Desert Winds

There are many names
for the schizophrenic squalls
that scream over the sand
and suddenly hide the sun
with an opaque veil.
The breeze that brings a rippled surface
and moves the scattered crystals
in fluid form
to change the sandscape
and liquefy the drifting dunes.
Streams of sand quartz
cascade in avalanche tongues
which swallow the slopes
and design new surfaces
of ridged ribs,
gridded by a side-winding snake.
Surface sand-dance storms
submerge all life forms.
Scavenged by sun rays
seared by the fireball
sweltered by heat
she beckons your corpse
and sacrifices another soul
to the Sahara.

The desert people
in their cool blue robes
speak of—the Jinni—
who they see in the wind
and the stars;
a shimmering sand phantom
who can take human form
and shape your fate.
A capricious spirit
whose spells confuse the travellers
and trap them in
the suffocating sand.

Smiling, she sardonically reveals skeletons
from her previous storms.
At sunset she swirls in a spiral course
and seeks the silver shine
of moonlight
to paint the luminescent dunes,
and seal your eyes
with bewitched starlight.
The enchantress of the sand queendom
lights a cold flame
in the souls of men.