Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

I like following what is going on at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in upstate New York. I have fond memories of being an artist-in-residence there. Here is a poem–published in SEVEN PLACES IN AMERICA–written there:

Body Of

body of water

body of work

yellow mustard field
body of evidence

body of liberties

body of knowledge

body of research

body of principals

body of water

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park
Today we celebrate new work by visiting artist Jen Dawson. ‘Super Natural’ is composed of cement, wire mesh, and braided and patinated steel wool. The bodily nature of the work embraces change— the steel wool will quickly rust and transform, creating dichotomies of seduction and recoil, welcoming and resistance. Experience the dynamic and complex ‘Super Natural’ located in the Secret Garden.
Thank you @jendawsonart for working tirelessly and enthusiastically, rain or shine, this week at the park.
ID: A large rounded and blunt rock-like structure with large black and brown braids crowning the top and sides.


Two Poems by Kate Merlin

Some refreshment on a hot day from Santa Fe writer Kate Merlin.

All oceans are one ocean,
turquoise, the grey green of the Atlantic
The shimmer and depths, so many names and
places where it rushes to land
the defining skin
forming shapes and features. I wake up
and look in the mirror. This face, this smile
this life. Oh for a lover, to sweep me out of myself
for a minute, or an hour, into the sea
that cascades to the source.


The Royals

The queen is jubilant at her jubilee
70 years on the throne
To be born a queen
Sounds so grand
I was born feeling like a queen
The spangled sunlight as I lay in my buggy
My mother’s smiles
Now at 75
So many memories
But that one remains
The queen couldn’t do better.

Fairy House Preview

So exciting–we’re entering the third year of poetry in the fairy houses on the dog path of Santa Fe Skies RV Park off of Route 14.
We’ve enjoyed hosting poems by Bill Waters, and are thrilled to preview Devon Miller-Duggan. Here is one of her poems. All of them will be installed by early summer. Stay tuned!


All the dogs know we’re here.
None of the dogs wants you to know
what they know about our sun-cap and curved gills.
None of the dogs believe you’d believe
the dreams we puff out just for them,
just for them through the S of our door.
Look closely as you can,
closely, closely. Perhaps
your dog will breathe just right
so that you glimpse
rainbows just behind the door.

Mushroom with sculptor Tim Brown, whose vision infuses the themes of the Fairy Houses.

Intergenerational Love: a poem by Judy K Mosher

I’m 70, Evan is 6
his smile is earnest, respectful
his laugh ripples through his body
contagious to the very walls.
Over dinner, he asks Aunt Judy,
do you have any questions for me?
Oh, yes, I do, I reply warmly.
our Q and A go on a long time
I learn of riding the yellow school bus
with Lydia from across the street,
with Conner his seatmate, and
recess play with friend Arseem,
and how this fall
the leaf sucker comes down
the street and sucks all the leaves
raked into curbside piles.
You wait, I’ll show you he grins,
anticipates sharing this wonder.

his brown eyes dance, reveal
his lightening quick mind
followed by rapid speed of
tongue-twisted words, giggles.
my aging brain only vaguely
recalls such sensations.
Not vague however, is the warmth
of his small hand in mine as we
cross another snowy street.

Midrash by Miriam Sagan


In the middle of the night
I couldn’t tell the difference

between what I wanted
and what I had

between my first
and my second husband

between what I loved
and what loved me.

The neighbor keeps a light on
against burglars

although he no longer stands smoking
and his mother is long dead

behind his house
a recluse prays

in front of mine
four brothers shoot hoops

in the middle of the night
a coyote strolls across St. Francis Drive

Coyote pretends to sleep on a park bench
counting stars

I say: you can count on me
even, if in darkness,

I can’ tell
the difference

between Rachel and Leah
Jacob and the angel.
Recently published in a Canadian anthology from Black Dog & One-Eyes Press. And forthcoming in my book START AGAIN from Red Mountain Press, 2021. Some notes: Midrash is commentary, a traditional Jewish practice of deconstructing text. In contemporary terms, you can add your own experience. Because midrash is thoughtful, I think of it as a kind of antidote to my continuous knee jerk opinions about everything. Coyote is the local trickster in the American Southwest. I read Jacob, patriarch though he may be, as a similar figure.

The Concrete Ships: Poem by Miriam Sagan

The Concrete Ships

At first you thought
the tankers in the shipping lane

weren’t real, but some kind
of mystic breakwater

then they seemed real enough
to leave, and go in search of

of something else
nine concrete ships

piled up in the Chesapeake
to protect from storms, and the imagination

that balks
at floating perpendicular skyscrapers

ghosts of war
never leave certain shores

is its own holy grail quest.

As children
we rather loved

the huge fractured hull
sinking in the sand

broken off, a monument
to failure, wreckage

not unlike our scarred exhausted

who still could tell
quite a story.

It rained at night
off Hatteras

the place names
soothe me like a lullaby

but even the strongest lighthouse
can be displaced

and dreams dashed
over these rocks.


Photos from Atlas Obscura

Two Poems by Kate O’Neill

Based on photographs by Ansel Adams.

Sunset, Ghost Ranch, 1937

The way light falls clouds could become
an abacus: summing, totaling, subtracting.

First to penumbra then to iridescence.
If clouds had black & white flecked

wings like a speckled flicker: evanescent,
eloquent: each would have it’s own

unpredictable destiny, alighting for an
instant, stunningly embellished.


Sunrise, Laguna Pueblo, 1937

Major chords enter percussive,
across the scene from left, bend

around corners, sound-bounce reflections
from mudded walls. Woke-dog stands solid on

four legs, ears up, tail illumined, face eclipsed.
Indentations in the foot-travelled dirt shatter light

like bitten glass. Stone walls glitter silver as a
tin-mercury mirror amalgam refracts. Not long

ago a west wind moved through here and left the
clouds a mess: inconsolable wisps. As if they were

broken in a dissonant crescendo. Lost, torn-up, scared. The
tall adobe church walls look smooth to the touch, as if made

from ivory, golden fine butter cream, corn silk, old lace,
goat skin—its polished, caressed body newly awakening.

Selfie Interview on New Poetry Book: Me, Myself, and the Cosmos by Miriam Sagan

Me: Hi Mir! What’s new?

Me: Well…as you are probably are keeping up with world events I’ll focus on something personal and positive. I have a new book of poetry out. STAR GAZING from Cholla Needles.

Me: How did that happen?

Me: Well, last autumn I gave a reading in Joshua Tree. I love the Cholla Needles magazine. The whole poetry scene there felt great—so grassroots and homey, but full of interest. And editor Rich Soos is a quintessential small press publisher with a lot of heart. The whole thing just took me back to my roots in community and to a lifetime in independent publishing.

Me: Sounds nice! I bet you wanted to send them a manuscript.

Me: I did, but I couldn’t figure out what. Finally my husband Rich Feldman gave me the idea—a collected book of my poems about astronomy.

Me: Great idea! Did Rich realize it would all be about him?

Me: Maybe not at first. But he loves the sky, and has shown me a lot, so he has an, excuse me, “starring” role.

Me: The poems go back to the 80’s?

Me: Just a few. And I wrote a lot of new ones. One for each planet, in fact. But not following the usual archetypes. For example, Venus is “The Warrior.”

Me; Was it hard to pick what went in?

Me: Well, I discovered that the moon, or Venus, seems to rise in most of my poems! But I stuck to ones with a real astronomical theme, including observatories, model solar systems, comets, and yes, my famous cousin Carl.

Me: How can people get a copy?

Me: Well, Mir, there are copies stacked up in the study…oh, you mean OTHER people! For a signed/review copy just write me at
You can get a freebie from me for just a tiny review.

On Amazon:

Me: Are you happy?

Me: Usually I get nervous when a book comes out. But this volume has a really nice vibe—feels good, looks good. People seem to like it! So, yes.

Me: And what are you wearing?

Me: A Cosmic Shirt.

Me. Did you get that just to promo the book?

Me: Yup.

Interview with Ya’el Chaikind: Counting the Omer / Revelations of the Heart

Editor’s note: I’m always interested in time and counting. And I follow Ya’el Chaikind’s Omer poems. Given that the pandemic may be altering or relationship to time, I interviewed her about her process.

What is your Omer poetry project?

Counting the Omer is an ancient Jewish custom where each spring you intentionally immerse in the spiritual Kabbalistic qualities of lovingkindness, boundaries, harmony, endurance, awe, foundation, and dignity for 49 days. The 50th day corresponds to the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, and is known as a time of revelation.

Counting the Omer begins on the second night of Passover. Passover is a Jewish holiday that celebrates freedom from slavery. Could it be that we need to free ourselves from old stories, beliefs, or habits that enslave us in order to receive these revelatory teachings? With the freedom of seven weeks to intentionally interact with these spiritual qualities, what new insights and perspectives will be revealed on the 50th day?

These are the intriguing questions for me. So, eight years ago, I decide to follow this cycle. I write a poem each day for 49 days and directly experience the potency of this sacred technology. Some days I have an hour to write, others, only fifteen minutes. The daily exercise of surrendering to my muse, writing a poem without
censoring myself, and then walking away without editing myself, has become a transformative spiritual practice that I repeat each year.

My book, Revelations of the Heart: A 49-Day Journey of Poems and Prompts to Write Your Way to Revelation, is a writing guide and poetry book that helps readers along their own transformative journeys, no matter what time of the year. It’s available on Amazon in soft cover and kindle. Check out my website for more information or if you want a personal guide on this journey. ( / )

PS: An “omer” is a unit of measure. On the second day of Passover, in the days of the Temple, an omer of barley was cut down and brought to the Temple as an offering. The next day, two measures of barley were offered. This continued for 49 days. The idea of counting each day represented spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah on Shavuot (the 50th day). (Leviticus 23:15).

How many years is this of the project?

This year marked my 8th year of Counting the Omer through poetry. That’s 392 poems!

How influenced by the pandemic were you? 

Each year my poems chronicle the intimate details of daily life, and this year was no exception with regards to the pandemic. Each year, I get more and more bold in my willingness to share my vulnerability with others, offering my Facebook friends a daily offering of my heart. Another revelation, to find strength and mutual support when practicing vulnerability! Like all art forms, the Omer provides me an outlet for creative expression. The pandemic definitely influenced me, but there is always something deeper to explore under every event, like universal themes of fear, sadness, finding joy in times of pain, where am I going to buy toilet paper, you know, that sort of thing.

Bio note
Ya’el Chaikind is a licensed psychotherapist, educator, book coach, author, poet, and storyteller living in Santa Fe, NM. Please visit her website for more information:



i call upon the indwelling
presence of a she-god, he-god,

searching for a vaccination
to innoculate me against
the darkness

skewing my vision as I search
the horizon for better days
to come and my hope

waxes and wanes in the fullness
of the moon holding up
the sky that might fall

what else can I do but remember
there is only love
there is only kindness

and sniff the freshly blossomed
fragrance of apricot flowers
tender and fleeting

like love, like kindness, renewing
their vows to have and to hold
my heart, forever.

Ya’el Chaikind
April 9, 2020 / 15 Nisan 5780

Omer Day 1:
Chesed Shebe Chesed
Lovingkindness within Lovingkindness




Closing the loop,
dotting my I’s, and
crossing my heart before I die
for tonight I tie the knot
with the Beloved.

Another journey ends,
only to begin again.

Each poem a prayer
that poked holes
in my inner hot air

Instead of deflation,
rising above
the Things That Do
Not Matter on
raven wings.

Tonight I step
towards you
another an inch
and watch as the gates
burst open, wide
enough for a chariot.

Those welcoming arms
that hold the world.

Loving you is
the revelation.

A dignified path that
helps me radically accept
and love myself.

Ya’el Chaikind
5.27.20 // 4 Sivan 5780

Omer Day 49:
Malchut Shebe Malchut
Majesty, Dignity, & Nobility within Majesty, Dignity, & Nobility