Gayle Lauradunn | 3 poems

Song of Sevilleta

spritely white
its hairy leaves
and branches
stand short but stately
amidst this once alluvial plain
and offers—like a sacrifice—
its dainty fruit
to pronghorns and horses.
Where once it furnished
aroma for sweat lodges
now this Goosefoot family
member cradles within
its horny-tipped flowers
seeds for next winter's forage
these seeds survivors
in hibernal cold
the few male flowers
in small white clusters
sing love
to the many females
along the same branch
the wind whispering 
                            soft strains
purl on air

Driving to Deming

The gossamer rhythms of piano
         jazz ripple through the car
  and out over the landscape

of boulders and bulging mountains
       where above the horizon three
  tent shaped peaks appear. From

here they look like this. From
       there they look like that. Which
  should I believe under a cerulean

sky sprinkled with delicate fleece?
       I thought of asking you
  but our resolve would not survive

such a question. The jazz voice
       murmurs, a hint of blues. You 
  increase the volume. I reach out

to touch you. You reach for the clouds
       layer them over us like adamants. 
  The ballast. The vacancy of brilliance.

Too early yet for cherry blossoms

those thirteen varieties 
like thirteen colonies
perfuming the Capitol
every spring
the lush array—
light pink
dark pink
even green
that dreaded color
of paradise
But we imagine
the fragrances to come
and how like the colors
they reflect what some
would wall over
It all may wither before
its time in the blast
of retrograde air emanating
from a soiled white edifice 
A new awareness
we steal from
fast growing rubble 
where cherry blossoms ebb

And like the blossoms
we are a sea of shapes:

It's hard to imagine
but we can dream: he raises
both hands palms out
as though patting the air
his words heated 
As though becalming us 
As though he is not
fomenting conflict 
As though he speaks
with honey not vinegar

The moon glows and, perhaps,
the sun will rise
Pink and white and green

gayle_lauradunnGayle Lauradunn’s debut collection Reaching for Air was a finalist for the First Best Book of Poetry Award by the Texas Institute of Letters. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Zone 3, Adobe Walls, Connecticut River Review, Mas Tequila Review, Tsunami, San Pedro River Review, Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, and anthologies including Mother Earth (Sierra Books), Veils, Halos and Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Mycoepithalamia: Mushroom Wedding Poems, and others. Three of her poems are included in the exhibit “Dirt” at the University of Puget Sound and at Evergreen State College. She served as the co-organizer of the first National Women’s Multi-Cultural Poetry Festival held in 1974 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As a member of an editorial collective, she produced Chomo-Uri, a women’s literary and arts journal. She served on the committee that selected Albuquerque’s first two poet laureates. From 2014-2016 she served as Chair of the Albuquerque Chapter of the NMSPS.

One thought on “Gayle Lauradunn | 3 poems

  1. Gayle, Thank you for these poems. No matter the subject, your poetry always “shows” through vivid imagery and does not “tell.” Thus, you invited me into “Driving to Deming” and I saw how the peaks looked from here and there as well as the delicate and powerful interaction between the car’s occupants. Here and there I was:
    in the back seat.


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