Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Museum

Janet Echelman’s colorful fiber and lighting installation, suspended from the ceiling of the Renwick Gallery’s Grand Salon, examines the complex interconnections between human beings and our physical world, and reveals the artist’s fascination with the measurement of time.

It was overwhelming to see this–just transformative!

Photo by Isabel Winson-Sagan. We were lucky to share the experience.

North Rim: Poem by Miriam Sagan

From a recent visit to the Grand Canyon.


North Rim

it’s not often I can see like this
sitting beneath the twisted pinon tree
that breaks a stone boulder
it’s a far view in both directions
appears as mineral
layers of the Colorado Plateau
cut like a surgical patient
to reveal
a slow intensity
of hope

tourists pass going up and down the trail
snapping pics of themselves, each other
wide open meaning of earth

it seems simple
to be either
at the rim or the river
but it’s not…

psalm of updrafts
raven’s flight
these wings might have created wind
roots might just be another way of saying branches
the fire burns and burns
leaves charred trunks and small aspens
clusters of little sisters
girls of the trembling leaves
turning yellow, orange, autumn
equinox sitting cross-legged
cradling my cane
who sees me, sees just another person
feels cold, heat

give me a kiss


The NM State Fair was quieter than usual and required vaccine proof–both good things. But fewer 4-H exhibitions and such, showing COVID’s toll.

However, pie is perfect! All these delicious slices are from a consortium of faith groups and go to feed the hungry in Albuquerque year round.

We had the day’s special–blueberry. And the personally iconic fave: strawberry-rhubarb.

Along with giant pumpkins, this is my harbinger of autumn.

The Storm: Poem by Miriam Sagan

The Storm

In the lodge
on Grand Mesa
old guys are playing cribbage
over endless coffee.

Mist hangs
from fir and spruce
rain breaks the current drought
although the lakes are still low.

The Polish proprietress
serves little tarts
filled with raspberry jam.

The old-fashioned
reproductions on the wall
are Rembrandt’s Aristotle
gently touching
the head of Homer
and a Romantic painting
my mother hated:
“The Storm.”

A man and a woman in gauze
rush through a tempest
but still are looking good.
My mother would say:
“the man is not
taking care of the woman.”

And indeed, once in the East Village
I saw my father
walk 20 paces ahead of her
in pouring rain
holding the only umbrella.

“Take care of number one,” he’d tell me.
Good advice
but he might have added
to it.

You were worried
I wouldn’t like Grand Mesa
arriving on a wet evening
animal heads
mounted in the lobby.

So I now must tell you
not only did I like
“The Storm”
when I was a child, I also
like being here with you.


Painted on the wall of a Colorado motel:

Wash your hands and say your prayers/ Jesus and germs are everywhere

At the cider factory: Violators will be crushed and destemmed

This little bug doesn’t mean anything in particular along the path…

And found in my purse, scribbled on a paper receipt, my monoku:

“in memory of my father eating only ice cream for lunch”