Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Archive for the tag “Arizona”


How would it feel to splash
a cactus into being?
To scratch spines through the dried paint
with the end of my knife?
To pool shadows on the parched ground
and watch the thirsty paper drink them in,
leaving a crust of pigment
like dust waiting to fly.
How will it feel to wash the sky
with desert blue
then dab away invisible tears
with my tissue,
leaving perfect puffs of stark white
cloud, too thin for shade.
How must it feel to stroke the broken hills
with fleeting immortality?
To carve caves in deepest umber, layering
striation upon striation.
It’s all a glorious trompe l’oeil,
a delicious way to immerse my soul again
in the Arizona sunshine.
The painting will just be a bonus.



Goodbye Arizona

Goodbye Arizona,

I liked you from the start

but now a fine grain of your sand

has settled my heart.

Gathering my memories

like layers upon a pearl

to make a jewel to guide the way

next time I return.

So, so long Arizona,

cause goodbye’s hard to say.

I know I’ll feel your sunrise dawn

on me again some day.


MIM’s the Word

I am drawn to the strings.
They reach out like musical staffs of cob web strands.
It’s a living thing;
this obsession with plucked notes and the sleight of hand
that makes them sing.
hundreds of years, thousands of songs lost to time.
Hear the ring
of the rhythm and the reason to the rhyme.
I am drawn to the strings
at the MIM.


MIM stands for Musical Instrument Museum, which is located in Phoenix, Arizona. I strongly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area. (I got to play a theremon!)



Superstition sunrise bleeds

between the jagged rocks,

the road rolls on into the desert.

Walking the hilltop, cactus and thorns adorn

wooden crosses and markers,

‘Killed by indians’, ‘gunshot’,

‘unknown’, ‘hung

by mistake.’

Into the town and along the main street,

wind whips the sand, blasting

tired paint, leather faces, and faded signs.

Dusters billow and flap, revealing

weathered holsters, well oiled six-guns.

A shot rings out.

Buy a postcard of the town too tough to die.




Doves croon in the courtyard.

Desert blue pales to the horizon.

Palms, all smooth and shaggy;

all graceful and gawky,

sentinel the sky in silhouette.

Cacti bristle from sand and gravel.

Paddle and rod and barrel.

Green and red and yellow.

Quill and needle and barb.

Plump paddles, prickly pear pile-up.

Firestick tumble – fire crackers suspended in mid explosion.

Massive, ruinous saguaro – viejo – venerable one.















Winter is a Carnivore

It’s twenty three below again.
The sugar frosted world bares its fangs,
gnaws at my window pane, leaving diamond scars
that will not heal till spring.
Its twenty three below again.
The winter wonderland erupts in a howl,
banshees at my door, keening incantations
that only endurance will lift.
It’s twenty three below again.
The fluffy blanket of snow drifts into traps,
wraps me in a carnivourous embrace
that sucks the heat from my marrow.

and I wonder one more time
what the temperature is in Arizona.



Post Navigation