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Desert Songs

Desert Songs

Poems by Virginia Mudd & Clifford Burke
Monoprints by Virginia Mudd

This work is dedicated to the Galisteo Basin of Northern New Mexico, where we lived for many years. It is a tribute, in image and word, to the endangered life treasures of silence, solitude and wilderness. This accordion fold book was handset in Bell types and printed by letterpress. The monoprint image of the Ortiz Mountains was printed from hand-inked blocks, requiring four passes through the press. Each one is different; most skies are shades of blue, like the banner at the top of this page. The binding is made up of boards covered with Mexican bark paper.

Eight pages, including covers, 4 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches
The thrill of a little fear; lightning that close!
& all around, thunder in the bowl,
mountains present, invisible presence,
electric sky rumbles & falls,
the sages glow blue green.
dots of dark pinyon & verdant juniper
fade away in the mist
& rustle of a deluge on dry land.

The heart's electric, synapses crackle
& the very lymph flows hot in wet air.
Nerves & muscles lose their ground;
the silent light, the steady racket of the rain.

The mind goes out, this body
a part of Earth's body,
muscle & synpase & song.

Also printed:
Dream, Song, and Silence