2022 Albuquerque American Place Garden Psalms New Mexico Poems

Old sycamore

The big dry sycamore leaves
Rattle gently in the breeze
Takes me away to a mountain spring
Washing over the stones before the winter’s freezing.
Cold still, moving still.
Her Mace seed-pod ready
To pelt someone’s back or really
Break up down your sister’s shirt
The itch bomb makes you take a Shower.
Mighty and tall the Sycamore
With broad leaves and a broad stance
An Autumn beauty who loves the dance.

2022 Albuquerque American Place Garden Psalms LOVE New Mexico Poems

My Loyal Friend (An Elegy for Cleopatra)

You can die
Of a broken heart!
It’s well documented.
And when you lose something
Dear to you…
You understand, you feel it
In your chest
I lost a friend today, and
I’ve said goodbye to pets before.
(A number of cats including Riley & Jade
A few chickens including Happy & Perey
And of course Cleo’s friend Kato.)
This was Cleopatra
Princess of the Desert,
Majestic Tiger Stripes
On soft, long mane.
One Bold Blue Eye
One of Cinnamon,
Eventually clouded orbs
Blinded by the Diabetes
That made her insulin-dependent
As she defied the odds.
Her broad shoulders
And thick skull from the
Bull Mastiff, should have
Made her life much shorter.
But, when you are so truly loved
You go on for so much longer
Than you should have even tried.
You, so loyal, you just
Stayed right by my side.

My first real business partner
And shift manager.
She led our house of muts
And herded all the chickens.
She protected our children
And gave them so many walks.
She ruined 3 of our lawns
1 from running as a puppy
2 for I don’t know why
I kept tryin’, maybe
Because of all the fun
She had playin’, rollin’ & fetchin’.
“Man’s” (Mom’s) Best Friend is not enough.
Your friends may come and go, but
Your dog is always next to you
And their love for you they always show.

RIP 2008-2022

Cleopatra (Cleo) Jones Sutherlin

Albuquerque American Place Breaking Muse New Mexico Oklahoma Poems

Octogenarian Jim

80 Years – 3 generations at least…
If you were a Wolf, you’d be a 13-year-old beast
The inner-child released
Like a bouquet of fine wine
Best to let rest before you enjoy your time.

That red-headed son, a real firecracker
Running little Jimmy, a Pistol
Out to catch up with his sister
When he finds her his intent crystal
Clearly the ornery one, out to out gun.
His movements through the seasons
Driven. His care for his fellows apparent.
His love for his wife adorent.

In tumultuous times, much like today,
Steered his family thorough the bounty of hate
As equality was questioned.He taught everyone who’d listen
About the Love that Jesus has given.
And in turn created loving families
For his children and their offspring.

But the best parts of life
Come with fiddle and fife
As we get older and are no longer
Looking over our shoulder
Angry, tired and worked too hard
Missing the subtleties of life when on guard.

Now the belly chuckles abound
As Grandfather laughs and stirs up a crowd.
Now our joyful lives are lived
Knowing that we gave her all we had to give.
Now this old man that I know
Is full of love and always shows
Us how important it is to live in the light
To love and cherish each other through the night.
And as we grow older together
We must share the Love (so that we live forever!)

2022 American Place Breaking Muse New Mexico Poems Road Less Travelled

Open Meeting

The Road
The Sky
And The Mountain
Met in front
Of me today
For many miles
The sky cried
Starting and Stopping
Over Space and Time
I could see it
Hard lines on the horizon
Where The Road turned dark
And slick with the waterworks
Collecting on the surface
– A mirror showing The Sky
Her own tears in the reflection
As they hit and form small crowns
Again and again
But The Mountain
Sung her a lullaby
And the road fed her tears
To the flowers
And after her raging winds
Had calmed down —
The Sun broke
The Sky into
Dreamy white cotton
And burst through
Her tumult with
Sunbeam Smiles

2022 American Place Ars Philosophica New Mexico Poems Road Less Travelled


The Highway
–Treacherous and dangerous–
She pluck lives
From her surface daily
Waves her curves
And suddenly it will emerge
She leaves in her wake
Memorial Flags
And Crosses
Holding the losses in place
Until Xolo* returns
To gather those souls
Whose People never let go
Because The Road
Took Her Toll…
So, Xolo
Barks at them
“It’s time to go!”
Yet, the souls are confused
Because everyone they knew
Still honors
The Road
For Her

*Psychopomp – Greek word for soul collector. This was the role of Hermes and Cheron in ancient Greeks. The Angel of Death. The Vikings had Valkyries. The North Americans, Whippoorwills and Loons. The Aztec had the Dog-headed Xolotl, the dark Venus, Xolo the soul collector.

2022 American Place Garden Psalms New Mexico Poems



A bad

His flight
A Dance

His sting
A lance

To protect
Or invade
He carries
A blade

And has
Service to
The Queen


2022 Albuquerque American Place Garden Psalms New Mexico Poems


Matte and
Ready to
Yet slow
And deliberate
Pollen trace
And fur
A Drone

2022 Albuquerque American Place Garden Psalms New Mexico Poems

Shovel, Shovel

Shovel, Shovel
Long and Lean

“Why in the ground of The Garden
Are you buried?”

“To keep The Puppy
From digging up Pere*.
I must dig in and guard the grave
As the Morning Glories climb up
And the Sunflowers bloom above.
I must stand vigil
Until the worms are through
And then I can go back to being
A shovel too…”

*Peregrine was our oldest chicken
2022 American Place LOVE New Mexico Poems

I shed a tear for the violin

I shed a tear
for the Violin
or should I say
her sweet straining strings
drew the anguish
welling up inside of me and
plucked out a tear as the
soprano sang an irish ode to
the love she’d let go
…as I had today
lost a beloved
I wept as the string sang
to me the Eulogy
that was kept from me
by a busy day
of burying her and
then driving to the concert
where I
shed a tear
for the violin

2022 Albuquerque American Place Bird Song Garden Psalms New Mexico Poems

“Oh, no.”

Two Hawks
Above my Head
Little Robin
Giving chase
Screaming with dread!
“Why is it
You are crying
My darling little hen?”