I live in Central Arizona. Most of the world thinks that the entire state of Arizona is a huge desert, full of cactus and devoid of greenery, where temperatures soar into the hundreds in the summer. While that is true for Central and Southern Arizona, I can tell you that the northern part of the state is not like that. We get snow, cooler temperatures. There are forests and lakes to fish. And, when I was living in the northern part of the Arizona, I enjoyed summers of mild temperatures with only a couple of weeks out of the season with temperatures over one hundred degrees. It was heaven.

In the central part of the state, however, near the capitol of Phoenix, summers can reach temperatures of one hundred degrees and often more. Typically, the weather jumps from tolerable to something right next door to Hell, with Hell being the more preferable place to visit. I don’t do well in this kind of heat. Most people have problems with depression in the winter. I have problems with depression in the summer. I am more of a ‘pine trees and mountains and snow’ kind of person and I like to be outside. But, because I find it difficult to tolerate the summer heat in our suburb of Phoenix, I can’t go outside very much.

So, as I was sitting at my desk, looking out the window, contemplating the weather and watching the birds outside pant in the heat, this poem came pouring out of me. As I re-read it and did some editing, I realized that it is not only about this extreme weather. It is also a metaphor for other things, as most poems tend to be. And, since there is no denying this creative urge and the need to write it all down, I thought I would share it. I will leave it up to you to decide the meaning of the metaphor.

Your comments are welcome.



 There you are, rising from

      the dust;



Hues pulsate with breath,

                                     With Life.

               You dizzy me, spinning


        You are a mirage on

                an inferno land

                in the Day of Endless Sun.

Moving slowly,

        flowing like melting paint,

                your fever expands,

                searing fingers sinking into


I breathe the scorching air.

Falling away, shadows receding,

        My eyes blinded

                as the disk of the sun

                        screams at them.

I seek escape and find none.

        Flames dance within-


           The invisible waltz

                        of hungry destruction.

I beg the sky to tilt –

        An impossible request.

All I touch and all I know

        is invaded by those fingers

                of relentless degree.


Oh, how I long for Winter.


© JoBeth Sexton – 6/6/2016