Rough poem from Arizona

Years ago I wrote poetry, and I’ve been fiddling with it again over the last month or so.  Two poems have emerged whilst on holiday, and here’s one I just scribbled this morning, based on our drive last night from Tucson back to Phoenix.

 

“Night between Tucson and Phoenix”

 

Miles and cities and stars

all compete with truckers and truck stops

and night skies longing for a respite from heat, from scrub, from Pima cotton

grown in one of the driest places I have ever visited.

I thought the Princeton, California rice fields were odd.

Nothing prepared me for Pima cotton in the middle of the desert.

 

But in darkness cotton lies invisible,

as silent as mesquite trees and jutting rocks,

as yellow and purple flowers quietly decorating the highway.

All that remains is one of the darkest skies in my memories.

Stars shined halfway between Tucson and Phoenix, as if yet another

part of the country.

Phoenix is never hushed, but along I-10 a pitch-black

night overwhelms, subdues.

Big cities are too far away, miles of tarmac

broker two worlds.  I was in two worlds last night,

announced by hulking semi’s, their long cabs calling

the drivers to shut down and become

one with the night.  Fall into its blackness

and glory for a few hours.

The night only lasts a few hours.

The day lasts forever.

 

As we approached Phoenix, an eastern glow

beckoned, while the west remained cloaked in

black, beautiful night.  Black beautiful peace

was edgeless horizon to crescent moon with

an eyeless smile, noting the rightness of

stars’ correct placement in the universe.

In Phoenix stars are drawn by children

hoping for something glimpsed on holiday,

in books, as myths.

But halfway between Tucson and Phoenix, stars rule.

 

I’ve been listening to Endless Boogie’s “The Artemus Ward” and “The Montgomery Manuscript” as inspiration for this poem, and one other that has been written whilst on holiday.  Not sure what I’m going to do with them; if enough emerge, I might publish a collection.

Once I finish them, of course.  I feel like this one needs to be longer.  But for now, our last full day in Arizona, here’s a little of what’s on my mind…

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About Anna Scott Graham

I'm an independent poet and novelist in addition to sharing my life with a wonderful man, various kids, several hummingbirds, and a plethora of plants inside and out. View all posts by Anna Scott Graham

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