Arizona July 3, 2016 – by Sarah van Praag Leonard

Arizona July 3, 2016

Summer morning is not delicate in Arizona
Blatant sunrise, cymbals clanging a Sousa march,
cry of a Valkyrie warrior  Deserts and valleys
sizzle  A roadrunner stalks an indolent
scorpion  Quick attack  Its beak snaps shut


Mid morning  I walk Max down the hill
An eagle circles above, flying so high I
barely see the yellow beak, white feathers,
pure movement in a cloudless sky


Day unpeels like the skin of a snake,
translucent layers, revelations  My senses
heightened, I am a gun dog pointing  Morning
is a chorus, a blue and green ballad


Pungent dry pine needles, forest afternoon
Lupine and Indian Paint Brush blossom
Squirrels scurry up trees, chattering,
scolding intruders, cause pine cones
to rustle, drop  The wind susurrates
through branches, a comforting sound


Red-orange sunset explodes as I laze
on my porch  Bats flit from the eaves,
ravens dive bomb a squirrel, attempt
to hijack his acorns  The neighbor’s
beagle bays as a black cat scampers
through my yard  In the distance a
train whistle heralds arrival of the
Southwest Chief from Albuquerque
Destination – Union Station, L.A.









A Day In The Life Of



Tempus Fugit
Run hard, fast



Does the eagle see me?
Am I visible?



Each day a new song



Afternoon whispers




Evening glows, bustles
then darkens amidst
mournful sounds, Carpe diem

Will I die in L.A.? "Me morire
en Paris, en aguacero, un dia
cual tengo ya el recuredo" **
. . . perhaps the North Rim, 
Grand Canyon, if I'm lucky

**Caesar Vallejo
"Black Stone Over A White Stone"

Sarah van Praag Leonard is a poet who enjoys writing about the Southwest. She is a retired fitness professional (college teaching, private industry, U.S. Air Force) and her writing is influenced by movement, color, and the western landscape. Her home(s) are in Carefree, Arizona and Flagstaff, Arizona where she happily hikes with her large German Shepherd, Max.

Art: desert guidepost
Artist Statement: Wherever you go, there you are.