Curled Yucca Bark

Joshua Tree, CA (Artist Statement)

Curled Yucca Bark: Joshua Tree, CA, USA (2012) - Abstract photo of yucca bark, dried and curled upwards like flames

Fire had ripped through this desert hilltop in some past lifetime, and scars were still visible on the fragile skin. Burnt yuccas made strong silhouettes, twisted black wiry clusters. Crusted soil crunched underfoot as though the earth was made of tiny bones.

After hiking in the cold breeze and strong sun, I needed a place to rest my own thin skin. In the shelter of a burnt yucca, I suddenly saw an image of the fire in a split branch: bleached and yellowed, it curled upwards, consuming the plant above it, hungrier and growing larger. The phantom flame was smokeless, but I swore I could still see a heat ripple in the cold bluebird desert sky.

— Curled Yucca Bark: Joshua Tree, CA, USA (2012)

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© Mark Raymond Mason

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