“Makhtesh” by Brandon Marlon

Makhtesh – Hebrew: Vast Crater; a geographical phenomenon found in Israel’s Negev Desert

Havelock-clad hikers short on victuals
clamber down rugged cliff-side trails
into sere lowland bowels,
surveying the breathtaking moonscape,
a rocky emptiness of abundant calm
where humans and beasts seek refuge.

Within the tan expanse rises a lone acacia,
improbably erect and robust,
like a hospitable proprietor
whose outstretched branches and foliage
tender shelter from the punishing midday sun
hovering as a despot overhead.

In these scarce hours of serenity,
when lambent cloudlets rove the ether,
mortal natures are liberally imbued
with the garland of grace,
enlivened senses adjust to bliss,
and unbecoming concerns are disremembered.

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