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IN ARIZONA, THEY LIKE TO FLY by Amy Leona Havin

Traveling through the American West, as I do, amongst days flying past riverbeds, praying to red rocks, and resting at edges of desolate highways and dry grass meadow… 

I found a compass, pointing towards my true North. It asked me to take fragments of memory, mind, winds, and language to create a capsule of eternal time, tethering me back to these moments. To look back on and remember, that a Goddess is made, in the moments when she is born. Contrary to its given name, this poem was written about the Utah stone... written in the crevices of red rocks, and from the damp one-lane roads of blacktop highways. It was written by doe-eyes pressed to the foggy car window, rolled half way down and half-afraid of the looming figures at dusk, flying by like 50mph speed posts on the side of desert highways. The three mountainous Gods that approved our safe passage... and this poem is for them.

Photographic art by the author, Amy Leona Havin

In Arizona, they like to fly
by Amy Leona Havin


The first mountains we saw
appeared in the voluminous dusk.
Horrifying and tasteless,
faces muttering to us…
they were resilient, wide-eyed, vast, and hushed dim
in the silhouetted light of storm-coming.
Peering over our heat-worn skulls at the road,
the crawling and crooked tires underneath our feet,
I shook with chill and signaled—
signed to their majesties in a wave of eternal promise
praising their auburn names, reciting, “Grim Man… Lowry… Delilah…”
as we passed.

In the new morning hours, beneath the red rocks and the plummeting sky,
I held canyon with my whole bare body.
Bare canyon, with my born and tattered breast
arches running loudly below my naked feet
evaporating soul and sweat from the top of my head.
And they whispered to us, patting us down for traces of the enemy,
each moment spent in a rippled and welcomed nausea—
hands clasped together in the painstakingly dry and everlasting burning of the sun…

The Colorado river beads await my broken daylight,
coming to my mouth and asking me to drink the saucer sweet drips
in solitude, feeling the chill-blessed rock send relief to my ever-burning desert spirit.

That night we scampered up the blind sight lines
watched the sun set from the Golden Arches—
blessed rock
rich with stone, yet frail
holding dynasty for cave-Gods
for Olympus.
Massaged with the blossom of gloom,
maddened with the eroded baselines,
while extending ladders to the Heaven-skies
for us praying mortals, who melt on Forceful Rock,
never to be seen again.


Because in Arizona, live merciless mountains, and they sure do like to fly.




Amy Leona Havin is a poetess, yogi, dancer spiritual student, wild-woman, and natural beam of light based in Portland, Oregon. An Aquarian, she spends her days penning letters to friends and basking in the summer sun. Her writing began as an exercise in patience and the practice of being heard, and grew to become a career in literature, language, and the arts. She is a constant traveler and true lover of nature, wandering through deserts, hitchhiking the highways, and finding solace in all bodies of water. She is the Artistic Director of Portland-based dance company The Holding Project and has recently released an illustrated book of poems titled SHAKTI. Her work can be found here. 


~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~  

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