Arizona Desert Rain...A Poem



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.

Greasewood heavy-laden

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.


Copyright by Don Gray


Don Gray Art  •  Poems