el baile

Patricia Bassel

On the llano where

a few cowboys hold out caressing

the reins with their calloused

hands.  Their leather skin brown like the

dirt and dust where they ride horseback

making a living working animals.

They call this back country where

coyotes reach the high notes.

Follow me. Chew on salvia leaves.

I will speak to the wind and stars

filling my pouch with ancient remedies

that soothe melancholy.

Full moon lights the path

through mesquite brush and

dry juniper.  Music of cricket sounds.

On this land where the old ways

burn bright in us like fire

we will talk story and dance.


Patricia Bassel is a teacher, traveler and poet from Southwest Oklahoma. Walking is a ritual for her around the world. And the world is her home but as a native of Oklahoma, she finds an austere beauty in the Great Plains, open spaces and the ancient boulders of the Wichita Mountains.