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Tips for Surviving an Arizona Monsoon

26 April, 2019: Tips for Surviving an Arizona Monsoon


Tips for Surviving an Arizona Monsoon

by Jessica Jewell
                                    —Tombstone City Council, 1881
1.  Bobcats also wait out storms in caves.
2.  Learn the sound of a Cooper Hawk’s cry.
3.  When the wind picks up and the air cools, a storm is coming.
4.  Never stop in a rumbling arroyo or tent at the bottom of a hill.
5.  Unhook your horses before they buck free.  They’ll find their way back to you.
6.  When the horizon darkens, don’t ever take your eyes away from the sky.
7.  Bury your belt, gun, reins, tools, and your wife’s jewelry two feet into the clay.
8.  If your hair rises up on your scalp, lightning is about to strike you.
“Tips for Surviving an Arizona Monsoon” by Jessica Jewell, from Slap Leather. Dancing Girl Press, 2011. Used by permission of the author.

Jessica Jewell is the senior academic program director of Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center as well as a PhD candidate in higher education. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Journal, Copper Nickel, Poetry Midwest, Rhino, Harpur Palate and Fjords Review, among others. Her chapbook, Slap Leather, was published by Dancing Girl Press.


Write 10 one- or two-line poems on one subject, however loosely related to the subject. Put them together, arranging and rearranging, and title them as one poem.


Soar with the wind
Circle just below the clouds
Feed us on Thanksgiving
Free as one
Larry is my favorite
Big on Sesame Street
Flip one while in traffic
Fire or Thunder were once popular
Early one gets the worm
Was the word
4/27/2019 11:38:18 PM


Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature
Those Winchester boys can break into my home any time
I’ve never seen a ghost.
My grandpa is my guardian angel.
I watched my father take his last breath and turn blue; grandma did not turn blue.
Young adult fantasy sucks me in like a vampire eating his dinner.
Who doesn’t wish for magic or superpowers?
What is heaven, after all?
God and his angels
Satan and his demons
Love is not gravitation, electromagnetism, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction.
4/26/2019 10:01:43 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.