Breathing Colors by Giselle Maya


breath of life
inhale the scent of autumn roses
evening primroses
scent of the garden cat
outdoors all summer
mint, catnip, sage, her own tigerish perfume emanates
from her silk fur kept neat by raspings of her tongue

quinces are bright yellow lanterns
the windbells’ sound is lime green
mauve star asters taller day by day
on the talus

i pick the last green beans
a ripe tomato from vine to hand, tasted at once
the breath of the earth rises warm

sounds of a grape harvest, vendage, in a near vineyard

Giselle Maya
St. Martin de Castillon

Poem by Susan Aylward

I am from…

I am from Paris via Quebec, Northern Ireland, 
Massachusetts, a carpenter in Wales,

I am from Bridgeport, cousins,
pajamas at the drive-in,
dodge ball in the road,

I am from hotdog-chocolatemilk-frenchfries,
when dad was home on leave,
Chubby Checker, A Hard Day’s Night, 

I am from dot candy and porcelain elephants,
traded for giggles and hugs,
sugar snow-balls eaten in the shopping cart,

I am from, she always had a smile on her face,
the best mistake she ever made,
peering over, into her Cadillac front seat,
“it’s a great life if you don’t weaken”,
and her cow bell in the night, harkening, 
bring the nitro,

i am from sin-twisters,
Liddle Kiddles,
Pippi Longstocking,

I am from dark waters of Long Island Sound,
fleeing man-of-war,  
minuscule beach frogs,
barefoot on seawall rocks,
sunburns, sunfish, lemon ice,

I am from Abby Road
for having a sore throat,
sharing Valentine candies,

I am from Little Women, Little Men,
by flashlight, and
dancing to Stevie,

I am from secret passageway,
goldfish races, silhouettes,
pink feather pen, cigarettes,

I am from wanting, not believing,
confusion, not achieving,
nightmares, humiliation,
lack of preparation

I am from, keep going, step up,
keep going, for the sake of life itself,
and hugging gently, so as not to hurt one another,

I am from tracing my mother and grandmother’s hands
while oiling the pie-crust table, and the secretary,

    and from cousins, and clutching dear
all I had thought I did not need,
and mincing for memories,

I am from constellations by hot tub steam,
Ghost Ranch and O’Keeffe,
pink aspens of twilight,
Leonard Cohen, gratitude at night.

Review of the Novel “The Tricking of Freya”

THE TRICKING OF FREYA by Christina Sunley is an exquisite book that came highly recommended, but it too me several years to actually read it. When I was in Iceland, the playwright Hline suggested it, and I bought it. The cover was intriguing–a goddess or child floating in glacial waters that would kill a mere mortal in seconds. But the book stayed in the pile as I was distracted by murder mysteries, scientific books on genetics, statistics, and sand, collections of French poetry, and more. I’m not a disciplined reader. But one wintry afternoon last week, THE TRICKING OF FREYA rose to the top.
And I’m glad it did. Set partially in a realistically drawn Iceland, much of the action is in an even more obscure setting–the Icelandic diaspora in Canada. A little known immigrant group, Icelanders fled a 19th century volcanic holocaust that destroyed farmland. The heroine of the novel, Freya, named for the Norse goddess, is raised partially in the U.S. and partially in the Canadian/Icelandic town of Gimli. When her aunt Birdie kidnaps her the plot is off and running–to Iceland, to a search for Birdie’s lost child, and to a quest for self understanding.
The rich language and literature of Iceland plays its own part. In what other archaic poems are there literally a thousand ways to say sword? The characters here are often poets or scholars, drunk on words, inebriated even to the point of mania. Manic depression is a haunting motif, an illness that haunts even characters in the sagas.
The novel is beautifully plotted and described. It treads a path between the literary and the just plain readable. And it was an inexpensive way for me to re-visit Iceland!

Uomi S. Brog on Intervention

I was very intrigued by this response, and wanted to post it here to add to the dialogue and my thinking–Miriam.

Uomi S. Brog: Society sure needs our intervention.

intervention |ˌintərˈvenCHən|

the action or process of intervening: they are plants that grow naturally without human intervention.

• interference by a country in another’s affairs: the administration was reported to be considering military intervention.

• action taken to improve a situation, esp. a medical disorder: two patients were referred for surgical intervention.

• a meeting in which people confront an addicted, or otherwise troubled, individual in order to persuade the individual to seek help

To intervene, to try and make something or someone better appeals to me, I like the word in respect to the use on poetry on today’s society.

What is an Intervention?

I recently had an academic refer to my projects of putting poetry text in unexpected places or on unusual materials as an “intervention.” Being from New Jersey, I think of an intervention as something you do when you realize a friend or family member is an addict–confront him or her and whisk the person off to rehab.
So I don’t like the word as applied to art. In Edie Tsong’s citywide project of Snow Poems on windows throughout Santa Fe is the text an “intervention” in the urbanscape? Why not call it a snack? Or an accessory?
Of course these texts should make the passer-by pause. Maybe the intervention is with our usual frame of mind. I usually say “install.” I think of everything I’ve done–from a laundry line in pinon and juniper wilderness to the Poetry Posts at Community College campus as installation. It might be impermanent. Or changeable. Irritating. Pretty. Something on the wind.
But I don’t feel the earth needs my intervention.

Piece by Frances Boyd

Creative writing student Frances Boyd wrote this in response to an object in the woodworking show at SFCC.

Homage to Suzuki Roshi

    The box with the man inside. He’s shut inside, but there are three round stones above his head with hole in the middle this is a very powerful symbols as is the 3 a powerful # and round stones with holes in them have meaning in myths of the goddess. I feel this piece is speaking something of the mysteries of old. Some long lost saga that may lay lost in a deep woods as the paper on the inside looks like its deep dark woods. Maybe this is somehow connected with the Celts of old who believed in magic and the Mother Goddess. Somehow the gentle curve of the wood and the white bone handles speak of another time and place. The stones look to be turquoise which even gives them more magic. If I open the doors will the old saga inside speak to me? He looks like he would, his eyes speak of compassion. The shelves inside are a mystery, what could I put on them if this box was mine? More precious things, that would add to the power already in the box. The inside could even be a cave where the old saga lives all his days alone in mediation learning from the goddess stones for they speak great wisdom. I would love to abide with n the box alone and to mediate into the deep wisdom of the ancient Goddess of the World. She who is the great creator of all the living green things. She who is the lady of the woods. 

And here are some images of the work by Michael Hoffer entitled
“Homage to Suzuki Roshi.”




February in New Mexico


Truth or Consequences



Bosque del Apache



Bernardo, south of Belen


La Madera

black-headed grebe’s wake
crosses the perfect reflection
old cottonwood
in the still pond

far above us, sandhill cranes fly north, “chirr-ing”
snow falls over the steaming hotsprings
and here, in the broken hearted north
against my better judgment, spring returns.