Friday, June 22, 2018

Two Poems from Miriam Sagan

dusk falls
wooden buddha
barely stirs

half moon
appears through snow clouds
winter afternoon
in the women's tub
i think i see you
or is it
just myself
in the hot spring mist

frozen waterfall
how music
becomes sculpture

lantern lit pathway
a white bed
to remember is somehow also
to forget

i thought it was
on the mountain side
in a long moment
it was snow

turning one more page
of the book
i have yet
to write

and the shadow of deer
and their reflections

the buddha
in a cold wayside shrine

neither a photograph
an apparition--
stepping stones

a dark mountain
my breath
its cage of bone

10,000 peaks?
more likely
10,000 flickers
of thought

a sliced apple
on a white plate
the moon
also sliced
in half
both her breasts
float in the water

when the goddess tara
becomes enlightened
only the most foolish
she should drop her body
for a man's

i could show you
one thing
also i could kiss
your eyelids
and both corners
of your mouth
at once

it was a small book
in which
i wrote
my memoir
of emptiness


The archer prince with his Turkish bow
And his Mongol hat aims an arrow

The white-breasted sun shot at solstice
Tumbles from the sky in a corona of feathers

Don't say I never loved you
Or failed to feed you dumplings

"Death to the Jews"
Spray painted on the uneven brick wall

"Russia for the Russians"
"Death to the Muslims"

Babushka holds a child
Overhead the roar of warplanes

Inside, crumbs of black bread
And a mouse called starvation

I'll never be at peace with the unrolled
Double helix of my chromosomes

Or how one matreshka doll
Fits inside another, and another, and so on

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 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 in 2016.  Her blog, Miriam's Well ( has 1500 daily readers.  She has been a writer in residence in four national parks, at Yaddo, MacDowell, Colorado Art Ranch, Andrew's Experimental Forest, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Iceland's Gulkistan Residency for creative people, and another dozen or so remote and unique places.  She is recently returned from Kura Studio, Itoshima, Japan, where she was working on text installations as part of the creative team "Maternal Mitochndria."  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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