#30 Diga Me by Victor di Suvero

Diga me, tell me, the old man said,
How you will tell the children and
Their children when the time comes,
The old stories about the land and
About how we came here.

                                       Tell me
Once again how the stones at Chaco
Were set in lines to tell the stars
Up there in the sky where to shine

                                       Tell me
once again how the river ran
Through the canyon to flow out
Into the plains down here below
Where it was water all the way
Across from those hills in the east
To the mountain ridges where the sun
Goes down to sleep each night.

                                        Tell me
How you have learned to sing the songs
The mountain sings when Spring rushes
Into green and the apple trees and roses
Come out to see and be seen here
And in the villages down river that
Have been the homes for all of us
And make sure you still remember
How we came into this land
That welcomed us when we had
Had enough of all the other places
We had known before.

Victor di Suvero, award winning poet and publisher has been living in New Mexico for the past 23 years. He served as a Merchant Mariner and has been writing consistently since then. He still believes poetry is as necessary as air, as water and bread.

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#29 At the Edges of the Pueblo by Margaret Randall

A great tree falls on a downed power line
and this time the fire is dubbed accidental:
Cerro Grande, Las Conchas,

no resources spared in a month of smoke-clogged sky
and the people of Los Alamos
finally breathe relief,

return to their homes, the threat of that other accident
still raking through memory.
PTSD common as the common cold.

To the southeast at Santa Clara, beyond the Jémez
they drain two irrigation ponds
of water foul with dead fish.

The ditchwater in Hernández is also black and plants grow slowly
thirsty for the nitrogen
cowering in sweet-scented legends.

One burned elk comes into a garden, is about to speak
then falls over and dies.
We wait for wind to sing his funeral dirge.

One list holds the language of anxiety: Oso Complex,
Dry Lakes, South Fork, Las Conchas, Cerro Grande.
Like broken thunder it overtakes

that other list: Cochiti Mesa, Puye, P’opii Khanu.
Turkey Girl is orphaned again
and gathers her charges who starve in secret canyons.

An ash cloud rises in air we cannot breathe.
People say they saved Los Alamos
and let Santa Clara burn.

At the edges of the pueblo all our ancestors weep.

—-

Margaret Randall returned to New Mexico in 1984. The New Mexican space and light are important to her work. Most recent titles include SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH THE CORNFIELDS (Skylight Press), and RUINS (University of New Mexico Press). She is also a photographer, and often combines images and texts.

#28 Elegy for Julie Graham by Glenna Luschei

Trimmers free my giant valley oak
of Spanish moss and mistletoe.
Over axe and saw I hear the drumbeat
from the high school band. Word arrives
from Albuquerque: my friend has died.

Can we call woman an oak? It’s Julie!
She packed adobe bricks by hand, called herself Datura,
Buffalo Woman to friends.
She took my hand to guide me through up to Acoma.
We blessed new homes in Zuni Shalako.

My son a baby, I carried him to Julie’s adobe.
His hair caught light from her stained glass.
Now he starts his senior year.
I hear the drumbeat of the band.

Hydraulic chairs lift pruners to the branch
where wisteria flowers in the oak.
I witness the ballet and plead with men to save
the purple bloom. My friend has died
in Albuquerque.

I hear the drumbeat of old land,
catch the desert scent of creosote bush.
My friend has died.

Glenna Luschei is the founding editor of Solo Press, now in its 45th year. Along with her support of magazines and publishers, Luschei works in the arts community. She lives in Carpinteria, California, where she tends her garden and her avocado orchard.

#27 Insomnia, Avenida de San Marcos by Barbara Rockman

Morning after morning, a foreign opera
wafts from her open windows into mine.
As I make coffee and turn off radio news,
from her apricot orchard into my lone apple tree,
the widow la dolorosa sings her zarzuela
and mourns.

While I scoop my Sunday paper,
Mrs. Lucero walks hunched under
bowed fruit to her son’s white Buick
and heads for mass.  Her mantilla
reminds me of crickets, of sewing machines
that stitch black lace to each backyard,the way wind rises as cicadas
shriek over our beds. Night after
night, Mrs. Lucero calls from sleep,
names her lost children and the city
where she was born. Through screens
she rasps, Ana, Miguel, Sierra Mojada. Night after night, the same
dog barks beyond my dark kitchen:
we’re insomniac in three languages.
Insects and birds overlap the gap between
night and day. Invisible newspapers thud front yards
while the dog yawns in Spanish, in English, in her own tongue.—

Barbara Rockman teaches poetry in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations, the New Mexico Discovery Award, The MacGuffin Poetry Prize,  and the Baskerville Publishers’ Award, she is the editor of Women Becoming Poems (Cinabar Press) and author of the collection, Sting and Nest (Sunstone Press), 2011.

#26 FOUR A.M. by Henry Shukman

This is the hour the troubled man
hears the call of a train looping up a valley
and knows he must leave his home,
and also that he won’t;

the hour the desperate wife
clutches her robe at the neck
and bathes herself in the light of a fridge,
having nowhere else to turn.

The poet looking out her window
at this hour sees she must
resolve her loves once and for all,
but only writes another poem.

Already a big dog lifts its woof into the air.
Something smaller answers: yap yap.
Soon the stars will withdraw one by one,
and milk lighten the coffee, and there won’t

be anything left but ordinary day.
No one would guess not an hour ago
creation lay open like the back of a watch
and an early waker saw it all.

Henry Shukman’s first poetry collection won Book of the Year in the Guardian and Times (London). He lives in New Mexico where he writes for the New York Times and teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts. His novels include The Lost Cit, a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

#25 LOSING THE CAMINO by Jane Shoenfeld

Leaving Camino San Acacio

Erased, she wanders
in dirt and sparse grass,
past the generous trees.

No one sees her near
the others’ adobes.

Where are her hands
that plucked apples?

Where is breath,
left thinner,
climbing steep terrain?

Could this be
the doorway
that once was hers?

A silhouette lingers,
in ruts off dead ends,
lost in mica dust,
longing for home near
the lane of apricots.

Jane Shoenfeld is a painter and poet.  She lived in NYC  from 1963 to 1987, when she moved to NM.  Her father was a journalist and her  mother wrote short fiction. Her paintings are the cover art  for several recent  poetry journals and she has written poetry for many years.

#24 Lessons in Purple Adobe Salma Ruth Bratt

Covet the peace of others
But not permanence
Permanence is not like adobe
That breathes air and water
That throws down bricks from the sky
That slips and slides its muddy way

Covet joy
But not permanence
Permanence is not like adobe
That perforates, permeates, performs

Covet fleeting moments
Permanence is for dreamers or drifters or bridge builders
Who imagine a legacy

Adobe is for the brave, the realist
Who knows how rain and wind have their way with us
How human creations come crashing
How they implode under a strange and mysterious weight

Salma Ruth Bratt is a second generation American with interests in the literature and linguistics of immigrants. She loves her family, traveling abroad, passionate readers and writers, theater, and the music of good listeners. Her work is often completed in collaboration with Moulay Youness Elbousty, to whom she is grateful.

#23 From SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST by Linda Monacelli-Johnson

1

To postpone
succumbing to Santa Fe’s cold,
we drive down to Bosque del Apache.
Some birds winter
here; others fly on.

Cruising and pausing
along fields and marshes,
we absorb the nonchalance
of ducks and coots, the sunny
flute song of a meadowlark, the pristine
visage of snow geese
against voluptuous
mountains, the dancer’s grace
of a great blue heron, the bright epaulets
of red-winged
blackbirds, the rufous luster
of kestrels, the emblematic majesty
of a bald eagle, the unfurled
drying wings
of a low-perched cormorant,
the rolling calls and streamlined
energy of sandhill cranes.

Dreams brush us with feathers.
We rise before the sun
to resume our watch,
then flee
even farther south.

Linda Monacelli-Johnson is a writer and editor with a master’s degree in English literature. In 1977 she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, from Cleveland, Ohio. Three collections of her poems have been published: Lacing the Moon (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Weathered (Sunstone Press), and Campanile (Drummer Press).

#22 The Turquoise Trail by Lew Watts

O Gemstone of the People,
lath of the domed skies of mosques,
you paved and plied the Silk Road
toward the wanton eyes of France
where you were called “pierre turquoise”
or Turkish Stone, though Persians held
your soul within the lodes of Isfahan.

Despite your fame
I know that you are merely bulbs
of cryptocrystalline phosphate,
a hydrous web of botryoidal copper
that bubbled out of vugs and veins
to form those perfect azure blues
and the ferrous greens of terror.

I’m surprised to find you are not a trail.
Instead, you are 1500 square miles
bound solely by the spirit of a stone,
a stone that calls the new moon,
a talisman that brings the rains,
that teases chicken-shit pittances
before the Palace of the Governors.

I never knew it was a path
I had to take until the day I placed
those cabouchons around your neck.
And then the ring you gave to draw me in:
at dawn I hold it to my eyes
and in its stone, so varicosed,
I see the fractured cataracts of clouds
and know I’ve almost reached the end.

Lew Watts is originally from Wales and now lives and works in Santa Fe and Chicago. His most recent work has appeared 14by14, Able Muse, Decanto, Modern Haiku, The Raintown Review and Orbis amongst others and his first collection Lessons for Tangueros was published in 2011.

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