1 SONG OF THE LOST
I was so proud and arrogant,
I would never ask for direction.
So I lead an errant
life and lost my connection.
Then I lost my way
in this desert though I had no intention
other than a day
led me astray.
I could no longer find anything
that would bring me back to civilization.
out here but rocks and barbed vegetation
that cuts my skin.
What a terrible situation
I found myself in.
I can’t say anymore
what I thought would happen
I wandered out here.
I think I longed for
a chance to clear
in this desert I held so dear.
I never thought I would wind
up lost and alone
unable to find
any signal for my cell phone.
The vultures circle above me
waiting to pick my bone.
I know they can see
that I am beginning to tire.
Even a coyote
is watching me perspire
waiting for a chance
to feast on me when I expire.
So I struggle to advance
across the vast
Knowing that my water won’t last
much longer and
I’m well past
the point of no return. I had not planned
on camping overnight
but. across the land,
is beginning to fade.
So I fight
my way up a steep grade
hoping I can get a view
of something manmade,
but I can see nothing new
from up high
so I take off a shoe
and shake out the rocks and dust. Finally, I
climb inside an wind cave.
Then I lie
down knowing that no one is coming to save
I pray this desert doesn’t become my grave.
2 SONG OF THE GRAVE
A fitful sleep took
me on the rocks.
I woke and I shook
the dust from my socks.
I wondered if I would ever find my way out
or if this wind cave would become my pine box.
I wandered about
aimlessly in this barren frontier.
I gave a shout
loud and clear
but my own echo
was all I would hear.
I did not know
How did I get myself into this position?
I couldn’t believe what I had done?
I should’ve stayed back in the air condition.
I should’ve never left Tuscon.
I was losing my mind
from being in the city so long.
I came out here to find
only to wind
up desperate to get back to the city.
I kept searching for a
way out of this cruelty.
I walked mile after mile through the wilderness of Cabeza Prieta,
but I found
nothing to point me the way out of dilemma.
Then I head a strange sound
of something being crushed in my stead.
I looked to the ground
and found a stone that read,
“Edward Paul Abbey – 1927-1989 - No Comment”
Then a voice boomed out and said,
“I don’t know who sent
you this far out into nowhere.
My loved ones spent
some effort to care
what’s left of me down there.
I suggest you leave before
You already woke
my ghost. Now go and let me be!”
“I didn’t mean to evoke
such anger and, Mr. Abbey,
I never wanted to raise the dead!
Though I can’t say if what I’m hearing is reality
or if I’m out of my head!
It could be a delusion
caused by being so dehydrated.”
“Don’t call me an illusion,
Just because my life has reached its conclusion
doesn’t mean I’m through.”
“Okay. Okay. I’m sorry.
What can I do
to apologize for making the mistake of walking over your body?”
“The voiced answered, “I don’t give a shit
about that which used to be me.
You can piss on it
and give life to the plants that grow above.
Just have some respect
for the love
in the decoration of
“I am sorry. I must say
but perhaps you can save
me some trouble and point me the way
out of this mess?
This is my second day
out here and my situation looks hopeless!”
“You’re lost because you’re a damn fool!
I should leave you to your fate for being so thoughtless.
The desert is most cruel
to those who show no respect
for it’s rule.”
I answered, “I was just trying to reconnect
with nature and get out into the open air.”
Then I changed the subject,
“Why is this place your ghostly lair?
What about Heaven and the resurrection?
Shouldn’t you be up there?”
“That’s a laugh! Though I’m sure it gave many a priest an erection
to think that when they were dead
they would meet a god of their own reflection!
I’m sorry to say you were misled
into believing such tripe.
Those books you read
were nothing but hype.
I’ve been dead for years now and, for what its worth,
I’ve seen nothing of the type.
People should remember where they were given birth.
Cursed are those that worship the god in the sky
and neglect the Earth.
Mother Earth alone judges those who die.”
“So what you’re saying, I trust,
is that the Earth where our bodies lie
is the one judging us! I suppose that would be just
but with our conduct
if the Earth claims our souls when we bite the dust
we are most certainly fucked!”
3 SONG OF THE POOL
“Come along with me”, Abbey said.
“Perhaps it is best
that I take you to the Land of the Dead
and you can return to tell the rest
that the planet
of the fate of those that messed
“I would rather go home instead.
If you would let
me. The Land of the Dead
The voice said,
“I’m afraid it’s too late.
The only way
home is through Death’s Gate.
You can stay
out here and die for sure
or you may
come with me on this tour.”
Abbey led me near
water hole bottomless and clear.
I thought it had to be mistake,
a mirage that would surely disappear.
I went up to it and I saw a rattlesnake
that made me stop.
I tried not to make
any sudden moves even though I was about to drop
Then the snake slithered across the top
of the water hole and went in head first.
I went up to that mysterious place
and wondered if it was cursed.
I washed the dust from my face
thankful it was no illusion.
Never had water had a more sweet taste,
but when I gazed into the pool it wasn’t my reflection
that appeared to me,
Instead, it was an apparition
of my childhood dog, Dusty.
“Dusty!” I shouted into the pool
to the collie
that once waited for me every day after school.
My faithful dog barked and wagged his tail.
Back when I was a child and wandered out into the woods like a fool
he would always lead me back to the trail.
I was so comforted by his vision,
I felt I would not fail
on this mission.
“This is the way”, Abbey said.
Somehow I understood the situation
and I knew where my destiny led.
I held one last breath inside
and dove into pool and shed
my mortal skin and swam to the other side.
4 SONG OF THE ENTRANCE
After I dove in I left my body behind.
It became fine sand and drifted away.
I had become nothing but mind
and something I cannot say.
I swam towards a light
that pointed the way.
It was quite
I surfaced right
before Ed Abbey who was waiting at the entrance.
“There is no way to prepare
you or build up your resistance
to the horrors you will find there.
It is a land of dread
filled with the foulest water and air.
There is the place for the worst of the dead.”
I took a whiff and I nearly fell
the odor was so wretched.
I could tell
was going to be hell!
“Where on Earth are we?
This it is not the stuff
they taught me about in Geology.”
“That’s because you didn’t dig deep enough.
We’re at the entrance
and from here it gets rough.
Your best chance
is to stay close to my side.
This is where the Earth punishes the arrogance
of all the men and women who died
and had the bad habit
of being so blind
that they treated the Earth like a toilet.”
I replied “I can tell already from this awful smell
that I am about to enter a world of shit.”
“Yes, it is truly hell
though not like some have planned.
Most here don’t know why they fell
and they’ll never understand.
Many cry for the angels to come down
and lend a hand.
But no angels are to be found
and all their cries are in vain.”
So we continued further underground
following a drain
and coming up from below
we terrible cries of pain.
5 SONG OF THE CROWD
We came to a door
we could hear inside it was very loud
but I couldn’t imagine the horror
we would find when we plowed
inside and found
such a massive crowd.
In this huge cavern, massive and round,
I struggled to get air.
My heart began to pound.
Oh how I wanted to get out of there!
People were pushing and shoving with all their weight
but they weren’t getting anywhere.
Some were screaming. Some were in a frenzied state.
Some clawed each other but no matter how much they fought
they could not escape their fate.
They seemed to be forever caught
in this awful place.
I struggled to move forward but it was all for naught.
There was simply no space!
What I didn’t notice at first
was that I standing on somebody’s face!
Of all those poor souls so horribly cursed,
those down there below
had it the worst.
But that was not the end of this horror show.
The face I was standing on was standing on another’s face!
Down and down it seemed to go
as if their was no end to this place.
And more were coming in
and filling up what was left of the space.
Abbey said, “Better start climbin’
if you want to survive.
The way this place is fillin’
we’re soon to be buried alive!”
I scrambled up to the top
of the massive hive.
“We have to move fast and don’t stop
at all cost.
If you drop
into this crowd, all will be lost!”
As I stood up on someone’s head
I asked, “Why are all these poor souls being tossed
in this pit of dread?”
“Most of those who get this sort of reception
are people who were misled
They thought that the human seed
was sacred without exception
and that the Earth was there to submit to their greed
even though the present population
is far more than we need.
And the preachers who preached every ejaculation
was sacred are cursed to an even worse fate
with all the copulation
adding to the weight
that they will have to bear.
Way down below you can hear them pray to God the Great
but he either doesn’t care
or their prayers are swallowed
and never reach His ear
because this place is so loud!
I’ve heard that at the bottom of this
was the author of the Book of Genesis.”
I replied, “I remember that bit.
I think the author was supposed to be Moses!”
“Well,” Abbey answered, “whoever he was he was a lousy shit
for telling people to
‘replenish the Earth and subdue it’”
I confessed, “If I ever make it through
and tell people about this
it’s likely to brew
trouble and piss
a lot of people off. They’ll hate me
for telling them how it is.”
Abbey answered, “Fuck them! Those people live to be angry
and think they have to die
to be happy.”
The pile got so high
we were up to the ceiling.
Abbey and I
had the feeling
that this crowd would keep growing and never stop
and we would meet an end most unappealing.
Then Abbey found a trap door and we came out the top.
6 SONG OF THE ANTEROOM OF CONSUMPTION
Then we found
ourselves in a great open place.
Above it was a giant video screen with no sound
showing a mouth stuffing its face.
All around was a captive audience
trying to keep pace.
They were feasting on some substance
that was never gone.
None of them were wearing pants
and they never objected to the show that was on.
At first, I didn’t notice it
but something was definitely wrong.
They were all sitting on a toilet
and I was suddenly overwhelmed by the smell
of all their shit.
I cried, “Now this is really hell!
What is that horrible shit they eat?
Why do they feast until
they are so fat you can’t even see their feet?”
“They are those who just let life pass by
and let their life remain incomplete.
No will to really live. Too lazy to die.”
“So they spend eternity in this hall
never even blinking an eye
as they watch this endless commercial?”
Abbey answered, “They don’t ever miss
a moment or do anything at all.
So they sit in this abyss
with shit and piss
their meal is so bland.
but they keep right on going.”
I shook my head, “I don’t understand.”
“They were given life but they wasted it.
Obeying their TV’s one command,
‘Consume!’ Someday they’ll eat so much they’ll overflow their toilet
and they will be over their head
They would certainly drown if they weren’t already dead.”
7 SONG OF THE GREAT FLATULENCE
As the audience continued stuffing their face
with more and more and more.
We searched the place
looking for a door.
When we finally found the exit
we were looking for,
I said to Abbey “I bet
it only gets worse!”
“You’re right and I hope you can handle it.
This is a pretty tough course”
he said as the door swung
open with great force.
There was a long ladder leading down. When I stepped on the first rung
the awful smell
of fresh dung
was so bad I nearly fell.
I couldn’t believe
that the stench could get worse in this hell.
I begged for a reprieve.
The stench was so thick
I began to dry heave.
“I need to get off this ladder quick!”
I had to shout
“This air is making me sick!”
Then I looked about
and the horrors I saw had such a impact
that I passed out.
For a moment everything went black.
Though this horror was so extreme
in an instant I was back
amidst woke by an awful scream.
Abbey said, “You don’t want to lose consciousness in
this awful dream!”
I don’t know how to begin
to describe what was happening around us.
There were wretched souls lifted by their sin
towards a giant anus.
There are no words
to describe horrors so tremendous.
tore off their clothes and ripped through the skin.
The smell caused them to puke and shit out runny turds.
I asked Abbey “What awful sin
is causing these poor souls such dispair?”
He answered “The reason
they are held up there
as if suspended on a wire
is because they sinned against the air.
one floats the worse the soul.
They are the ones who tried to set the world on fire
with money being their only goal.
For their crimes they have a place
reserved for them where that giant asshole
is forever farting in their face.
Most are from the 20th Century
and they filled the sky with waste.
The ones up high were men of industry
who once owned factories
and never once thought about the bird or the tree
they were poisoning. The lower ones once owned SUVs
but never left town.
They just used them to buy groceries.”
All I knew is that I wanted to get down
and get down fast.
I didn’t want to be around
the next time that asshole lets loose another blast!
The smog was so thick
I couldn’t see past
my next step but as I went down I felt less sick
Then something grabbed my back.
It was so quick
I didn’t have time to react.
It pulled me off the ladder and down we went.
I thought I was in for a freefall but, in fact,
that which grabbed me was slowing my descent.
I heard a woman’s voice crying
for help and when I bent
so I could see her, there was no denying
it was with a wretched and naked soul
of a woman that I was flying.
As we descended away from that awful asshole,
I could finally see that this awful world
was a giant toilet bowl
and below me fetid waters swirled!
The woman screamed, “Please help me!
I don’t know why I was hurled
into this place. The last thing I remember I was driving my humvee
to the mall.
I got the big vehicle for safety.
It was four wheel drive after all!
I paid no mind to the snow
and I slid off the road into the wall!
Still, I don’t know
why I wound up in this place
where this cruel wind blows
terrible farts in my face!”
I yelled back, “You’re paying for all that exhaust!
You’re a disgrace!
We have to pay a heavy cost
for our greed.
And now you’re lost
here because you drove a huge vehicle that you didn’t need!”
Then terrible birds set upon her
and I was freed.
“Now”, I thought, “I am truly done for!”
because I was in a freefall
and the dark water below would surely take me under!
8 SONG OF THE SEA
Just as I was about to crash
I took one last breath.
Then I hit the water making a tremendous splash
and plunged into it’s depth.
I was sure
I was about to meet Death.
and that would be the end of my tour.
I went down so far on my dive
I was nearing the ocean floor.
There were no fish. Nothing was alive.
With garbage scattered everywhere
it was easy to see how nothing could survive.
Then I saw horrible ghosts that gave me such a scare.
Disfigured and monstrous souls drifted along.
When they saw me, they decided to share
with me their song.
“We were once rich and held in great renown
from doing the ocean wrong.
But we are weighed down
but all our profit
so now we drown
in this Sea of Shit!”
Then I felt something grab a hold of me
and realized that I was caught in net
and being pulled out of the sea.
Some of the singing ghosts were caught as well
and we all struggled to get free.
The ghosts were gasping and I could tell
that they could not breathe in the air.
Then the net opened and we fell
onto the deck and the poor souls were left struggling there.
Strange fishermen were pushing them into the hold.
They had gills for lungs and scales for hair.
I got up and was just able to avoid being bowled
into that icy pit
so dark and so cold.
I knew if I fell in that would’ve been it.
The fishermen paid no mind to me
and on the deck to give me shit
“You’re lucky you didn’t drown
in that awful sea.
That water is so polluted, so brown,
I never thought
I’d be able to track you down.”
“I never thought it was luck to be caught.
Not even for a minute
when was I brought
up in that cruel net!”
The water was so savage
I couldn’t believe it.
The surface was covered in garbage.
Pitiful souls were struggling in the scum
covered in nets, plastic bags, and raw sewage.
While some were caught in the flotsam,
others struggled in the oil slick.
Watching these poor souls succumb
to such horrors was enough to make me sick.
There was a whale spearing a soul with a harpoon gun.
Huge ships were dumping more poisons rancid and thick
by the ton.
As the trawler brought in another net,
I wondered what these poor souls could’ve done
to deserve this shit.
“They all thought so vast was the ocean
they could use it as a toilet
to wash away their sin.”
9 THE SONG OF THE BEACH
I was thankful to set my feet upon land
though what a horrible land it was.
I saw feet sticking out of the sand.
Abbey told me the cause.
“They were once leaders, politicians, and scientists.
They saw the writing on the walls but didn’t pass any laws.
The Earth wasn’t among their interests
even though the evidence was in their hand.
Instead, they fought against the environmentalists
so now their heads are forever buried in the sand.”
There were so many buried inverted
that their moans could be heard through the land.
“See how the world perverted
these men of education and class.
They could have alerted
the people but they preferred to simply pass gas.
I guess, all you can smell is shit
with your head so far up your ass.”
At this point I wanted to quit.
I was cold
This journey was getting old.
All I wanted was to reach
the end of this road.
“The Earth still has much to teach”,
Abbey told me, “There is still much to do
beyond this beach.
Unfortunately for you
the only way out
So don’t pout
you haven’t seen the worst!
We will learn about
so many others who are cursed
as we go down.”
“So where to first?”
I asked as I took a look around
there were poor souls
washed up on the beach. I found
some half man half fish caught in six pack holes.
Others were struggling in black muck.
I could only guess what roles
they played in life that brought them such bad luck.
This was no beach for romantic
walks. There were dirty diapers, broken glass, hypodermic needles that stuck
out of the sand. All sorts of plastic
garbage strewn everywhere
and all I could hear was tragic
cries of despair.
Just when I was beginning to feel
this was all too horrible to bear,
we saw something even more surreal.
I was a soul of a vain woman recently dead
trapped in the body of a seal
being clubbed in the head.
The hunter, with a seal’s head and a body of a man,
threw the carcass into a truck bed.
This bizarre world had a plan
I was beginning to understand
that the way things ran.
Nature had the upper hand!
10 SONG OF THE GATED COMMUNITY
Condominiums lined the beach, of course,
but I couldn’t imagine a view
that could be any worse.
“Apparently, even this hell has its privileged few!”
I said with bitter emotion.
“I guess you can take it with you!”
Abbey answered, “I wouldn’t get the notion
that hell is another plutocracy!
Don’t let those condos along the ocean
inspire some jealousy.
Look closer you will find
it is not hypocrisy.
Even though there’s a golf course behind
and swimming pools,
it is only there to remind
of what used to be.
The condos are full of frightening ghouls
and they’re terribly shabby.”
The door was open wide
and I told Abbey
I didn’t want to find out what was inside.
He insisted going in and I followed.
There we found frightened souls trying to hide
and shit overflowed
from every sink
and every commode.
There was a terrible stink
coming from the walls
and the lights started to blink.
Alligators roamed the halls
and we saw one devouring a shade without impunity.
“These poor souls never answered nature’s calls.
They thought all their money and their gated community
would protect them from the Earth’s fate
but, instead, they found no immunity
when it all went to hell and it was too late.”
Just then the floor caved
under the alligators weight
revealing more frightened souls praying to be saved
in the basement below.
Abbey just waived
and said it was time to go.
11 SONG OF THE COUNTRY CLUB
The country club was especially strange.
It had clean pools and a green lawn.
It was well kept from the tennis courts to the driving range.
The pond had a white swan
with no will to fly.
When the sprinklers came on
there was no doubt why.
It was desert all around
and the air was hot and dry.
We walked across the saturated ground
towards the river
where we heard a terrible sound.
When we reached the bridge, the sight made me shiver
when I peered down
and saw damned souls quiver
and flop in a riverbed bone dry and brown.
They made hoarse
screams as they drown.
What made it worse
was that instead of a hand or foot they had a fin
and even if they managed to flop all the way up to the golf course.
Fish headed men would golf them back in.
“The way we use water seems quite perverted
if not a sin.
So much gets diverted
for things we do not need.
Golf courses, swimming pools, and fountains inserted
in the desert so typical of our greed.
We drain the lake. We drain the river
to support our hollow creed
that the Earth is only here to deliver
us every luxury.”