I got out of Dodge very quickly after the HNS conference and headed toward the Huachucas and Cochise County, AZ, one of my favorite places in this marvelous country. Temperatures quickly climbed as I left fog-cooled coastal San Diego. I’ve spent time here before and enjoyed the sights, friends and culture of this sparkling village. This time, I had more urgent business calling me east.
The farther I went, the hotter it got. My first destination was Yuma, home of the Arizona Territorial Prison. After two weeks of intense palaver with friends, most of whom write, and strangers of the same ilk, I entered into a period of virtual isolation. Well, not “virtual” for I Skyped with my son and granddaughter regularly, as in “When are you coming home, Grandma?” followed by either giggles or tears. Calls to others and from my dirt-digging daughter (the archaeologist) broke my silences as I tried to figure out if I could go to the Huachucas. Reason prevailed, helped by heat edging toward 115 degrees and the Monument Fire in the Huachucas that started after I left home. Well, so a fire broke out near Yuma, crossing both state lines AND the Colorado River on my second night. I soon turned north and west to seek out the welcome chill of the Pacific where a sweater is a summer must-have.
I’m writing to the music of Enya on Pandora Radio. I hope you enjoy my fragments.
YUMA READING JEFFERS
Blistering heat beats down His poetry sings of the land
To meet fire’s great flames Finding the graveyard of
In pungent gusts of Deer bones old and newer
Severe black smoke, He brings us into the
Skyscraper high. Scene and the life now gone
His words create images of emotion.
Ash flittered about
Raining all around MONTEREY BAY
A small maelstrom Storm clouds gather
Imitating its elders. to the North and West
Sun huddles in
Homes evaporate at cumulus blanket
Monument and Wallow While kayakers stream
Hero firefighters sleep around and through
Wherever they can flop, Kelp beds brown as
Dreamless, to revive. burnt toast on a gray table.
The otter rests.
Shaving mountains and desert
Shear to the stony base,
Rage devours all.
I cannot go farther………..