Archive for the ‘Poems & essays’ Category

Canyon Road Winter Twilight
Do not say you will come back
When it is warmer
When you have time
When the light is better
When the galleries are open
When the chestnut trees are green
When a woman in red sits on the garden bench
When the blue gate is wide open
When the duende seizes you
When you are not obsessing
When you are not regretting
When you are not counting
Your losses
See the Hunger Moon scale the Sangres
Press the shutter. Now.
Sharon Niederman, February, 2012

Canyon Road, Santa Fe

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Life is Like a One Night Stand

I want to put my arms around Life

Hold it close, squeeze it tight

Climb on it

Wrap my legs around it

Twist with it

Explode with it

I want to dance with life

Though it pushes me around the floor

Too close to the edge

Keeps me in the dark

Does not say “Thank you”

Expects to take me home

Life is not a good person

And does not care what I think

About that

Life is a narcissist

With no intention of changing

Of course he has others

But we don’t talk about that

Life is a crude lover

He doesn’t “get” me

Or pay attention

Or take time

Life does not give me what I want most

Life only gives me what he feels like giving

When he is in the mood

But, hey, Life, I know you need me

To look you in the eye, to tell your stories

We meet up at the hot springs

In Truth or Consequences

Moonrise over Turtleback Mountain

Lights the Rio Grande silver

Life takes me to his beached Airstream

Has his way with me all night long.

@ Sharon Niederman, Jan. 2, 2012

My new year commitment: I will be blogging at least every Monday. . .appreciate your visits & comments.

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Put on your love dress

take off your other garments

the ones that cost you most.

Wear your heart out.

Become a transvestite

for love. Dress as a heart.

Establish a municipality

with eyes you meet on the street.

Enter the election for darling.

Let kindness reign.  Put on

no airs. Be plain as feet

which can also carry you away

along the love highway.

Hello. What is your name?

I have forgotten it again. Remind me.     JSL 2.13.11

Love Fest:   Friday, February 18, 7:00-9:00 Center for Spritual Living, Santa Fe, w/ Mirabai Daniels this will be an evening of music, story, and poetry with Mirabai, Michael Kott, and Joan Logghe….divine cello, poetry of Rumi, Kabir, and yours truly.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Little History, Travel, and It All Tastes Good

<!–COPYRIGHT:Copyright 2010 Albuquerque Journal–> By David Steinberg
Journal Staff Writer
“New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions — Recollections, Recipes and Photos” by Sharon Niederman
New Mexico Magazine, $27.95, 136 pp.
Sharon Niederman’s long-standing interest in food and travel converge in this engaging quilt of a book that is part travelogue, part cookbook and part cultural history.
A former Albuquerque resident who lives in Raton, Niederman takes the reader on a ride to eateries, homes and other locales around New Mexico.
In one section, she heads to Pietown, where she introduces the Daily Pie Cafe and the Pie-O-Neer Café. She interviews Kathy Knapp, who runs the Pie-O-Neer. The book contains her recipes for New Mexico Apple Pie and the French Pear with Ginger Pie.
The town, as the book explains, is on a 102-mile stretch of U.S. 60 west of Socorro. “In a refreshing change of pace, not a single fast-food establishment is in sight,” Niederman writes of the roadway, and then pursues a bit of sightseeing.
Check out, she writes, the “haunted ruins” of the Kelly Mine, Magdalena’s deserted stockyards and Charles Ilfeld’s warehouse. Isn’t the warehouse abandoned, too?
In another segment, Niederman writes about the popular watering hole Chope’s Bar & Café, in La Mesa, south of Las Cruces. She relates Chope’s family history and serves up its recipe for Chiles Rellenos.
Then the book declares enigmatically, “Las Cruces may be the New Orleans of New Mexico cuisine.” Huh? Niederman doesn’t support this throwaway speculative comparison; Chope’s is the only restaurant mentioned here.
The book also takes the reader to private homes and public events.
For example, you enter Tuda Libby Crews’ kitchen, where she is baking bizcochitos. She lives on the family’s Ute Creek Cattle Company Ranch in Bueyeros. The book, which includes her recipes for bizcochitos, discusses the origins of the cookie and the Great Legislative Debate in 1989 over the spelling, with a “z” or an “s.” Niederman says that “old-fashioned traditionalists (isn’t a traditionalist old-fashioned?) held out for “biscochito.”
One family event mentioned is the Glenwood Dutch-oven cookoff. That gives Niederman an opportunity to discuss the Dutch oven’s role in New Mexico cooking. The Dutch oven recipe here is Jane Shafer’s Arroz con Pollo. She is part of the Shafer Gallacher Ranch in Lincoln County.
The book refers to the public food-buying events known as farmers’ markets.
One section talks about urban gardening, focusing on the prolific, diversified, award-winning fruits, vegetables and flowers of the Albuquerque couple Jeanne Whitehouse and David Kammer.
Among other sections are those on the horno and a narrative about latkes, with the author’s recipe for the traditional Hanukkah dish.
David Steinberg is the Journal Books editor and an arts writer.
Sharon Niederman discusses, signs “New Mexico Tasty Traditions” at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Collected Works, 202 Galisteo, Santa Fe; at 3 p.m. Dec. 5 at Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande NW; and at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at Tome on the Range, 158 Bridge St., Las Vegas, N.M.

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Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe, which produces multicultural performances, will stage three readings of Jim Sagel’s works in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Espanola in December.  Below is a link to the theatre’s website with information about these performances.  For further information, contact Argos MacCallum at 505-424-1601.


In his recent book about Espanola, UNM American Studies professor Michael Trujillo wrote a chapter about Sagel.  The book is entitled Land of Disenchantment: Latina/or Identifies and Transformations in Northern New Mexico.  Dr. Trujillo will speak about his book at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Saturday, December 4, at 2 PM.

I learned of the works of Jim Sagel while living in Santa Fe in 2001-2003.  I saw a film in progress about his life by Pilar Rodriguez Aranda that was shown at the Juan de Onate Monument and Visitors Center near Espanola on the road to Taos, State Route 68.  I then looked up news articles about Sagel and read of his death by suicide in April 1998 at age 50.  (more…)

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DIY: A Refreshing Point of View from a UNM Student

1. Please introduce yourself – we like detail.
Hi Sharon! My name is Isabel, and I’m currently a student at UNM, majoring in religious studies and minoring in anthropology. I’m also involved in Santa Fe Community College’s woodworking program. My scholastic history is a torrid one, and UNM is actually the fourth college I’ve attended.
I spent my freshman year at Antioch College (which was also the last year that Antioch was operational) and I still define myself as an Antiochian. Antioch was a pretty wild place to be, but the school’s motto “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity” by Horace Mann, was pretty much taken to heart by everyone who went there, even if it was in some secret, small way.
2. What are the most powerful ideas, ways of being, you have received from your growing up? (more…)

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The Mesa

We would never wear shoes because/we didn’t want to lose the feeling of the earth on our soles/over gravel, mud, and potholes we would let/the spaces between our toes record the joys of our journeys.

We ran, floating on calloused cushions over reddish rocks,/leaping chamisos like the jackrabbits we saw,/escaping the big kids, at whom we threw dirt clods/stopping only to turn around and let another one sail,/and scatter,/and return home among the ground,/ or the filthy shirts of our victims

We learned the barbed wire scrapes stung less/than the first time our air rifles found birds./We learned to climb no trespassing signs/ before we learned to read the words. (more…)

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Only in New Mexico

Last night I met Billy the Kid’s grandson
Serving beans and sopaipillas
To  hungry souls these past forty years
Driving north through Vegas, snow coming in
We parked the UHaul
At the only open place in town (more…)

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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

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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…)

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