Opening of Voices in the Leaves

Yesterday we hung the pieces created in the workshops at the Leonora Curtin Wetlands. Everything looked so beautiful! Linda Wiener catered the event (plus Michael G. Smith brought donuts–my favorite.).
About 40 people strolled through and looked at the art and poetry.
Hope to keep it hanging, weather permitting, for about the next two weeks. The Wetlands will be open Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons in October.



Turning by Linda Whittenberg–a poem written at the wetlands


Asters’ seductive lavender, endless varieties of tawny grasses,
sunflowers bobbing across an open field, cottonwoods
already beginning to yellow, chamisa radiant along every road—

here it is again, that raucous parade that leads only to barren limbs
shriveled petals and cold. Here it is again, that familiar jumble
inside that comes with autumn. Until this season has wrung me out,

there’s little solace in picturing next spring’s garden or remembering
life goes in cycles. My grandfather would conclude most meals
by whipping butter and honey with his fork

and spreading the mixture on white bread. I can still see that whirl,
that spinning, his big hand stirring, the sweet smear on his plate.
I am that stir, nectarous and melancholy,

when autumn thrusts upon me scarlet vines, orange-red mallow,
graying mullein. I’d like to flee with the migrating birds,
but I am exactly where I’m meant to be,

wrestling with beauty that heralds endings. It was spring
when each of my parents died, winter for my brother.
My dearest uncle left just at harvest time. Perhaps that’s where

the sadness lies, for autumn was especially beautiful that year.
All I know is with the first turning of the colors, this mood
comes, a riddle so old you forget where you first heard it.


Linda Wiener and I have been teaching a combined nature drawing and poetry class. We end this Sunday with an exhibition of our work, hanging from the trees along the main trail at Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve in La Cienega. The preserve is beautiful right now.

DIRECTIONS: The preserve is located on t…he I-25 West Frontage Road south of Santa Fe. From I-25 take Exit 271 for “La Cienega” and turn right onto West Frontage Road heading north. The parking lot entrance is 1½ miles north after turning onto West Frontage Road.
From New Mexico State Road 599 (NM-599), turn south onto West Frontage Road heading toward the Downs at Santa Fe Race Track. The parking lot entrance is two miles south of the Downs at Santa Fe Race Track.