Midrash Writing Prompt by Miriam Sagan & Isabel Winson-Sagan

Describe the setting of a narrative as a short poem, but include no people or storytelling. In this case, it was Genesis 31, where a pillar and mound are set up in the desert as a contract. Every time I read the passage I see the Navajo Res in my mind’s eye, or even just the Galisteo Basin.

smell of sage
tarantula elegantly
climbing out of a hole
left by something else
a long gone rabbit, God’s hand

MS

The Mound & The Pillar

Stones stacked on top of stones
stark against a blue sky
it smells like dust and livestock,
like the desert smells after a long journey
is it a boundary line, a covenant,
or the way back?

IWS

FAQ’s About Miriam’s Well

FAQ’s About This Blog

1. What is the meaning of the name Miriam’s Well?
It comes from Midrash, or Biblical commentary. When the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, a well of water appeared each evening wherever they made camp. It was associated with the prophetess Miriam, and disappeared with her death. It was an endless source of refreshment.
Of course, my name is also Miriam!

2. What is the mission of the blog?
Basically to publish poetry (mine and yours) and to follow the creative process where it leads. The focus is on writing and art from Santa Fe–but I also welcome work from beyond. I’m blogging about my forays into land art and about various travels, often in search of inspiration.

3. Why Baba Yaga and Patti Smith as two themes?
Well, they are my heroines. Baba Yaga is a scary Slavic witch–but admirable for her compact “green” house on chicken legs. Patti Smith isn’t the only great rock and roller to emerge from my home state of New Jersey, but she was a beacon for many writers of my generation.

4. Who are the contributors? And how can I get interviewed?
I’m entering my fortieth year as a small press publisher (started with an underground magazine in high school) where I published my friends. I still do–particularly as many are very accomplished and well known writers (or about to be!). The blog publishes a lot of student work, and a lot of work contributed by those just passing by. I publish much of what is submitted. Please send me
something!
To get interviewed–if you are a poet with a book, drop me a note.

5. Has all this blogging cut into your writing time?
Weirdly not. I’m writing poems at my usual rate and working on numerous projects–books and text installations. I recently reviewed the blog and in about 10 months worth there was only one prose entry that wanted to be a poem.The blog seems to give me more energy than it takes…then again, maybe I’ve just cut down on housework. Things do look a little dusty.