Poem by Lib O’Brien

Autumn Turning
beneath ancient cottonwoods
the marsh exhales green, brown—
dead grasses bowed by last week’s rain
spiky thistles, white asters,
red-tipped grass, wild strawberry,
weave together—alive
sunflowers droop with rot and decay—
one surviving bloom glows yellow
the living—the dying surround me like friends
newly ill with cancer—some bowing with its weight
some lifting their faces
autumn turning—warm, soft, slow,
beneath soughing breezes, Harvest moonrise
tiny purple thistles sprout gray down
slender brown cattails with caps of white fuzz
go to seed—no regret, denial, mourning
clouds of white-feathered grass spread
cross the marsh—tousled hair glows with light
like Bessie—on the tin porch,
her wet, silvered hair brushed
until it dries in the sun,
turning like the marsh—
calm, matter-of-fact, content
to hoe her beans, prune her roses
taught by many gardens to  honor sprouts,
harvest, decay—to begin again each spring
I, Bessie’s age when she tended me
as an infant, a young child
I, the drying lizard tail stalk—crusty,
flaunting  red and white berries on the tip,
nestled beside still-blooming mother flowers
in me, the pace of  marsh—
warm, slow, brown
no need to grasp or multiply,
only to turn, weave the weedy
thicket of my life—here, now

Gall and Horsetail by Miriam Sagan

white galls
on bits of twig
I wonder what
I’m trying to hatch
(often it frightens me)

galls are hard to the tap
inside larvae
will lie quiescent
all winter
give forth
picture wing flies
who mimic
jumping spiders–

I’ve survived this way too
appearing tougher than I am
although I don’t have wings
just my rough mouth



3 days
past full
old scat
turned white
on the path

dazzle of dew
across a field
of feathery seeded grass
highway noise

segmented horsetails behind me
sectioned like bamboo
very old plant form–flowerless
(need to look it up)
once were huge
when reptiles walked giant
and what I call New Mexico
didn’t have a name

this grass might still be nameless
dew is difficult to write about
I need to avoid Tinkerbell fairy princess
or zen ephemeral life fades etc.
what is it–
more light than water

Haiku and Photos from the Wetlands



Photos by Penny Truelock

NATURE’S  PALIMPSEST bu Ursula Moeller

seeds spangle grass tips
dew drops suspended from each
mouse winter harvest

chipmunk grabs grass stem
munches along its length
fat seed its reward

ephemeral wings 
drying in morning sun
slender dragonfly

meadow mushroom cap
pink gills hide underneath
harvest for dinner

cumulus clouds
disappear behind willow
never emerge

southwest winds blow
zephyr to gale
beyond our control

photo 3photo 2

Photos and hanging piece by Laura Mulry

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.




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.


Working on a Piece for the Wetlands Installation by Pamela Wolfe

The group that met last weekend at the Leonora Curtin Wetlands in La Cienega is preparing to complete our pieces of poetry and drawing. On Sunday, we’ll hang all the pieces in the trees along the path and have an opening from 4-6 pm, with refreshments. Please join us!
Right now, we’re in the thick of creative process.
Here are the ideas one writer/artist is working on. Thank you Pamela!

This might go with a pen & ink of a cluster of flowers from the rabbit brush, field guide style.

Compositae (Asteraceae) – Sunflower Family
or working through the keys

Ray flowers purple?
Y: Did you bring a trowel?
N: Flowers yellow?
N: you’ll need a hand lens
Y: scalpel, forceps, prayer

Here’s another (who can resist sunflowers, eh?)

…are not afraid that,
Like Semile, they will be
Destroyed. Wish granted.

And those frogs…

Are they color blind, the frogs?
Twenty pairs of eyes.
Heron, still, among the reeds.
Nineteen pairs of eyes.

This with a water color of a few reeds in greenish, Japanese brush strokes, with a pair of heron legs, bluish gray.

And, for those of us who spend far more time thinking about doing than doing (and incidentally, read some of Vincent’s letters to Theo)

Thinking about painting
Random complements.
How many steps, gray to green?
Vincent, where are you?

This could appear with several color mixing exercises – payne’s grey to yellow, payne’s gray to purple, payne’s gray to green, payne’s gray to red, and so on.
This might go with a pen & ink of a cluster of flowers from the rabbit brush, field guide style.