Arizona Sonoma Desert Museum
Landscape and Plants
Fred Whipple Observatory (5/23)
Kitt Peak Observatory (5/26)
Tombstone & Nearby
Tombstone, Arizona (5/25)
Boothill Cemetery (Tombstone) 5/25
Bisbee, Arizona (5/25)
Fairbank, Arizona (5/25)
Tucson & Nearby
Titan II Missile Museum (5/23)
Sabino Canyon, Coronado National Forest (5/26)
San Xavier Mission (5/26)
Tohono Chul Park (5/26)
Pima Air and Space Museum (5/27)
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Arizona Desert Rain...
Solemn, solemn is the world.
Rocks and trees deep-rooted stand,
fixed in broad and buxom earth,
twist and spread of limb and girth
in slanting, pouring rain.
Wind shakes the trees in ruffled stance
like misbehavior shoulder-grasped.
Lightning breaks, streaks earth and sky, sheet metal
tearing in a hurricane. Atmosphere thick, become opaque,
slashing rain and pelting hail
scribe the breadth and depth of air
in diagonal wild display.
Pocked and wrinkled water pools
the brown and tawny grit
in unaccustomed moisture sheen,
the desert never much like this;
colors rich and sodden green.
Palo verde trees, mesquite,
twisted by pressuring life and death,
fair days and foul, staunchly
unperturbed by blanching rain.
with blueberries of light
that drip and fall in harvest lush and ripe.
Great drops ride the prickly pear
like roller coasters upside down,
horses' saddles fallen under,
liquid tumors swollen large
that fall and burst upon the ground;
balloons aimed by bomb-sight kids
from second story windows.
The long rain ends, and rivulets
course the yard as larger washes
rage and roar, carve the desert sand.
The woodpecker's clarion call
duets with distant tractor
in cold air cleansed by recent rain.
Wind-whipped clouds like great black lids
reflect in grey-brown mirrors
strewn the length of desert path
my black dog ripples with her tongue.
Trails left by rushing waters
seem mile-wide deltas viewed eye-high,
black with iron ore dark as dog
whose claw-punched prints set right the scale
of tiny flows that minor rut to desert depths.
Bright, bright sky-filled light,
sun-scribed sparrow on a barbed-wire fence;
two javelina, shining hackles rise,
stand splay-footed, flat-nose test the wind.
Quartz gleams dazzle in glittering sand;
the thrasher's whistled succulence,
a juicy morsel well tasted.
The sun, a fiery, shattered orb,
destroys the black saguaro.