Category Archives: Catherine Ferguson

#165 Curse of La Llorana by Catherine Ferguson

          no flower burning the lining of her heart

not even a prayer
more of a curse
building inside the lining of her throat

inside her mind the white gown is brown from weeping
tears drown the moon
her mouth spits electric eels
skin of her face scalded

she paces the river

the sound of her body is a mourning dove
killing the night

wanting to be free of herself
she blows the wind of her weeping into the village

a painter wakes with a start
draws a scream on his canvas
sunflowers wither in night’s garden

she keeps drowning her babies
splash against mud

can never say I’m sorry
can never sleep
the mad yip of coyote is her company
thunder claps on Black Mesa

scream has turned from sunflower
to no-flower
splitting the seams
of her breasts

Catherine Ferguson is a poet and painter. Inspired by landscape and animals she creates watercolors, oils, retablos and poems that express her love of nature. Catherine is the author of eight chapbooks.  In 2007, she received the New Mexico Book Award for The Sound a Raven Makes, with two other poets.

#119 El Chupacabra by Catherine Ferguson

I hung from the iron bar on the swing set,
stepped back, the bar hit me
above my right eye–
stitches. How could a metal tube dislike me so?

The chupacabra yelled
when my sister and I were silly about the toothpaste.
He pulled me off to the bedroom.
Thunder.

I am being taken to another country
in the back of a truck driven by the Chupacabra.
It is unlikely that I will find a place to stay.
Hitchhiking becomes a question of where to sleep.
I get so tired and even though the Frenchman
kissed me, he is not my friend.

The scar over my right eye heals
and becomes part of me. I do not realize my friends are high.
I don’t really get anything about money or drugs.

The Chupacabra got me pregnant.
I’m working at the gift shop.
As always my waist is pushing out the band of my skirt.
I hit my stomach hard.

The scar becomes my face.
I was so looking forward to picking grapes
in your country.
Even now my nightmare: not knowing what I’m doing
in a place.

It could have been me or the Chupacabra.
But I’ve never been drawn below that thin line.
I don’t swim there.
I like my feet on the ground and a cat
at the foot of the bed.

Catherine Ferguson is a poet and painter. Inspired by landscape and animals she creates watercolors, oils, retablos and poems that express her love of nature. Catherine is the author of eight chapbooks.  In 2007, she received the New Mexico Book Award for The Sound a Raven Makes, with two other poets.

#81 Stella by Catherine Ferguson

She cooked the best chile, they said.

We crown her with red pods, braids of garlic.

She stands in the kitchen, stirring the pork with a wooden spoon.

On her refrigerator, school photos of nineteen grandchildren

   slide from under saints pictured on magnets.

Soft blue-gray hair curls over the smile of her face.

She was the electric beam in the middle of the night

   that beat like a heart and comforted the chickens.

out her window, Camino los Abuelos slid down toward

   the church. Her view of this life– all things sliding

      toward holy. She brushes her glasses up on her nose

         with a dainty hand, wedding ring surprises the light.

How will he live without her?

Serapio stands in the empty kitchen.

Her ghost chops the onion fine.

He moves to stop her hands, hold the body that always smelled

   of sugar and vanilla in his arms once more, rub his old cheek

      on her cheek. He wants to lay her gently in his lap,

keep her from flying out the window.

A hundred bluebirds peck at the dawn star as she dies

   and rises again, dies and rises, as she stands in the present

      moment  and listens carefully to his complaint,

to the echo that accomplishes his mourning song.

He will always remember her, the soft mouth, the prayers that escaped

   her throat and ribboned into the fields, and the taste,

      so picante, so startling red, of her delicious chile.

Catherine Ferguson is a poet and painter. Inspired by landscape and animals she creates watercolors, oils, retablos and poems that express her love of nature.Catherine is the author of eight chapbooks.  In 2007, she received the New Mexico Book Award for The Sound a Raven Makes, with two other poets.