For those of us who are struggling with life in Arizona, we know it’s a depressing place. There are so many things that peck away at our souls while living in Arizona. Perhaps it’s the “zombification” taking effect, forcing us deeper into denial of the fact we live in a desolate desert.
I took a look at poetry about Arizona, and found their words to be incredibly sad and serve as good depictions of how I often view the desert. Just a quick note, I do not intend to improperly post any of these poems. I have given proper credit to the authors and the sources.
Dance of the Dust Witches
Are you not weary,
O desert dust witches?
I cannot see who waltzes with you
In close embrace–
But your lips meet hotly in kisses,
Your hair is disheveled,
Your ribbons are flying,
Your skirts are in tatters.
The music you dance to–
It comes from fiddles bewitched.
Stretched out from both my hands
Lie the parched, arid lands,
Thirsty and dry and bare,
Fanned by a furnace air;
Serrate against hard skies
Their mistless mountains rise,
Or, in the distance seen,
Glow with an opal sheen,
Violet, and blue, and rose,
Their gorgeous color flows,
Or ochre, orange, chrome,
Against a turquoise dome;
While the heat haze between
Vibrates, a hueless screen;
The sand around my feet
Glares in the sun’s fierce heat.
Drifted and driven apace
It knows no resting place;
Despite the awful drought
Weird cacti writhe about,
And Spanish dagger sheaves
Spread out their fleshy leaves–
But here the faint heart clings
To any hope of springs–
Ah! here may vain ears strain
For blessed, dripping rain–
And here may burned eyes glare
On many a mirage fair:–
Far from all human reach
Lost bones may bare and bleach–
Stretched out from both my hands
Lie the parched, arid lands.
Song of the Sand Storm
by: Andrew Downing
I am the pitiless Sand Storm,
The whelp of a tameless breed–
My dam the desert, my sire the air;
I stealthily come from my shadowy lair,
And away, and away I speed!
I lie in the sun on the mesa
Outstretching my yellow length;
I drowse and I purr in a tigerish way,
Then suddenly leap on my terrified prey
With more than a tiger’s strength!
I scar the cliffs in my fury,
Effacing their ancient runes;
I polish the skeleton bones that lie
Unnoted, unburied–and scurrying by,
Heap higher the gray sand dunes.
The arrogant sentinel mountains
Make challenge–yet little I reck;
And vainly the obdurate cactus sets
In my pathway a million bayonets–
It never my course can check.
The pace of the caravan quickens
At the thought of my wild caprice;
And the thunder rouses and beats his drums
To tell the world that the Sand Storm comes–
And the songs and the laughter cease!
According to the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) website, Arizona received a D+ for its mental health. Suicide is the leading cause of death in Arizona, and it’s not surprising to me at all.
Sure, the winters are nice because it resembles spring. But dealing with 5-6 months of 100+ degree weather really wears on your body and soul. Combine the heat with a desolate landscape, it’s no wonder people are sad here.
No Arizona provides information about Arizona and reveals the truth about life in the desert based on facts and observations.
Want to know more about Arizona that you can’t find elsewhere?
Like us on facebook!
Follow us on Twitter!
Follow us on Tumblr!
Receive updates to your inbox by signing up for email updates to get the latest articles!