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“Saving the Desert’s Dark Skies”; A Sixth Grader’s Poem Defending the Night Skies

Stars and the Milky Way above a hillside of Saguaro cactus east of Peridot, Arizona.
Photo by Jim Richardson

Recently, IDA received an email with a poem written by Xander Clinkingbeard, a sixth grader in Tucson, AZ. Following a presentation he watched at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum put on by Tucson’s IDA chapter members, Xander decided to write a poem to persuade others of the importance of keeping our dark skies dark.

We are so thrilled and inspired by Xander’s enthusiasm to help in the invaluable undertaking to protect the night skies for present and future generations.


Xander Clinkingbeard. Photo courtesy of his family.

Saving the Desert’s Dark Skies

By Xander Clinkingbeard

The sun goes down, giving way

To the blackness of a midnight sky.

A single star, and then another –

As the world turns, they multiply.


Legends made of stars

Andromeda, Leo, Pegasus.

“The sight of the stars makes me dream.”*

Man studies the celestial abyss.


Kitt Peak, Steward Observatory,

Use the dry desert nights.

That show off the opaque sky

Displaying the luminous nights.


Tucson, Phoenix, Casa Grande,

Eating the pitch black dark.

Brilliant, radiant monsters,

Civilization leaving its mark.


Nocturnal creatures are thrown off,

Circadian rhythms disrupted.

Drastic envirionmental change,

Nature being corrupted.


Can we save our desert darkness?

Will we save our darkened skies?

Red and yellow lights don’t glare,

Hooded lights are very wise.


The desert dwellers have to find

An intelligent solution.

The world will follow what we do

And bring an end to light pollution.


*Quote by Vincent Van Gogh.

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