The Perfect Ten Conference with Tupelo Press www.tupelopress.org/ was the prefect retreat to jump start the muse for my poetry. I have had a difficult time using my experiences in the southwest to generate new poems. I signed up late and had 5 days to write 20 poems to submit for this conference. WOW! It worked. The retreat center in Truchas, NM is the perfect setting with great food, including wine and snacks. The conference was small, personal with supportive poets and instruction by Jeffry Levine and Veronica Golos.
I am currently working on a book of Poems Living West (working title). Here is a sample:
You would like me to say the horses here thunder across blue-green mesa,
manes and tails fly on the wind of swift grace.
You want to think, “wild and free”.
Instead. Think lost. Skin and bone. Feral is not wild. Or free.
They weave across highways, between pickup trucks as if there is something to graze on the other side. Of this life.
And on the mesa the stench of rotting flesh until the bones, picked clean by
shimmering black ravens, lay bleached,
rib cages curled in torturous sun.
Think instead, Georgia O’Keefe skulls. In red dust.
I Did Not Know
After leaving Pennsylvania
I did not know
I would miss
crow black skies
In crisp autumn
Cross translucent evening blue
a single surety of purpose
the raucous flow
the time and way
deeper than knowing
gives joy to my oneness.
Sky alive still
With thinning tide
The tardy few to
one final stray streak,
Leaves quiet black, reveals
a single star like splintered ice.
Oneness becomes aloneness
crisp turns bone cold.
I did not know and thus
I did not say good-bye
To crow flooded sunsets.
I should have whispered farewell
or is the ach in having known.
And thus knowing now
The crows will not miss me.