Palm Springs (by J.V. Healy, 1939)


Here the white lizards scatter over the white sand;

The sun creates stillness, makes t knee-joints limp,

The sullen heat gives power to prolong

The furtive tenderness of a bronzed hand.


There the movie actress flats in the blue pool:

White is her suit, brown her skin, yellow her hair,

Red the rubber mattress on which she reclines

Languid and cruel.


Turning and gliding in the desert air

The eagle circles the mountain that shines like bronze.

Toward this day they came from the old lands:

Indians on panther fee, Spaniards with guns.


“There now!” an actor called: “follow your game!”

As he tossed a ball that hit a racket that banged,

And the author, running, drove the ball in the net

Then watched the actor give his famous site.


An Eastern lawyer, by himself on horseback,

Thinking of stock curves saw a downward move,

Thinking of her, his wife who had diverted him,

Compared her with the flaming desert flowers

Briefly in bloom.  Mile on during mile

He rode, seeking her profile, rode for hours.

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