with him in this peaceful desert for
all eternity.

I am old now, so old, and my time is near
to let go, leave this lonely life without him,
so I come out here, wait for him to help me,
to join him once more.

I hear him! I cannot take another step,
I am very tired, lay down on the sands,
close my eyes as I wait for him to reach me,
he raises me up.

I am young again, as he is, together
now as we were so long ago, we walk on,
to spend eternity together in love,
always in spirit.


The Sapphic ode consists of quatrains, three 11-syllable lines, and a final five-syllable line, unrhyming but with a strict meter. This is my first attempt at a Sapphic ode.


For more works by this author see Phyllis Doyle Burns on The Creative Exiles.
and Phyllis Doyle Burns on HubPages

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Phyllis Doyle Burns

I am an author on TCE and write mainly in poetry and short stories. I have always liked to write. It is important to me that writing comes from my heart and soul. When writing poetry, if I do not feel a spiritual connection to what I am writing on, I will discard it and go on to something I can connect with on a spiritual level. I live in the moment, I write from the past or beyond the veil. When writing fiction I go with whatever inspires me at the moment - it could be funny, sorrowful, romantic or sometimes done with the use of colloquial language from mountain folk or other cultural regions. I began writing content online in 2007, starting with BellaOnline - A Voice For Women, where I was the Native American Editor, Folklore & Mythology Editor, and the Appalachian Editor. I also wrote articles for The Examiner, Daily Two Cents, and Yahoo. I am currently an author on HubPages. Most of what I write takes a lot of research and I love it. Even if it is a fictional story, I will research for accuracy in whatever it takes to make my characters, their era, their location, etc. become realistic to the reader. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for visiting.

6 thoughts on “Ode to Voices in Desert Sands

  • August 28, 2023 at 4:36 PM

    Phyllis I have not really made it to the sight to leave a proper comment. The story telling in this poem is spot on. Each movement of tale and thought moves smoothly from beginning to end. A poem only written by one who has ability and that is you my friend. Cannot wait to read what is coming next.

    • August 30, 2023 at 9:57 AM

      Jamie my friend your words have lifted my spirit and have encouraged me to write more often for TCE. I have been very busy writing for contests and working on a book (memoir) and have not yet been able to get control of my time management. You just made me realize that I need to schedule my time more closely. Thank you for inspiring me. Take care.

  • October 4, 2023 at 8:12 PM

    The timelessness of Desert Sand speaks to your heart and to ours. We feel the renewing of your spirit once again as you hear his voice once again out in the Desert Sand. Seems like his voice returned to you when it seemed you were at the point of giving up or not going further on. Well Done.

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