From a Reader: My Arizona, 'Tis of Thee

Christy Thomey | Chloride

From time to time, Arizona Highways receives poetry submissions — owing, at least in part, to the fact that we used to publish reader poems in the magazine. We no longer do that, but we do occasionally publish them on our blog. This is one of those occasions.

My Arizona, 'Tis of Thee
By DL Hubbard

I've known the look in the coyote's eye
And felt the pulse of the frightened hare.
When eagles soared in endless sky,
My senses quickly joined them there.

And while on paths down canyon walls,
Through echoed rays of frail light,
My thoughts, it seemed, made room for all
That freed my soul and bared my sight.

I've glimpsed beyond the stars at night,
On moon-swept ridges, perched my soul,
And with the owl's nocturnal flight,
I've feasted out of Nature's bowl.

Still, in my view of outer space,
No answers to the vast unknown;
Mere cosmic dust, within my place,
On this small earth that I call home.

Some warm and lazy afternoons,
I've watched the baby quails parade
Down sandy wash, with rippled dunes,
'Neath tender palo verde shade.

And on its bank, an ironwood grew,
A mighty fortress, countless years,
Encouraging me with what it knew
'Bout threatening storms that may appear.

When currents try to knock me down,
The same as with the grand, old tree,
The floods will soak into the ground,
And give new life and growth to me.

And buzzing rattler in his bush,
Or tucked beneath his pile of stone,
Has warned me it's unwise to push
Some things much better left alone.

Across the deserts, I have gazed,
Towards vistas to eternity,
Dismissing thoughts of numbered days
Or rational uncertainty.

Yet, on a mound from distant past,
With shards of pottery in the dirt,
I've been reminded nothing lasts,
For all returns to Mother Earth.

With countless treasures I abide,
They flood me with an earthly glee;
Like endless, ever-changing tide —
My Arizona, 'tis of thee.


Thank you for the great photo. It is so appropriate. Love the wide expanse of magnificent sky with the tiny deer silhouette.

Your poem sure captures a great sense of Arizona Donna!

Thank you, Heather. Your appreciation means so much to me.

This poem truly captures Arizona's wild beauty as only a longtime resident can understand. I, being a native Arizona desert rat, am especially touched by the wisdom of the old ironwood tree hanging on to the bank of a dry wash. Please protect Arizona's fragile natural balance and limit development.

Thank you, Michelle. Old people like me are always attempting to interject some wisdom.

Though I have never lived in Arizona, your poem helps me appreciate its special kind of beauty. Thank you for painting such a heartfelt picture.

Thank you for taking time to read it and for your words of encouragement.

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