Vernal Equinox in the Desert
Arizona Poet Laureate, Alberto Rios, created this poem to celebrate the Spring Equinox at Canal Convergence:
The Sonoran Desert—that word, “sonoran,”
It means to be full of sound, sonorous,
Soundful, made from the music of a hundred noises
Played all at once in this place, the crickets
In their serenade to the rabbits at their work,
The stars so thick in the night that they hum.
To see this desert you must listen to it,
The first raindrop on a dry mesquite pod,
Making the sound of maracas and the inching of beetles,
So awkwardly left and right of straight
Their small lumbering is dance.
Teenagering lizards speed in their fast
Hot rod bodies over the simple song of this all,
Entering the big cities from the far fields.
Animal to animal, urban to rural, dark to day,
Them to us and us to them:
In the desert, we dare each other to stay alive.
It is a watchful day, equinox, which makes the sound
Living likes most, half sun, half shade, half night,
Half day, all of it perched on a bridge of noon,
All the sounds in the world soothed
In this moment and in this place.
Today the sun will rise due east and set due west,
True as a compass, compass before compass,
Ancient. Today, on this day, things stand in balance,
And at this moment, we can be happy for each other.