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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #47

Emil Orlik (German, 1870 – 1932) Oasis in the Desert. c.1913

Drypoint and roulette printed in light brown on laid cream paper

11.7 × 19.8 cm (4 5/8 × 7 13/16 in.) sheet: 19.9 × 28 cm (7 13/16 × 11 in.). Courtesty of the National Gallery of Art open access


We have come to a place

in the desert where water is life,

to replenish spirit. Here,

things are calm

yet glinting—sunlight

off mirror, off silver

knife edge. Sand is sculpted

into dunes and divots. Sky

blue. Everything mirage.

But there are trees, some respite

from heat that twists Dali-like,

bends, flattens, shifts

shapes, and melts things away.

No sandstorms. No dehydration.

Thirsts quenched. No

restlessness or starvation.

No despair. Our lives not

mere dropping grains

of sand through hourglass.

Not this moment.

No, not now.

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