Desperados

After an arduous drive from Albuquerque to North Carolina in the wake of ice-storm Titan, our return from the long trip to Las Cruces found us face to face with taxes and preparation for the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference. Now that that’s concluded, I can return to writing and woodworking!

There are still some writings I want to share from our time in Mesilla, New Mexico, where the veneers of modernity still offer a thin place to sense a life which still casts shadows and images into our own.

American culture is still permeated with the Hollywood images of the Wild West, of brave Indians and relentless cowboys, of bandits and flinty sheriffs. This leads us into the bizarre politics of guns and anarchy, as well as providing rich territory for historians to debunk the myths. The curio shops, however, depend on the images.

In Mesilla, it’s the trial of Billy the Kid, a fragment from a time of dislocation, poverty, and the lure of easy money.

A modest adobe building on the edge of the plaza housed the trial of Billy. The curios, souvenirs and local crafts inside can hardly give us a taste of the raw edges of life in the 19th century. But the building’s memories were enough to tweak my awareness.

Desperados

hopeless

ageless

oh so young

Billy

Butch

Kid

Jesse

Dancer

in the sun.

Gunned up in life

gunned down in death.

Yet we are fascinated

living in a world

depending on tomorrows

how they lived in face of death

suspended

without hope

a reckless

vile

freedom.