"The Arabian Desert" by Frederic Edwin Church ‘Sonora: The Desert’ and Other Poetry by John Marmaro The Society April 19, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 8 Comments Sonora: The Desert Harsh sunlight beats upon the thirsty land And glares upon the limestone cliffs and sand, While waves of heat rise shimmering, above The parched loam where the great saguaros stand. And perched up high among the spines thereof There broods in camouflage a mother dove, Whose eggs lie hidden by her breast, her nest A knitted niche of neatly-knotted love. Along the desiccated ground, impressed By tiny running feet, crisscrossing lest A predator should see, a rodent’s track Evinces its unending hungry quest. Concealed among the stones of brown and black, Its body hidden stretched along a crack And waiting, watching for unwary prey, There lurks a patient diamondback. Ephedra, sage and creosote all stray Along the rims of sere arroyos. They Succeed in thriving: an exquisite feat Amid the barren soil and rock-hard clay. And seemingly unfazed by searing heat, Up where the mescal trees and heaven meet, Cicadas make the wasteland throb with sound, Their many-years’ interment now complete. The desert’s lush abundance will abound With form and color rarely elsewhere found— Throughout one sees the working of that hand Whose word and wisdom nature will expound. Relentless Time “Dum loquitur, fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem…” —Horace: Odes I (11) When very young, we blindly may dismiss Our elders’ admonitions about Time, Or future grief or pain, for in that bliss Who recks of illness, death, mischance, or crime? And in our prime, with life’s distracting needs, With open, seeing eyes, we still are blind: We go our ways, and yet, while Time proceeds, The passing hours are rarely brought to mind. But when we’re spared into our elder years, We recognize the truth we used to mock: That whether youth was fraught with joy or tears, There is no hope of winding back the clock. Use well the days, because with every breath, Relentless Time will sweep us all toward death. Reawakening a dizain The waxing sun of April shines Where once the woods of winter pined; Now trilliums and columbines Exult; where snow once lay, now find Sweet-scented honeysuckle twined. Where rime ran rife, where cold was keen, Unfurling ferns of freshest green Now burst beneath the budding trees, And fragrant flowers of eglantine Are bending in the brimming breeze. John Marmaro is originally from Long Island and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1980, with honors, having participated for two years in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ English Department High Honors Seminar, with poetry tutorials by Richard Eberhart, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Dickey, among others. He lived in New York for 15 years, working for Credit Lyonnais New York most of the time. He is now disabled, living in Soring Hill, Florida. He began writing poetry again 3 years ago, much of which is posted online on PoetrySoup.com. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who harasses or disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comment or comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 8 Responses Peter Bridges April 19, 2020 Thank you for three lovely poems. Reply Martin Rizley April 19, 2020 Very skillfully constructed and beautifully written poems, exhibiting not only a commanding use of language and a rich variety of images, but also the observant eye and knowledge of an experienced naturalist. The second poem I found particularly poignant and moving in its subject matter. Reply Leo Zoutewelle April 19, 2020 I stand in awe for the beauty of your poetry. Thank you! Reply Joseph S. Salemi April 19, 2020 The poems are lovely and thoughtful, and show solid skill in composition. There is one metrical problem in the “Sonora” poem, in the last line of quatrain four. “There lurks a patient diamondback” is not a pentameter, and cannot be scanned in accordance with the rest of the poem. I’d suggest a change like this: “There lurks a patient, waiting diamondback.” (Ten perfect syllables with a masculine ending). As a general rule, unless a poem is deliberately heterometric all the lines should follow the same metrical pattern of stresses. If one line is out of sync with all the rest, is has the same aesthetic effect as a wart on the face of an otherwise beautiful woman. I’ve had arguments over this issue with contributors to my magazine, who tend to come up with some kind of excuse for eccentric lines, like “Well, I wanted that line to stand out,” or “I’m emphasizing something special there.” No, those excuses don’t hold water. Not in a lengthy poem where all the other lines are perfect. Reply allegra silberstein April 19, 2020 Beautiful poems…I’m you are writing. Reply C.B. Anderson April 19, 2020 I am quite familiar with the Sonora desert, and I think you’ve got it just about right. Maybe you could have included a line about the winter hummingbirds or the spring bloom of ocotillo, but these are small omissions. Reply James A. Tweedie April 19, 2020 Lovely indeed. Whose eggs lie hidden by her breast, her nest A knitted niche of neatly-knotted love. Internal rhyme . . . check . . . Alliteration . . . check, check, check, check . . . Nicely turned. Thank you, John Reply David Watt April 21, 2020 What stands out for me, particularly in the first and third poems, is an eye for detail, and the ability to express such detail melodiously. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.