Miriam Sagan | 3 poems

insomniac Russian
carves his forest in taos,
adorning drawers and doors
with chipped rosettes, 
sunflowers of the past
which also grow
along these mountain roads,
the guide
at the DH Lawrence shrine
doesn’t like
DH Lawrence,
but can’t stop talking
and hovers over us,
I’m slowed by my cane
can’t escape
her chitchat
and her remarks
about how ugly
the shrine is—
sure, it’s odd,
with its phoenix carved on the roof
that might be
a small bear
or a soul in purgatory
or the Hapsburg double eagle
not necessarily
a bird
of fiery
but who cares
it’s beautiful here
high over
San Cristobal
with Frieda
buried outside
of Lawrence’s
final resting place
just as in their
two room cabin
they slept apart
and we don’t even 
need to
tease out
man from art,
just enjoy
the high country
of conifers
as the guide
goes down 
without us
and from every direction
we can see 
Lama Mountain

green dripped
down the page
my own tiny
Jackson Pollock,
I threw acrylic
on water
in the dusk and incipient
rain storm,
pink startled me
on the surface
of vision
hollyhock, polka dot, a shade of color
born in the 1960’s
when I emerged
from a girl
dressed in my mother’s plaids and navy
into purple paisley and magenta madras.

to print
is to know
I’ve lived,
my body
leaves an indent
in the bed
and will the grave,
I drop gobs of yellow
drizzle argentine
spotted red and orange
pull pages
of color
from the water’s surface
Venus on the horizon,
your salt and pepper hair,
my best
my worst
there are no words
on this speechless paper,
red finches, and gray clouds
rising out of the mountain
to disturb the suminagashi basin
with rain.

on the street called autumn
in that light and
all these 
yellow leaves
the parsley has
as has thought
into the future
and although my key
in the lock
to an empty house
it gives less sense
of the premonition
of loss
than the promise
of something else


Miriam Sagan at Fridgehenge

Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 published books, including the novel Black Rainbow (Sherman Asher, 2015) and Geographic: A Memoir of Time and Space (Casa de Snapdragon), which just won the 2016 Arizona/New Mexico Book Award in Poetry. She founded and headed the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College until her retirement this year. Her blog Miriam’s Well has a thousand daily readers. She has been a writer in residence in two national parks, at Yaddo, MacDowell, Colorado Art Ranch, Andrews Experimental Forest, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Iceland’s Gullkistan Residency for creative people, and another dozen or so remote and unique places. Her awards include the Santa Fe Mayor’s award for Excellence in the Arts, the Poetry Gratitude Award from New Mexico Literary Arts, and A Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa.


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