Special Guest Editor: Tony Drewry

Cottonwood Dreamin' and Whispering Winds

by Spencer Millsap

Photos by Spencer Millsap

Cottonwood Dreamin’

It was a late summer night, the full moon was bright

When I saw him.

Dark against the sky, a silhouette and eyes,

And He called me, The Coyote.

Off into the black without lookin’ back

I followed.

He was a lowly shapeshifter, a-desert dwellin’ trickster,

Who said, “Trust me — Wait and see.”

So we wandered far-off to a distant land full of hoodoo spires made of ancient sand.

I couldn’t even believe what I was seein’

---- I was surrounded by swells of a long lost sea

Swirlin’ ‘round with that coyote floatin’ next to me.

Then I knew: I must be cottonwood dreamin’.

Now the desert was alive. With a tingle in my spine,

I walked onward.

Each step erased. No path to retrace.

In This Unknown, my mind blown!

As the stars led the way, I finally had to say,

“Hey Coyote, where are we?”

“We’re close to the start, but a billion years apart from what you know.”

Then time slowed

And I knew I must be, cottonwood dreaming

All alone in a sea of green, cottonwood dreaming

Always searching for that life giving tree, cottonwood dreaming

Drifting far, far away from that coyote, I'm always cottonwood dreaming

Whispering Winds

The day slows down

Coolness calms the earth:

This Sacred Dirt.

Night creeps out

Off to do its work with a wicked smirk.

In this far-off land, I beckon to the beasts


Darkness overhead, it’s let off of its leash

To wander free.

Stillness settles in,

The air electrified with wild eyes

The symphony begins, the Beast now alive with all his pride.

I should have known what forces worked unseen.

Those whisperin’ winds blowin’ in are coming for me.

But I’ll never know what calls me from the breeze.

Only those whisperin’ winds blowin’ in

Can know what’s next for me.

With flash and fury, it shakes me to my core, a mighty storm.

The earth shifts below me and says I have been warned,

Just this once more.

It’s almost over.

The tired weary beast, all bolts released,

Gives a final wave approaching with his last lingering piece

Just for me.

I should have known what the whisperin’ winds had fated for me.

Cottonwood Dreaming.m4a

Cottonwood Dreamin'

Whispering Winds.m4a

Whispering Winds

Spencer Millsap is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker based in Washington state. His primary focus is on documentaries, be it environmental, cultural, or adventure travel. Millsap, a native Texan from Granbury, has been building an off-grid home in Terlingua since his first trip to the Big Bend opened his eyes to the natural wonders, solitude and seemingly endless energy source for creative expression.

After life as a Master Plumber turned expert beer consultant, Tony Drewry has spent the better part of the last ten years exploring in great depth the wild backcountry of Texas, Mexico, and the American Southwest, before landing in the Big Bend region of Far West Texas and Northern Mexico for an extended period. In this time, he's honed his photography while capturing some of the most beautiful scenery and nature that this world has to offer. While the adventures continue, he has begun to share visually some of his favorite captures across multiple mediums, and orally through spoken word and song. He's said that the Big Bend stole his heart at its first chance, but that was the beginning of much more. So stay tuned. His website is Tony is the Music & Lyrics Editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine.