Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ARIZONA POEMS: 6. RAIN IN THE DESERT, by JOHN GOULD FLETCHER



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ARIZONA POEMS: 6. RAIN IN THE DESERT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The huge red-buttressed mesa over yonder
Last Line: Whirling, extinguishing the last red wisp of light.
Subject(s): Deserts; Food & Eating; Native Americans; Rain; Indians Of America; American Indians; Indians Of South America


The huge red-buttressed mesa over yonder
Is merely a far-off temple where the sleepy sun is burn-
ing
Its altar-fires of pinyon and of toyon for the day.

The old priests sleep, white-shrouded,
Their pottery whistles lie beside them, the prayer-sticks
closely feathered
On every mummied face there glows a smile.

The sun is rolling slowly
Beneath the sluggish folds of the sky-serpents,
Coiling, uncoiling, blue-black, sparked with fires.

The old dead priests
Feel in the thin dried earth that is heaped about them,
Above the smell of scorching oozing pinyon,
The acrid smell of rain.
And now the showers
Surround the mesa like a troop of silver dancers:
Shaking their rattles, stamping, chanting, roaring,
Whirling, extinguishing the last red wisp of light.




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