Many things bind Phoenicians together… Fearing insects, because even though we have fewer insects than other places, the insects we do have actively try to kill us… ~Dominic Verstegen, “The Seven Stages of Dealing with Arizona’s Heat,” July 2015
You know you’re an Arizona native when you know that “javelina” is not a spear thrown in the Italian Olympic trials. ~Allan Perry, quoted in You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, compiled by Don Dedera, 1993
a painted lizard appears — elbows tense,
hands gripped hard against the earth,
and stares off to the empty horizon
as if something were about to happen.
~Susie Lightfoot, “A Desert,” Arizona Highways, July 1971
You know you’re an Arizona native when you always knock the heels of your shoes on the floor before putting them on, because once — out fell an angry scorpion. ~Don Dedera, You Know You’re an Arizona Native, When…, 1993
A two-toned ensemble,
A rhythmic Levantine pose;
Coral-pink and black,
From pert cocked head,
To tips of polished toes.
~Margaret Wheeler Ross (1867–1953), “Spring Styles on the Desert: The Gila Monster”
Bessie cried. “I ain’t movin’ to Arizona! Damnit, there is nothin’ there but gravel and scorpions—” ~Mary Doria Russell, Doc, 2011
Black, brown and gold
In diamond checks prevail;
Coats will be worn skin-tight,
Six to twelve amber buttons
On the tail.
~Margaret Wheeler Ross (1867–1953), “Spring Styles on the Desert: The Rattlesnake”
Road Runner, I am curious,
You’ve got me wondering why
You’re always in a foot race,
I’ve never seen you fly.
You run along the yucca ridge,
And across the desert floor,
You run and keep on running,
And then you run some more…
~Harry Golden, “The Road Runner and I,” in Arizona Highways, September 1971
A swift streak of color,
A silhouette in jade,
A flash of silver underneath
On all will be seen.
~Margaret Wheeler Ross (1867–1953), “Spring Styles on the Desert: The Lizard”