A service for Warren Bates: A wild horse in the Mojave

Our friend and newspaper colleague Warren Bates was remembered Sunday morning at a gathering at the Springs Preserve.

In addition to being a fine writer and editor at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he was a musician, songwriter, and remarkable photographer who specialized in capturing haunting images from the Mojave Desert. He was eulogized by City Editor Mary Hynes.

At one point, Warren’s cousin, Victor Dean Lillo of Canada, read “The Rider” by poet Sarah Manguso.

After weaving thoughts about life and death from mathematical and Biblical perspectives, the poem ends with,

The equations are drawn in the shapes of horses:

Horses covered in equations.

I am tempted to hook an ankle around the world

as I ride away.

For I am about to rise far beyond the low prarie of

beginnings and endings.

The line reminds me of one by a very different artist, Los Angeles street poet Charles Bukowski, who once wrote, “The days run away like wild horses over the hills.”

Warren’s ashes were spread inside the Mojave Desert Preserve, a magical place he visited often and an area that has seen its share of wild horses both real and fantastic.

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