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2021 American Place New Mexico Poems

I must be in the right place

The blue screen won’t load
The news is old
The fire is hot
The coffee is cold

I must be in the right place

The wind whistles through the trees
The air wheezes as I breathe
The dirt is dirty with blackest soot
The trees have fallen exposing roots

I must be in the right place

I am in the write place
With time to think
And craft this space
With smoke in my eyes there’s time to blink

I must be in the right place

With many miles and tires worn
My skin the sun seeks to absorb
The camp is set, the children fed
No fingers, smashed, no nothing bled

I must be in the right place

Categories
2021 Albuquerque American Place Bird Song Poems

Won’t Run From Love

Sly, daring, road running
Time of Love, not quite spring
But the waning days of winter sing
Of the promise — A Whisper
Of the returning season
Of raising a new generation
Of cunning birds…
This one with Lizard in mouth
An offering for his devote
Lifemate and lover.
In the road they dance
And show that they have
No patience for the changing clime
Rare to take flight, in pursuit he might
Soar from rooftop to rooftop.
With coos, clicks and beeps
He woos his sweet and as we pass
They pay no mind to our kind.

Categories
2021 American Place Poems Utah

A Horse Named “Unlucky”

Boys are dumb and I was one.
My brother yet another…
Having started our vacation in canyons
With adventures beyond our imagination
My brother and I headed out for a walk
Into the sandstone curves of Arches’ rocks.
Taller and faster he tracked on ahead
And separated we became instead.
Too far out to go back, without the
Brother I lacked, I kept searching around ’til
I found him at the edge of a sweeping bowl.
And, down deep in that hollowed out hole
Laid the scattered bones of a horse that
Became known as “Unlucky.”
Fascinated by this find, into that hole we climbed
Only to leave ourselves with no escape route.
After hollers and shouts, our luck too had
Run out and we resolved to settle
In for the night. Our backs to the wall
We sat with whistles to blow
Tunes as our call out for help.
As day finished up and the sun drifted
Down, it’s hard to know how long we
Chirped. Long enough that our Mom, full
Of worry, dragged Dad out to search
For these dumb boys who kept running off.
These whistles that they bought us
For just such a cause had led them
Unto our holey predicament. Mom found us
In our hole, with our backs against the wall,
Chirping like birds getting ready for the night.
Our father she found to haul us out of
The ground, too happy to scold,
These boys they raised to be bold.

From the Journal of Judy Sutherlin

Categories
American Place Guest Writers

From the Journals of Judy Sutherlin

1979 – Tues. July 17 – Awake at 6:55 AM – We took sponge baths & had breakfast cereal – Stephen fell out of bed last night or was sleep walking.—He doesn’t remember – Broke the chain on vent so had to repair it — Jim didn’t smash himself this morn. He says it feels better — boys played ball away by 9:50 — Red Rock area pretty — then Gallup – gas – 10.5mpg – Bah! Straight up to Ship Rock – Lunch at Table Mesa rest stop — getting warm now. (Missing the trailer toilet facilities) – at Ship Rock finally had potty stop & got ice – 15.5 mpg – better! No air conditioning made the difference. So drove from Cortez on into Canyonlands before Moab before  turning the air on – Dad took nap while mom drove — hilly — bad roads into Utah – Pretty tho – Monticello pretty town with nice park – didn’t stop tho til Wilson’s Arch – 3:50 got our candy bars – Mom tired! Dad took over – boy did air cond. feel good. Moab was unique looking – nestled in amongst the Canyons & the Colorado River running by. Got to Arches in good time – about 5:30 – 18 mi. back in – we were so proud we got there & set up. Realized Randy had locked trailer door – No key – Mom went looking for boys who were climbing & got stuck in a pit – all were sick about trailer. Everyone tried to pick lock – Had given up & decided to stay w/o the door in – when Stephen Miraculously announced he opened it. Couldn’t believe it. Wind really picked up – but cooled things down – Mom fixed grilled sirloin steak – mashed Pot., salad – Dad took boys on MC Ride before dinner & after dinner Mom got a ride to watch the sunset while  boys did the dishes – 1st time – Mom was surprised to learn there are many Arches – not just one. Beau is sure being a good dog this trip – Not always on chain & staying close in. He’s doing better than the boys who run off every chance – They do love Canyons – All went to Ranger talk – Delicate Arch is really Landscape Arch & Visa Versa – Many comical errors in the formation of park – Became Nat’l Monument 1929 – Nat’l Park 1971. To bed by 10:00 – we’re all exhausted!

A Horse Named “Unlucky”

Categories
2021 Albuquerque American Place Poems

Ghost Town

The City is full of Ghosts
Not the dead kind
The impressions of existence
Left behind.
Rarely do we see the signs
Like Coyote
Never revealing her constant
Presence.
She only comes out when
No one else can observe her.

Yet, as I walk out in the
Quiet snow this morning
An entire ecosystem reveals
its passage by…
The rabbit who I’ve never seen
On my street
Has walked around my car
Looking for what I might
Have dropped to eat.

Many, many people whose paths
Are clear from footprints
In and out of their houses.
The robins and finches who
Have come for morning meal.

All is silent but I know they are there
Revealed by their impressions…

Like Racoon and Coyote
Solo trails without human companion
The handish print and claws
And the canine with no walker.

Categories
2021 Albuquerque American Place Poems

Assailant One

Perception is not reality
Just ask The Mountain
She is an illusion…

Presenting herself
Like a bear on hind legs
Much grander much
Bigger – A whole lot
More terrifying.

But the mountain lies…
Not One Mountain at all
Many (mini) Mountains
Each requiring its own
Accent.

Each of a scale and
Magnitude to fatigue
The sojourner who seeks
To run his toes through her
Sands.

She is grand, but
Not how she seems
From a distance.
From afar, un-assailable!

Yet, peel away her layers
And you may find a
Passage unto her loving
Bosom.

Categories
2021 Albuquerque American Place Bird Song Poems

Golden Boughs

The trees acknowledge me
Nodding their heads
In the breeze

Contrasted pillars
Of black and white
Glowing golden

Packed full of
Black birds
Suddenly silent

Then bursting away
In a tightly packed
School of flight

Growing calls
Of the animals
Preparing for the night

Herons tall
And purple
Pecking their evening meal

As little perfection
Can be found in this world
This moment, one–

Lifts my spirit and
Makes me bound
Giddy as a child called to home.

Categories
2021 American Place Breaking Muse Poems

American Eulogy

American EulogyWe weep
We weep
We cry
We seek
Meaning
For our
Reverend
And our lost
So many
So many
We knew
Intimately
Now gone
Now gone
To this
Viral cause
Sisters
Brothers
Fathers
Mothers
Our uncles
Grandmas
Our friends
And lovers
Few have been
Untouched
By this Angel
Of Death
Their flags
They fly
Cross the
Capitol sky
So many
Lights in
Reflections
Tonight
Now tamped
Out and
With our prayers
Take flight
Our river
Of tears
Pour on
Pour on
So many
Great Lives
Cut short
In their stride
We call out
Their names
We share
Their good deeds
A chorus
This mourning
Leaves us
All in need
Let us pray

Categories
2021 Albuquerque American Place Bird Song Poems

Crow

Crow, Crow
Pushy
Scared

Crow, Crow
Every
Where

Some in the garden
Some on the roof

Crow, crow
Sacred
Proof

Categories
2020 American Place Poems

Night B4 Christmas

We used to spend
A lot of time
At Christmas

Making magic
In the dark
Behind the curtain

From whole carrots
Left for reindeer
Turned to shredded Peels

The half drunk
Milk and a belly
Full of cookies

I didn’t need
To eat to
The secrets revealed

In the morning
When they wake to
Find “Santa Came!”