Saturday, February 23, 2008

HELPLESS GOODBYES - Poetry International's Poem of the Week


Through a palm print is the view of a field where a ruined
Church fosters a tree. The sound of the train's wheels
Clicks as I stare at the tree centered within the old stone walls –
Its branches spraying leaves out of two arched windows,
Its canopy neatly mushroomed, fully replacing the roof.

For a whole mile, the sight of this tree in that church,
The helpless goings away had seeded the hurt when
I stood helpless at my seat – upraised arm, palm pressed
Flat against the window, the train pulling out of Leeds.

She sat on a bench on the platform, her face – all the face
Of a face of love drawn, the train gently picking up speed.
For an hour, nothing else on my mind as buildings and fields
Morphed, as people embarked and disembarked and the morning sun
Filled the carriage with sleep. The previous night – not a wink,
Just wine and music, eyes lost like wanderers in each other's.

Laughter woke me up after a station you could easily forget,
Five girls in school uniforms, no older than fourteen, stepped in,
Spoke loudly of giving head, debated swallowing or spitting.
Before then the train was running twenty minutes late, but now only fifteen –
And no real hurry, it's spring, the first drug-warm sunny afternoon
With commuters buying beer and wine from the onboard restaurant,
Reading the papers as if it were a Sunday – bodies sprawled
Over lazy seats as though they were decked-chairs in their backyards;
Jackets, jumpers, cardigans and ties everywhere like Easter palm.

The sun now pushes through the glass map of my last wave to her.
A moment ago the conductor came into the carriage punching tickets –
Now all I hear are the metal kisses of his punch through paper; the sound
Connecting with the wheels of the train on the track that fades
As I stare at the tree in the church in the field in my palm.

Dale's Poetry News and Après-thursday Poem

"A word is dead When it is said Some say. I say it just begins to live that day." Emily Dickinson

Sunday, February 24, 3 pm
Todd Moore & Mera Wolf poetry reading and book release at Acequia Booksellers, 4019 4th St. NW, Albuquerque, 505-890-5365, celebrating new publications by Mera Wolf, Lost Things, and Todd Moore, Relentless and Tell the Corpse a Story. Free admission.
Tues. Feb. 26 & March 4, 2 - 4:30
Tesuque, NM continues a 8 week series of poetry afternoons with Judyth Hill at the home of Jane Lipman, "Lighting Sacred Fire: Poemmaking in a Lively Spin of Joy" $35. per class. For info and to enroll 505-454-9628
Thursday, Feb. 28, 7 - 9 pm
Open Mic, Kathy's Cafe on Eubank south of Constitution. This initiates a new reading series. For more info contact Ken Gurney
Saturday, March 15, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Journal Writing and Painting Workshop with Lou Liberty and Margy O'Brien "Capturing Nature in Words & Images" mornng session at Harwood Art Center, 1114 7th St. NW Albuquerque 505-242-6367 and the afternoon session Rio Grande Nature Center. Authors of Bearing Witness: 25 Years of Refuge provide a hands-on, indoors/outdoors workshop focusing on writing and painting techniques designed to express experiences in the Natural World and translate them into a personal Nature Journal. Cost: $150.00 per person. Contact Lou Liberty 505-345-3254 or [please put NATURE WORKSHOP in the subject line]
Sun March 16, 3 pm,
Anasazi Fields Winery, Placitas, NM Duende Poetry Series presents 3 Native American poets from Acoma Pueblo Simon Ortiz, and his daughters Sara & Rainy Dawn Ortiz, as featured readers.
Directions: Take I-25 to the Placitas exit 242, drive 6 miles east to the Village, turn left at the sign just just before the Presbyterian Church, follow Camino de los Pueblitos through two stop signs to the Winery entrance. Anasazi Fields wines will be available for tasting and purchasing. Suggested donation of $3 will pay the poets. For more info contact

Looking Ahead:
Quarterly Poetry Open Houses
Chez Billy Brown & Sandi Blanton, 2909 Monterey Ave SE (3 streets south of Coal, 3 houses east of Girard) bring poems to share, your own or favorites. Free, snack potluck. Contact Billy or 401-8349 to let him know you are planning to attend.
Here are the dates for this year's remaining poetry open houses:
Saturday, April 19, 1 - 4:30 pm - Celebrating National Poetry Month
Saturday, July 19, 1 - 4:30 pm
Saturday, October 18, 1 - 4:30 pm

April 23-27, 2008
Talking Gourds Poetry Festival, Telluride, Colorado , at the historic Sheridan Opera House, sponsored by the Telluride Writers Guild and the Ah Haa School of the Arts, in association with National Poetry Month. A Western Slope tradition since 1989, Gourds hosts regional wordslingers of multiple genres sharing their work on stage, in interactive workshops, at lectures and during jam sessions.

Headliners are singer/songwriter/poet Vanessa Boyd of New York City and performance poet & teacher Judyth Hill of Rockmirth, NM. Also featured are Mark Todd's Word Horde student poets of Western State College, Gunnison; Peter Anderson of Pilgrimage Magazine, Crestone, CO; Jude Janett from Salida; Mike Adams of Lafayette, CO; and Hope Logghe from Puebla, CO; as well as many other poets from Colorado & New Mexico.

Info on the following websites: or contact Art Goodtimes at or call (970 )327-4767. For lodging or scholarship information, contact Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer at wordwoman@ or call (970) 728-0399 Individual event tickets can be purchased at the door or get discounted weekend tickets in advance through the Ah Haa School (970) 728-3886 (credit card friendly). Full festival price for the 5 day event is $120. with some scholarships available. Printable pdf flyer

Some on-line poetry resources

SAGE TRAIL - call for submissions
Monthly poetry magazine from Albuquerque and Santa Barbara, CA, is looking for submissions. Send any quantity poems year round by email to Suzanne Frost or snail mail to Cathryn McCracken 241A Willow Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107. Copyrights revert to authors on publication. Subscribe for introductory price of $10. per year, send check/money order to Sage Trail, 661 Del Parque Dr., Unit D, Santa Barbara, CA 93103.

Here's Dale's
1/17/08 poem...

10 day old waxing moon in Taurus
Fiesta San Antonio de Abad
In fact this never happens.
The Cathedral doors fly open
for the Blessing of the Animals.
Pompous prelates collect money.
The nearby sea winks its blue eye.
Tenerife Island streets are crowded, democratic.
All day long, goats, mules and dogs are herded over the cobbles.
Dancers pick up their feet, avoid the excrement.
I am bareback on a white horse with ribbon-plaited mane.
Next to me, Four Horsemen in tight formation.
They want a prayer said over their steeds
before riding on to the Apocalypse.
Three worlds away, Navajo Sway Singers perform
Yeh’aosh sin, the Enemy Way ceremony
ask white face ghosts to leave their family member alone.
It goes on for days,
the Unwelcome Ones not an easy eviction.
Wood smoke circles skyward in the cold, clear air.
Do not eat red foods with strangers.
Be careful who buys you a drink at the tavern.

Dale Harris
2115 Aspen Avenue NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104

Poetry & Music CD's
"Cibola Seasons", "Once We Were Winged" & "Like A Hummingbird"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

International Poetry Web Poem of the week - LITHE LOVE

from the International Poetry Web

by Herman de Coninck (Belgium, 1944 - 1997)

your sweaters & your white & red
scarves & your stockings & your panties
(made with love, said the commercial)
& your bras (there's poetry in
such things, especially when you wear them) -
they're scattered around in this poem
the way they are in your room.

come on in, reader, make yourself
comfortable, don't trip over the
syntax & kicked-off shoes, have a seat.

(meanwhile we kiss each other in this
sentence in brackets, that way
the reader won't see us.) what do you think of it,
this is a window to look at
reality, all that you see out there
exists, isn't it exactly
the way it is in a poem?

© 1969, The estate of Herman de Coninck
© Translation: 1979, The estate of James Holmes

Sunflower Lives!

Yes, Sunflower lives. Confirmed Feb 11 BoD meeting, not accompanied by details.

Tuscan Sunflowers

It and Poets and Writers Picnic will be Saturday August 23, 2008, I can return happily to collecting Sunflower oddities, literature, graphics, art, quilts, clothing, recipes, hats and whatever sunfloweriana catches my eye - all for my Sunflower pages

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A reliable source had informed me otherwise. A less reliable one copped a 'tude, denying angrily (or so it sounded - perhaps not intentionally). Apparently the 2007 arts council BoD voted to conflate, move and probably rename events. The BoD 2008 affirmed its independence by 2007 upside own, reversing decisions, including reinstating Sunflower. No one informed me. But I have heard complaints, couched in atrocious grammar to boot. The English teacher, writer and copy-editor in me cringed at that than content.

Are apologies in order? Possibly but not from me. Time to move on.

None of this has all that much to do with Poets & Writers Picnic, which has always been a free-standing event supported but not actually organized or put on by the arts council - none of the heavy lifting. Sunflower and PWP share date and Mountainair location (but not venue - the historic and splendid Shaffer Hotel garden and Gazebo for poets, the rest TBA).

PWP would have gone on without Sunflower, but we are happy not to have to.

Let Sunflowering and the Speaking of Words begin...
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