“I dig old books.” ™
Well, the trip from then on across Arizona and east of Los Angeles was just one Oasis after another. You can just throw anything out and it will grow there. I like Arizona. ~Will Rogers
...shining Arizona athirst in the sun... ~Harriet Monroe, "America," in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1918
There are miles and miles of land purely desert, and clothed only with thorny cacti and others of that ilk. ~John G. Bourke, On the Border with Crook, 1891
Are wild stallions
With silver manes flung high
In triumph, knowing they shall not
~Lenore McLaughlin Link, "Sandstorms," in Arizona Highways, August 1968
"It's only a desert!" Yes, I know.
But then, the dear God made it so,
And since His work is always good
He must have loved it, else how could
He scatter flowers far and near,
Or keep trees green thruout the year?
He must have loved these mighty rocks
That came thru fire and earthquake shocks,
The mountains and the little hills,
The murmur of the dwindling rills;
He must have loved the deep blue sky,
The glistening cloud-bands floating by,
The gorgeous splendor, when the day
Is passing on its westward way.
~Flossie Edna Ritzenthaler Cole Wells (1889–1987), "Coconino Wilderness"
The brittle ground of ancient battle... ~Lester Ward Ruffner, "What Arizona Means To Me?," in Arizona Highways, November 1971
He was tired of heat, glare, dust, bare rock, and thorny cactus. ~Zane Grey, Tappan's Burro, 1923
Cactus, mesquite, and greasewood;
Greasewood, cactus, mesquite;
The turquoise blue of the heavens
That the age-worn mountains meet...
~Ida Flood Dodge, "One of Us," 1920
The aspect of much of the scenery along this gray valley road, bleak, rocky mesa track, lined on either side by volcanic ranges of jagged peaks and serrated slopes, so brown and sere, and with not a growing thing to relieve the barrenness of their sides, is not of a character to be desired for a steady landscape. But it has its own beauty — rare, because it is so different from what one sees elsewhere — and possessing charms that are all its own, unique and captivating. The graceful mesquite and malverde trees grow everywhere, and the numberless varieties of the cactus make the scene still stranger to an unaccustomed vision. ~Richard J. Hinton, "Over Valley and Mesa," The Hand-Book to Arizona, 1877
Beyond the canyon the cedared desert heaved higher and changed its aspect. The trees grew larger, bushier, greener, and closer together, with patches of bleached grass between, and russet-lichened rocks everywhere. Small cactus plants bristled sparsely in open places; and here and there bright red flowers — Indian paintbrush, Flo called them — added a touch of color to the gray. Glenn pointed to where dark banks of cloud had massed around the mountain peaks. The scene to the west was somber and compelling. ~Zane Grey, The Call of the Canyon, 1924
The desert is quiet,
and it's listening.—
It's thirsty, and
A cactus grows
one hundred years
& spares no water.
~Terri Guillemets, "Sparse," 1992
Here, one sees the Painted Desert with its fantastic coloring, the petrified forests, deep lateral cañons, the great Cohonino Forest, through which one may ride for five days without finding a drop of water except during the rainy season. Truly, it is a wonderland, and in the Grand Cañon one can think of nothing but the Abomination of Desolation. There is no place in the world at present so accessible, and at the same time so full of the most romantic interest, as are the territories of Arizona and New Mexico. ~John G. Bourke, On the Border with Crook, 1891 [A little altered. Description is from 1874 travels, when it was the Arizona Territory. G. W. James paraphrases Bourke: "Arizona is the Wonderland of the Southwest."