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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

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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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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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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Quelites

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

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Two Stairways

A 1906 house surely must harbor a ghost or two

Surely these walls have seen enough death and sorrow to yield

A scream from the attic, a slammed door

The unexplained knock, the flickering candle,

The scent of roses in the parlor

None of these signs yet, though I have lain awake, uneasy

Many nights. Thrown off  blankets, wrapped myself in silk

Tiptoed down the hall, then, at the landing

A decision:

The carpeted staircase for madame’s grand entry, or

The narrow back stairway, leading to the kitchen?

Both mistress and maid of this house, I meet myself when

Stars vanish and moonlit clouds of August puzzle the sky,

Fans whirl, dogs turn and sigh, leaves consider their end

Reminding me that, for this brief time, I share this shelter with

Those spirits who have come before, and those bound to follow.
Sharon Niederman@2010

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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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