About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

They Paved Paradise

For a different way of perceiving on an audio level–I always go to Steve Peters. He reminded me of this project, still current today!


Santa Fe Parking Lot (1991)
from Sight Specifics by Steve Peters

Recorded July 25, 1991 while wandering around in the parking lot at Wal-Mart on Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico. No other sounds were added, no electronic processing.

What I find particularly interesting about this version of the piece is how Ann’s perception of the place changes over the course of the performance. She clearly chose this site as an example of a place she found problematic, and starts off expecting to find it ugly and objectionable. But through the process of really paying attention to it, she comes to see it differently. By the end she is nearly rhapsodic about this simple, unassuming locale.


Mix ‘n Match

I was recently on a flight when my eyeballs were parallel to a woman of a certain age wearing leopard print stretch pants and a plaid shirt. The result was…oddly ok. I’ve increasingly noticed that things no longer match in the sartorial world. From vaguely matched premixed quilt patterns to people just wearing…paisley and checks. The first few time I saw it, I worried about the psychiatric health of the wearer. Maybe the sleep meds weren’t working, or working too well. Then I went to a Twyla Tharp performance and converted. I didn’t want to match any longer.
Those who believe in astrology have pointed out that my Virgo rising sign means I will always want to match…sort of. So the speckles on my Jackson Pollock earrings are the same colors as my socks. I can’t really help it. But nowadays my socks don’t necessary match my skirt ( and yes, to the horror of some, I still like that bobby sock look). Compliment, yes. Reflect, to be sure. Match, no.
It’s liberating, fun, and time consuming. No one can accuse me of being chic or fashionable, but I do have my own style, and I’ve spent time and money on it—possibly better spent ending world hunger, but let’s be honest, that was never really an option.
I blame Twyla for some of my totally unmatchable items—such as tie dyed long johns, bought at farmer’s markets throughout my region. In this case, it is best to just hide the item under layers. If the wind blows up my quilted skirt the passerby is not that apt to confuse me with a modern dancer. Instead, I look like a gray-haired lady in tie-dyed underwear that matches nothing, unless you are on mescaline.

So be it.

Dropping The Bomb…right out of History

What gets measured is what gets taught in today’s embattled public school system where the teacher “teachers to the test.”
And so when these cuts are reported we can assume that the subjects have been cut along with the test.

Students in high school U.S. History classes across New Mexico this year will not be tested on massive corporations and monopolies being forced to dismantle during the early 20th Century, the racial and ethnic conflict as people moved from farms to cities, or the bravery of Rosa Parks in fighting segregation in the South…I have suspicions that the events and topics eliminated from the U.S. History EOC are politically motivated. Events such as early 20th Century trust busting and the subsequent regulations on large corporations have been stricken. The racial and ethnic conflict from late 19th Century urbanization has been stricken. The mobilization of the war industry during World War II that led to President Dwight D. Eisenhower warning of “the military industrial complex” has been stricken. The dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan has been stricken. The Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks has been stricken from the standards as well.

The reactionary Republican policy behind this is clear. And was protested on Thursday at the Roundhouse. I was glad to be in the audience for a rousing speech by Lois Rudnik and many other well-thought out arguments against the omissions.

The history of the atom bomb IS the history of New Mexico. Robert Oppenheimer, never at loss for an appropriate verbal response, said famously at the Trinity test site “I am become Death, the shatter of worlds.” He was quoting from the Bhagavad Gita. Perhaps less famously he also said, “Now we are all sons of bitches.”

I hope to visit Hiroshima in January when I’m in Japan. Physicist Enrico Fermi’s sister, though, has the last word on the explosion. She wrote him ” I commend you to God, who alone can judge.”

Harp & Poetry Concert

You are invited!

Linda Larkin and Julie Hawley, harps and Miriam Sagan, poet

December 1, 2017
5:30 pm
1st Presbyterian 208 Grant Ave. Santa Fe

Includes original work, traditional Irish melody, Ladino song, and Hildegarde of Bingen.
Runs about 30-40 minutes.


Advent by Miriam Sagan

let’s ask ourselves
what is possible—
orange berries
clinging to the thorns

the moon wanes
but like love
if only a sliver remains

cattle in the dark field
angels on the doorstep
each house has wings
grown from our intentions

and darkness
with its mother’s caress
touches again, again,
the soft cheek of light

Suzanne Vilmain on Raku and Wendell Berry

I got this as an email from the ever amazing Suzanne Vilmain. Her freedom of expression continues to inspire me. Look for her work in the gallery above Pasqual’s. Not to mention on my mantlepiece and my living room fruit crate booksheves.


BEFORE DARK / a collaboration between words and ceramics……

I recently enrolled in a  printmaking class that required an intro to drawing….
I responded that I draw with words meaning letterpress but really 
I read/write/print/think/xerox like drawing – like a skipping rock – surface skimming – gesture grabbing –
noticing white space / what’s not there / juxtaposition….

but i wanted to read the poem “Before Dark” w/o having to identify with the male gender of a kingfisher…
so i changed/added “she/her” where wendell used “he/him/his”….

or remove the reference altogether…..
focus on the words that speak to me….

wild in flight
could only have made for joy
like a skipped rock
darker….. dusky….. sudden….
the night had accommodated
led by delight

— this is how i feel about raku….. wild joy skipping sudden accommodated delight!!!!

4 pieces from a series on basket pots now showing at Cafe Pasqual’s Gallery

a thank you to all my teachers/mentors for leading me on the path to raku!!!
even when/if you didn’t know or like or appreciate raku……..