The world exists in a vacuum of sand and sun,
cut between wind and rock,
stained red and veined in black.
Above earth and under heaven mingle spirits,
painted purple, orange, and blue
by the fingers of the cycling Sun.
Heat breathes between ink night and bleached light
devouring mud, moist from desert rain.
But the pine buries white roots deep,
circumventing the Sun,
dipping into sweet water springs.
The world is vast,
sacred in its menace
and trusted to the few.
Pushed and pulled through the sand,
they wedge their toes between red cracks,
presiding across their their rigid earth.
Determined to stand between the mountains,
they rise with voices fronting the migrating heat.
But still, their four sacred watchmen
shutter their gazes, only blessing those within.
And beyond, the ones who were taken?
They press towards the sky:
burning brown irises for only a glimpse of
their kin through the Sun.
They are the People,
thrice and once born from under the earth
into a vacuum of sand and sun.