The Ghosts of Braffits Creek

I spent a day in the silence of our ranch, reliving some those experiences that still lurk on the outer edges of time and space. A supernatural wind howled and groaned, pushing cloudships across blue sky, and causing the empty ranch house to creak. Alone, I felt an intense euphoria as if something from the deep hills had come to pay me a visit! There’s a canyon nearby, Win Canyon, and Braffits Creek trickles down the left fork. The brush and undergrowth chokes the creek bottom, all the way up into the aspen and pine forests above. Braffits Creek may not seem like much, but to our family, it is somewhat sacred. We have stories that originate from there; even I have had personal experiences while hiking and exploring the area.

Braffits Creek is truly a strange place… My uncle and I came out of there late one summer night, with experiences that are hard to describe, like a child’s footprint in the middle of a mud bar near the creek, or the crazy laughter of an unknown animal rushing through the dense bushes. How do you describe those experiences? Will folks ever believe? In so many way, I’ve allowed those amazing experiences to fade into history.

Heart of the Great Basin

The stars stand bold against trees. The fire is dancing. The smoke drifts in my direction and soaks into my skin. This is a quiet moment in the Great Basin; where the little people roam the night. These individuals are knee tall. They move through the juniper mountains like ants. I can hear their whisperings, as they work in busy networks… preparing for what may come this way, someday… The thunder storms of summer claim these valleys and the thunderheads are in control. Bolts of lightning draw near, and slam the earth. At night the sky seems to clear, but the storms are like power houses, and linger late into the night.

You have to be careful of the little people. They are there. As I search up winding canyons, what surprises may be waiting? This is the middle of nowhere, which is a place for the remote few of us that desire such isolation. The wasteland may not seem like much to a lot of people, but they are afraid of it, and they hide in great cities. But when I visit their cities, I feel really lonely. When I journey out into the wild, it feels like I’m going home every time.

Going down dirt roads, my car eats the gravel. The dust comes in through the windows. I breathe the dirt road into my lungs, and the dust collects in the jungle of my scalp. Sage Brush, tall as trees, grows along the road and I love the smell of sage after a fresh cloud burst. Sometimes, when I’m driving across basin valleys late at night, I imagine those little people roaming around in the eternal hills. I cannot stop thinking about the mysteries of the rolling, Juniper-covered hills.

In my desert camp, I watch the fading sunset burn the low rising ridges and basin hills. Crowded Junipers greet the setting sun. Clouds ignite in orange, pink, red, and maroon, then purple. All colors silently fade without a noise, as the crickets serenade. Coyotes howl in the distance; thunder sounds somewhere far, far away. The stars come out like bold specks against the dark earth. It is not an evil dark, but a pure black darkness that haunts my imagination. It has provided many sleepless dreams.

Dreaming of the Afterlife

A boy sat outside the village
looking at the grave yard at the mesa’s edge.
“What ever happened to the dead?” he pondered.
“Are they living some where else far away?”

Skeletons walking around after
the day turns to night
inspires the boy to dream of
the darkness and deepness of rivers.

“Are the dead living somewhere else?”
Out on the mesa edge he prays every morning.
He prays, waiting for the sun to come up;
to come over and talk to him.

Every night, he dreams of the
medicine that will make him dead.
He wants to go see the corpse house. Please come.
The sound is making him old.
His dream for the crimson light is fading.

“Poem inspired from a Hopi story.”