Wednesday, January 10, 2007

From our Poetry Correspondent

From our "Poetry Correspondent," Dale Harris
January 10, 2007

Happy New Year, if we haven't already exchanged greetings. My prediction is that 2007 will be filled with great poetry, a sure thing because it's starting off with a bang. Is one of your resolutions to write a poem a day, a week? More fun if you share with other poets so my weekly poem is included.

Thursday, Jan. 11, 7 pm Fickle Muses at Winning Coffee Co, 111 Harvard SE, introducing an online journal of myth and legend. Bob Reeves emcees an open mic for mythic poetry and fiction to celebrate the debut issue. The website, curated by Sari Krosinski, features a weekly single-author selection of poetry or fiction and also publishes book reviews, essays and art. For more information, visit

Friday, Jan. 12, 8 pm Blue Dragon Poetry Slam features Jamie Kilstein from NYC, one of New York's top slam poets, touring internationally. The Blue Dragon Coffeehouse, 1517 Girard NE, off Indian School. Free event.

Sunday, Jan. 14, 5:30 pm Ho Anumpoli! presents Endangered Languages Poetry Reading at Harwood Art Center, 1114 Seventh St. NW north of downtown Albuquerque, corner of Mountain & 7th, 242-6367. Hear Alan Hudson (Irish), Nora Yazzie (Navajo), Colleen Gorman (Navajo), Camilla Dodson (Sesotho), Hoku Duran (Hawaiian), Sanae Wright (Okinawan), Luis & Paula Garcia (Nahuatl). Donations accepted at the door.

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 8 pm MAS Poetry at Winnings Coffee, 111 Harvard SE, a second chance to hear Jamie Kilstein and to participate in a slam. Free event.

Saturday, Jan. 20, 1 to 4:30 pm, 8th Quarterly Poetry Open House at Billy Brown & Sandi Blanton's, 2909 Monterey Ave SE, 3 streets south of Coal, east of Girard. Bring poems, yours or O.P.'s, to share and optional snacks. RSVP or more info 268-0933.

Sunday, Jan 21, 3 pm, Duende Poetry Series of Placitas, Poetic Tribute to Spanish Poet Federico Garcia Lorca at Anasazi Fields Winery featuring Gary Mex Glazner, Joan Logghe, Leo Romero, and Gary L. Brower with flamenco guitarist Nino David and dancer Susana Garrett. Directions to Anasazi Fields Winery: I 25 Exit 242 Bernalillo/Placitas east on Hwy. 165 to old village of Placitas, turn left onto Camino del Los Pueblitos, follow road to the end through 2 stop signs to the winery. Free event and wine tasting. Books by the poets for sale

Sunday, Jan. 28, 3 pm, Acequia Booksellers, Todd Moore will read from his recent poems on Billy the Kid. Acequia Booksellers is located at 4019 4th St. NW at the corner of Cherokee between Candelaria and Griego, 890-5365. Admission is free.

And now here's the poem:


All yesterday, through the night,
today, snow!
a cold treasure here in the high desert
where any gift of water is welcome.

No discernible wind,
this still, silent snow undisturbed
yet there₼s a sky current somewhere
bending its fall, see
it comes at an angle, not straight down.
Or it is the drift of the earth itself.

These snow clouds hang low
a solid opaque white.
We are inside a pearl.
The moon tonight will glow us,
bright reflections from without and within.

The birds, other usual yard animals
aren't in sight, not even a track.
They ride out the storm in whatever shelter
they can find.

We are more than privileged.
Our house is snug, well provisioned,
gas heated, electric power on.
We live in a fortunate part of town.

No work today, the city stops
except for public services
like snow plow and utility repair.
We have soft jobs though,
tasks that people can do without.

Like happy children, we stay home,
reprieved, cheerfully snowbound.
I remember the same feelings when I was ten,
no school, the bus not coming,
a holiday from dull routines.

My husband surprises me.
He suits up, parka and boots,
takes snow shovel and broom
outdoors before even the first cup of coffee.

His mission is to save our trees
from the burden of snow on branches
that bends, might cause them to break.
He is the good gardener even on this winter day.

The roof is next, then sidewalks.
Later he will cook a hearty soup, eat,
then drowse to sleep on the couch.
Today I won't begrudge him that.

From television comes news
a tyrant is hanged, far across the world.
My husband swept the snow from the satellite dish,
so reception is restored.
You should have left the snow alone, I joke
then turn TV off.

Quietly I pray for an end to murder,
an end to cruelty, all and any of it,
his, theirs, ours, everybody's.

Still it snows.

Submitted by Dale Harris, January 10, 2007


  1. poetry lover1/10/2007 1:55 PM

    "Bring poems, yours or O.P.'s, to share" is a good idea.

    Why don't poetry readings up here have a section for O.P. poetry? Good for local interest and participation I bet.

  2. Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca
    Por Jose Marti

    Cultivo una rosa blanca
    En julio como en enero,
    Para el amigo sincero
    Que me da su mano franca.

    Y para el cruel que me arranca
    El corazon con que vivo,
    Cardo ni ortiga cultivo,
    Cultivo una rosa blanca.

  3. I can see him, that stout energetic man in his mukluks,

    white breath puffing from his work reddened face as he mushes about in the yard,

    his shovel waving like a flag of hope for his trees.

    Great Scott!

  4. poetry lover1/13/2007 3:17 PM

    But what does any of this have to do with poetry in Mountainair?

    Are there ever any readings besides at Sunflower or the Arts Tour?

    And why are all the readers almost always from out of town? That doesn't seem right. There was one from here we really enjoyed year before last. Why didn't she read last year or at the arts tour?

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Poetry Lover - we could have both OP and original works sections right here on the blog. I've been thinking about new projects for year 2. This could be fun - asking reading to post thier favorite poems. Also we could call for original poems and do a Reader's Choice - "vote" by commenting on favorites. Sort of a non-oral, text based slam.

    I'm pumped to see so many comments on a poetry post.

    Thanks, Rosa, for posting the Marti classic, "Cultivo una rosa blanca." I'd have to say it's one of my all time favorites in ANY language - and the poem that turned me on to reading poetry. I'll have to find a good translation to post here - my 1st contribution to the "OPP Project" (OPPP?)

  7. hey there poetry lover, let me see if I phrase this more tactfully than the one that got deleted ;)

    my understanding was that the cowboy poet was invited but declined because she felt like regular picnic reader bunch and management kinda looked down on cowboy poetry.

  8. Here's another snow poem, sort of. OPPP - Other People's Poems Project - will have it's very own message. This is just am excuse to share a favorite poem.

    Ballade (des dames de temps jadis)
    Dictes moy ou, n'en quel pays,
    Est Flora la belle Rommaine,
    Archipiades ne Thaïs,
    Qui fut sa cousine germaine,
    Echo parlant quant bruyt on maine
    Dessus riviere ou sus estan,
    Qui beaulté ot trop plus q'humaine.
    Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?

    Ou est la tres sage Helloïs,
    Pour qui chastré fut et puis moyne
    Pierre Esbaillart a Saint Denis?
    Pour son amour ot ceste essoyne.
    Semblablement, ou est la royne
    Qui commanda que Buridan
    Fust geté en ung sac en Saine?
    Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?

    La royne Blanche comme lis
    Qui chantoit a voix de seraine,
    Berte au grand pié, Beatris, Alis,
    Haremburgis qui tint le Maine,
    Et Jehanne la bonne Lorraine
    Qu'Englois brulerent a Rouan;
    Ou sont ilz, ou, Vierge souvraine?
    Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?

    Prince, n'enquerez de sepmaine
    Ou elles sont, ne de cest an,
    Qu'a ce reffrain ne vous remaine:
    Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?

    François Villon c.1461

    Translation (if you must)

    Ballade (of the Ladies of Ancient Times)

    Tell me where, or in what land,
    is Flora the fair Roman girl,
    Archipiada, or Thaïs,
    who was her match in beauty's hall,
    Echo who answered when one called
    over rivers or still pools,
    whose loveliness was more than human?
    Where are the snows of yesteryear?

    Where is Héloïse, so wise, for whom
    Pierre Abelard was first unmanned
    then cloistered up at Saint Denis?
    For her love he bore these trials.
    And where now can one find that queen
    by whose command was Buridan
    thrown in a sack into the Seine?
    Where are the snows of yesteryear?

    Queen Blanche, light as a lily,
    who sang with a mermaid's voice,
    Bertha Bigfoot, Beatrice, Alice,
    Arembourg, heiress to Maine,
    and Joan the good maid of Lorraine
    whom the English griddled at Rouen;
    where are they, where, O Sovereign Virgin?
    Where are the snows of yesteryear?

    Prince, don't ask me in a week
    or in a year what place they are;
    I can only give you this refrain:
    Where are the snows of yesteryear?
    Translation (c), Robin Shirley, 1993

  9. This is fun! What are snow poems without Frost?

    Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.
    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.
    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  10. aha! here's another snow poem - William Carlos Williams' "The Snow Man" (more real snow in it than les neiges d'antan)

    One must have a mind of winter
    To regard the frost and the boughs
    Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

    And have been cold a long time
    To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
    The spruces rough in the distant glitter

    Of the January sun; and not to think
    Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
    In the sound of a few leaves,

    Which is the sound of the land
    Full of the same wind
    That is blowing in the same bare place

    For the listener, who listens in the snow,
    And, nothing himself, beholds
    Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

    (winter version of that damn jar)


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