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Arizona Desert...2:00 P.M.

Updated on January 5, 2017

Battling the elements

Arizona desert-2:00 p.m.

on May 16, 2005. ©-MFB- All rights reserved

Blast furnace workers

would feel at home here,

they would bask in

the ripples of heat rising

from the desert floor.

They would sit calmly in

gleaming metal chairs

eating BBQ sandwiches,

and smoking cigarettes

without a drop of unnecessary

sweat falling from their brow.

They would then go back to

shoveling the scalding sand

in huge piles, muscles

flexing like falcon wings

and never alert you to the fact,

or recognize to themselves

that the heat is bothering them


I on the other melting,

I'm a Popsicle

in the middle of concrete,

in the middle of August

in the middle of the inner city

at the base of a child's foot,

who weeps at my passing

Endless drops of hot

saline spill over me

their tears immerse me, soak me

though I feel as dry as a saltine.

The only thing cool here is the scenery,

the most I have to look forward to

is one foot....two foot....repeat if necessary,

until I reach sanctuary

from this huge adobe kiln.

If God was an Indian potter

I would be just about ready

to be pulled out, and set aside,

fired into a pillar of salt,

a fossil of clay,

awaiting his masters touch

his vivid colors,

those same pigments that he stroked

and textured lovingly

across the lands around me.


I trudge on, as a wisp of smoke

rises from my head.

They say it is the hottest

part of your body,

and the heaviest...

I'm sure they are right

if I could just remove it

and drag it behind me

on a tendril of stringy flesh,

I would be much happier

as a headless torso.

dancing mindless

through the wastelands

with my head trolling along

a yo-yo of bone,

what a Dali-like picture

that would make.


Suddenly before me

appears a glinting speck,

which is my car on

a tiny grey ribbon,

which is the highway that turns

my head to other pursuits.

I'm quite finished with

my around-the-world trick

and I am now walking my

hot dogs to this new destination.

My pace is brisker,

my head lighter

I am thinking of those

cold Buds on ice,

waiting in the trunk of my car

I am remembering

the air-conditioning that will

bathe me in frosty fresh

flows of freon.

Now I am again the

civilized man, driven to it,

and soon to be driven

from this furnace.

Eternity slips by,

a blur in shades


and brown and finally

I stand beside the salvation

that transported me

into this hellhole....

I fumble for a moment

and then panic ensues...full blown

when I cannot find my keys,

Eyes darting like a

lizard's on a fat juicy fly,

scrambling like a roadrunner

under a coyote moon.

I have visions of the keys

hanging on some saguaro cactus,

or laying on a rock where

I'd paused to suck warm water

from a now empty canteen....

dry tongue clacking disbelief

but then.................

I feel them in the

corner of my knapsack

now fully removed,

discovered by their jingle-jangle.

Jiggling... fumbling.. bumbling

and then inserting

my passport to less

extreme conditions

into dual locks

as I climb aboard.

Bud in hand,

fire the engine,

quench the thirst

and bask in the

blasts of November

from their heaven sent vents.

It is only then that

I pause and gaze

all around once more

at the breath taking vista

I'd traversed...and for a moment

I am saddened to be

leaving it all

in spite of the heat.

Authors notes:

It is only in the abscence

of comfort that we can discover

true appreciation of what we have.

In mid January of a bitter winter

when my nostril hairs are frozen stiff

and my fingers numb

I will long to be back in this desert

wandering it's sauna of warmth.

How fickle our feelings can be.

I'll miss what I had,

though I had what I'll miss

I'll still have to miss what I had

on a cold winter day.

Perhaps memories truly are

the greatest human comfort of all.

Matthew F. Blowers III-(c)-2017


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