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 resurrection, 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 scent 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 capture Venus on the horizon, your salt and pepper hair, my best my worst impulse, 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.
dwelling on the street called autumn in that light and all these yellow leaves the parsley has bolted as has thought into the future and although my key in the lock opens to an empty house it gives less sense of the premonition of loss than the promise of something else
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.