“Distant Lights of Olancha Recede” by Harold Budd

Distant Lights of Olancha Recede

The boy, my boy
Lets the full charge fly
The sound is masked by the rolling thunder peeling off the Sierras

Late desert evening, getting black, getting feral
The kilns haven’t felt fire for a hundred years, but the boy lets another one go
Pushed backed by the recoil, and another one
The slug hits the dirt and splinters of lead have a life of their own as the thunder sends signals of yes and no
You belong but you don’t belong
Fat owl changes cottonwoods, staring

Twenty year old boots scrunch the sand as the rains are only yards away
Red packed highway going east to Keeler
Distant lights of Olancha recede in the caked mirror
An hour and a half to Four Corners, then we’re home, boys
A day and a half, then we’re home, boys
A year and a half, a century
Then we’re home


Harold Budd, 1936–2020

“Distant Lights of Olancha Recede” from By the Dawn’s Early Light
© 1991 by Harold Budd

Photo by Frankie Lopez on Unsplash

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