Archive for May, 2010

Class of 2010
by Sharon Niederman @2010

Your father’s up there, somewhere, in the bleachers
With his new girlfriend, not much older than you
Nervous, tattooed, huddled in the corner
Murmuring into her cell phone
She’s going out for cigarettes

Last time you saw him
You were eleven, screaming, out of control
Cops came in the middle of the night
After he threw you down the stairs
He sent your mother to the hospital

For years you made your own breakfast
Got yourself and the others off to school
Booze on her breath, you took care of her too
She’s up there crying
You’ve made her proud

You can’t wait to get away
Anywhere, away from here
Two year school in Missouri
The counselor handed you
A full ride, your ticket out

Pomp and circumstance
Pomp and circumstance
You march to that bleary rhythm
Step on stage, in long gold robe
Wobbling on four inch heels
But hey – you won’t fall, no way.

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Below is a draft of the introduction to NEW MEXICO’S TASTY TRADITIONS: RECOLLECTIONS, RECIPES & PHOTOS forthcoming this fall from New Mexico Magazine.  You are invited to LaVeta, Colorado Public Library May 20, 7 pm, for a slide lecture on the book.

New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions @ Sharon Niederman, 2010
Eating is not the only reason people come to New Mexico. A few of the other attractions are history, the beauty and variety of the land, the enduring cultures, the arts and the recreational possibilities. But tasting is essential. Days spent here, whether weeks, months or a lifetime, include sampling the distinctive flavors and inhaling the aromas of this special place.
They contain the warmth of the sun, the blessed moisture of rain and snow,  soul-satisfying nourishment of the earth, the patience of hands, and the wisdom of long tradition. They are deep and unforgettable.  We revel in the flavors of this land, a gathering of sense-defying flavors that exists nowhere else on earth. (more…)

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The following is a piece taken from my journal written long ago – pre-email, pre-cell phone, pre-Facebook. .
It comes from a completely different time and world than the one we now live in. I am editing work I want to include in my upcoming SHRINES & SIGNS: SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS ACROSS NEW MEXICO, due out 2011, from The Countryman Press.

Lama Hermitage – New Year, 1987
First, there’s how I see myself; how I think of myself. I carry these pictures and ideas up the steep icy path to the High Hermitage on Lama Mountain, along with food, water, backpack of warm clothes, notebooks, candles, charms, finger cymbals. Of my adventure, friends say, “How brave,” while thinking, “How peculiar.”
Then, there are my expectations. All that time, all alone. I expect to be visited by all my fears, those old reliable terrors I know so well yet still don’t understand, as if understanding them will make them go away. OK, so come and get me. This time, I’ll really take you on. Meditate and pray. (more…)

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