Coloradoan Lessons


Having snapped uncomfortable social ties,

Having given up my job, I broke out of those chains of slavery,

As I strolled down the dusty outskirts of Denver,

Happy vacationers waved and jeered at me,

Sights of their vehicles painted bright green, red, yellow and blue,

Signaled towards life,

Towards peace,

Towards the real me,

Green-flagging my plans of self-discovery…


I hitch-hiked to the Slab City,

Saw them parked, saw them party,

I got my share of pretty pretty stares,

I know I was here, this was my road, my destiny…

They told me, beyond this, lies the unending desert of Colorado,

Where’s you water? Where’s your food?

Miles of uninhabited baked terrain,

Would kill you hungry, would kill you dry,

Hey kid, you really got to worry…

I smiled, as I thought,

Back at Denver,

I had everything, I wasn’t dying,

No one tried killing me,

But where was the happiness?

Let’s try finding it, one more time.

In scarcity, in adversity…

Stepping close to the salvation mountain,

I looked back, only to confirm their ant-like traces,

From here I was alone,

In the hands of nature,

I closed my eyes, felt the blowing sand kiss my cheeks,

As I read that painted saying,

‘God Never Fails’…

Amidst the scorching wilderness,

Standing empty-handed, with the shirt on my shoulder,

I could see miles of chocolate land,

Pitted miserly with creosote bushes, and the Cholla Cactus,


My hike was cut short, as I stood looking into eyes of the desert’s life,

Inhaling hard, the tailed-horn lizard seemed proclaiming its territory,

Lying on his oval base, it showcased its pointed scales,

I could see eight sharp horns on its head,

They were rising, getting ready,

Ii trembled in fear, tried looking off those blood-shot eyes,

With not a soul around,

I prayed to get away, my heart craved a ride.


I could hear the reptile declare,

“Like my desert, happiness is unfathomable in itself,

Scares like me will always be there,

It is your steps, that’ll take you past,

To the farthest corners of life,

Where glee prevails, and sadness fades away fast…

I surrender to the Lizard king, then and there,

With a thud, my hip hits the ground beneath,

Looking up at the gleaming skies, I see the vulture hovering in despair,

There was no death around, no calamity,

The bird got it wrong this time,

For it’s a soul full of life,

A soul that won the arid wilderness,

A free soul, full of life,

On its way to embrace happiness, contentment and the truth, permanently…



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