Ambling Through the Desert in Late Spring


Two mallards
Shimmering in their emerald green feathers,
Skid to a stop along a stretch of canal
That winds through a desert morning.
Some days it looks as though they’re landing on clouds
Mirrored on a water runway, but not today
When the sky unfurled a clean slate.
No tricks with reflections, just the soft whoosh
From the long glissade of webbed feet on water,
Leaving a duckling that got away from its parents
Floating lazily over their rippled wake.

These mornings, walking in a silence
Free of human busyness and drone of traffic
Bear their gifts; all these birds of praise
Singing the sun up from its eastern perch,
And the industry of bees humming amid
The yellow catkins that hang softly
In the shady mesquites.

The fluent language of mockingbirds,
Cardinal songs, a lone dove in a thorny
Ironwood laden with lavender blossoms,
Laughing grackles, and scratchy-throated Cactus Wrens
Draw one into a world that so many miss
For lack of attention, for hurrying through
A life filled with preconceived destinations and
Notions of attainment. Arrival, where?
Attainment, what’s that?

By Cynthia Sidrane

Desert Ambling


As a desert and mountain dweller and avid hiker, Cynthia Sidrane‚Äôs poetry and photography are contemplative reflections of the wild, remote and rugged beauty of Arizona deserts, and the Sky Island mountain ranges that rise like miracles from them. Her poems have been published online and in print, including two short-form poetry anthologies: “Pay Attention, A River of Stones,” and “A Blackbird Sings.” Visit her at Poetry of Stone and Light
Photo by Eugene Tochilin

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