Night haze

The moon shines
into the dirty desert air
with a rusty opal halo —

Scorpius has lost his way
behind the thin clouds,
city glare, smoke, dust —

His heart shines in some far
better place — but not here
in this smoggy summer.

—Terri Guillemets

Death lights heavy

Hummingbird mama —
abandons her nonviable eggs
but keeps checking back
a few more times, just to be sure.

Arms fall off a saguaro,
break open on the ground
like fragile eggshells —
after years of desert still-life
a few seconds of death-motion.

But the night breeze is so beautiful
those breezes are — so beautiful,
it’s hard not to get swept away.

—Terri Guillemets

Saguaro arms

           a shrug, a hug
       touchdown, letdown
  waving, curling, sprouting
 disco, vogue; praise, prayer
 bird-pecked, green-specked
 skeletonized, or multiplied
 flower and fruity fingered
  flipped, frail, or fallen off
  perfected, nested, crested

—Terri Guillemets

Oh amazing desert, let’s rejoice together!

entire continents of grey-white clouds
hovering serenely in an enormous spring-blue sky
a soaring raven caws out of its element
why are you this far south, beautiful bird?
then all is quiet but for a distant plane
heading to who-knows-where—
what a gorgeous afternoon!
way too beautiful for negative thoughts—
listening to subtle sounds of nature’s energies
oooh, sudden chilly-breeze goosebumps
coolness swirling through sunlit seventy degrees
a day of awe and eerily silent excitement—
winter and spring overlapping at the seams

—Terri Guillemets

City-desert nightwalk

Early summer, late at night
Pleasant sweet-smelling air
Clouds veiling a half-lit moon
Scorpius crawling up the sky
Tree-hid birds awake chirping
Lone dog barking in its yard
Startled stray cats darting
Crickets playing insistent songs
Quiet of people gone to bed
Mellow breezes gently stirring
Damp-grass lawns subtly cooling
Street lights too brightly illuming
Saguaro blooms softly glowing

—Terri Guillemets

Desert weeds after heavy rains

Some weeds are nourishing, and some medicinal;
Some are beautiful, colorful, and downright flowery;
And yet others, even those that pop up one fine morning
as the tiniest innocent young sprouts of green —
are relentless, run riot, and are one hundred and ten percent determined as @#!% to @#!% up your @#!% yard if it @#!% kills the @#!% both of you!

—Terri Guillemets