Archive for July, 2010

Learning to Love Petunias

Petunias, how I scorned them. Common flowers
Easy to grow, ordinary, found everywhere
Boring as begonias or geraniums
I preferred antique roses: Don Juan, Toulouse Lautrec, Constance Spry
Confabulations of petals, scent, delicacy too good for this world.
I spent a fortune on mulches, concocted seaweed
Potions to nourish root growth
Released ladybug larvae at twilight
Slayd aphids at dawn by hand
All season I scarcely slept, kept
Vigilant against the inevitable –  black spot, powdery mildew, spider mites
Thrips, leafhoppers and weevils  — each enemy requiring its own defense
My heart broke when buds wilted, but I carried on
Doned new gloves,  pruned next season
Consoled by my flowers’ hard-won beauty, I prepared to lose
My own.  At least it could be said (and was)
“You grow such beautiful roses.”

Now I keep pots of petunias, translucent pinks mixed
with indigo, coral alongside scarlet,  gaily thriving. They are no
Trouble, they require only water and sunshine.  Neither July
Drought nor desert heat spoils their persistent joy
Pests avoid them; however,  bees sip from their open hearts,
Deadheading is a pleasure that brings new blossoms
Petunias are a pinata burst open, favors falling freely
Bright as a child’s birthday balloons, they behave as though
Summer will last forever
They are a polka, hands clapping, feet stomping, flying across the dance floor
As commonplace as a friendly smile on a dark, lonely road.
Sharon Niederman@2010

Read Full Post »

John Richard Ingamells 1936-2010

John Richard Ingamells
Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force John Richard Ingamells (Ret.), born July 28, 1936 in Fulton, N.Y., passed away peacefully July 16, 2010. A Raton resident for nine years, Jack was preceded in death by his father, Horace, and his mother, Anna Ingamells of Fulton, NY. Jack is survived by his beloved wife, Monica, originally of Helsinki, Finland, and loving son, Eric Richard Ingamells and wife Andrea Anderson-Ingamells and daughter Saundra Lamb, grand-daughters Iliana Emerald Ingamells, Cierra Alise Ingamells, Tasha Yancey and Angela Yancey, all of San Antonio, Texas, as well as loving step-children Annie Maria Wikstroem and Jonas BJ Wikstroem, of Finland. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Losing a Friend: RIP Jack Ingamells

We had news Friday, July 16, 2010 of the sudden and unexpected passing of dear friend and neighbor Jack Ingamells.  Jack had just come home from a successful knee replacement operation in Pueblo. He looked great! He was back on the exercise bike. He was laughing, and we had a good visit and talk last Monday night with him and wife Monica.  He passed away peacefully in his sleep Friday night. He was 73.

Jack was a decorated Vietnam vet, with a Bronze Star, a career Air Force Lt. Colonel, and he had lived all over the world, from Alaska to Thailand. He was an engineer, an expert woodworker. And a sailor and dog-lover. Most of all, he was a truly good man and a rare friend – loyal, rock-solid, always available whenever a friend called on him, modest, wise,  generous, fair-minded,  and ready to laugh. We were lucky to know him. We grieve with Monica and his family and friends.

Read Full Post »

Big Wow at Taos Powwow

Triumphant drumming, singing, fancy dancing and the best frybread ever made for an exhilarating 2010 Powwow at Taos this weekend. Outfitted in splendid finery, dancers  of all ages with grace, dignity and incredible energy competed for prizes beneath sacred Taos Mountain as blessings of rain showers and pieces of rainbow awed the crowd. Locals, tourists and visiting Native families celebrated together as solemn and moving tributes were made to warriors, veterans and those who fought for the return of the sacred Blue Lake to the people of Taos Pueblo. Long live the spirit of powwow that keeps memory, tradition and friendships between cultures alive.

Read Full Post »

Joan Logghe was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1947, where her mother ran a fashionable beauty parlor and her father a men’s clothing store that is still in the family. Joan attended Tufts University, and during the early 1970s, moved to La Puebla, NM, just outside of Espanola, with her husband, Michael. There they built a house and raised their three children, and there they have lived ever since. Joan has published numerous volumes of poetry,  given countless readings, taught regularly at Ghost Ranch, and is one of the most beloved and acclaimed writing teachers in New Mexico. She has worked ceaselessly and tirelessly in the service of the Muse, and she has inspired and fostered the voices of many, including those fortunate to know her as a dear and loyal friend. Much of her work celebrates her love for the place she lives. She was recently honored by being named Santa Fe’s third Poet Laureate. The following poem is an early classic from Joan’s oeuvre.

Something Like Marriage

I’m engaged to New Mexico. I’ve been engaged for 18 years.

I’ve worn its ring of rainbow set with a mica shard. I’ve

given my dowry already, my skin texture, my hair moisture.

I’ve given New Mexico my back-East manners, my

eyesight, the arches of my feet. New Mexico’s a difficult

fiance. I learned the word chamisa, and the plant takes an

alias, I plant trees for it, carry water to them. At

first New Mexico plays hard to get, says: “Learn Spanish. (more…)

Read Full Post »


Begin with scissors, staff, sack
Prowl back alleys, startle feral cats
Hope in God’s gifts:  Quelites,
Wild spinach, yes, here, in dusty despair
Nourishment abounds. This portion of manna
Forces its way through shattered glass, broken concrete,
Forgotten intentions, discarded possessions
A scavenger for grace rejoices in
Stalks bearing jagged green leaves.

With no abuelita to teach preparation
Grasp the spoon, intuit the method: Rinse well
Chop garlic, onion, fry bacon, add leaves,
Stir gently until tender, serve hot.
Sharon Niederman@2010

Read Full Post »