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More Spring Color

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About two weeks ago, the blue iris burst out.P1000417

These came with the house.  That is, I found two very small clumps of leaves.  I didn’t know what they were.  When someone said they looked like iris leaves I transplanted them and they began to expand.  Only this last year did I get a lesson in when to feed them.  They appreciate being looked after.

Another plant which came with the house is Indian Hawthorn, now in bloom.P1000418

In the space vacated by a very overgrown sage plant (why would anyone plant something that wants to get six feet wide in a less than two foot wide strip?) I put this small cactus.  Its blooms, photographed last week, are already spent.P1000432 cactus bloomThe mesquite tree leaves are filling out.  That pale green color is appearing all over the desert areas: there’s a lot of mesquite in the area.P1000434One of the two little iris clumps turned out to be a white iris.  It is now in full bloom – but only one – while the blue ones have faded.  Obviously, this color is more finicky.  I’m hoping more attention will increase the blooms.  This one is planted outside my study window.P1000435

Upcoming Readings in the North

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Northern New Mexico, that is.  I am scheduled to do two readings from my book, Made and Remade, at independent bookstores in Santa Fe and Albuquerque during April.Paley front cover

I’ll be in Santa Fe on Saturday, April 11, at 3:00 p.m. at op.cit. books, Sanbusco Center, 500 Montezuma Ave.

I’ll be in Albuquerque on Saturday, April 25, at 3:00 p.m. at BOOKWORKS, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW.

If you’re in either area on the day I’m reading, please come by and say hello.

The poems in Made and Remade respond to William Paley’s book, Natural Theology, published in 1802.  Famous for his analogy, “suppose I had found a watch upon the ground . . . the inference we think is inevitable, that the watch must have had a maker . . . .,” the book presents Paley’s case for creation by design.  As cracks developed in a once coherent world view, we are left with patches and pieces – the material of poetry – with which to make meaning.  The poems move in many directions, reflecting on how much has changed in 200 years.

What’s There to Say About Poppies?

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The poppies started showing up last week, here there and everywhere, and this week, some in our yard.P1000408

When they arrive I want to celebrate.  It’s spring.  I thought about poetry in their honor.  Could I do a riff or a twist on Wordsworth’s “Daffodils”?  It didn’t work.  The following is all I could come up with.

Gluttons for sun,
they shine it back,
closing at night.

They persist, pop up
every year, sometimes
fewer, sometimes more,

not in the same spot,
windblown annual
new every spring.

Poppies.  Spring.
Nothing more
to be said.

While poppies are the most colorful sign of spring, it is the mesquite tree that has the honor of signaling when winter is really over and there is no more concern about frost.P1000414

You can see how close I had to get to one branch of the tree to show the leaves beginning.  The apache plume, on the other hand, didn’t wait for any signal.  It went ahead and bloomed.P1000415If there are no poppies where you are, I hope the daffodils are coming up!

Dreaming

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I have a poem in the just released issue of the online magazine Melusine.

It’s called “Floor Plans,” but what it’s mostly about is dreams, the daydreams of a child and the night dream of an adult.

Melusine is an elegant site, nicely organized.  I recommend it: http://www.melusine21cent.com/mag/current.

The Old and the New

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This post is about what’s new and what’s not so new in my garden.penstemon 2This past year I added two Penstemon superbus plants.  One did not make it through the fall and winter.  This 50 percent ratio is typical of my efforts in the garden.  But the one that has survived makes me want to try again.

Chamisa, Fall, 2014

Chamisa, Fall, 2014

This winter I cut back the out-of-control chamisa, as close as I could get to the ground.  I thought perhaps it would give up.  As you can see, it did nothing of the kind.  chamisa

I can only hope this growth will be thicker and sturdier than last year’s, when I did not cut it back far enough.  The plant growing around the stumps is Mexican primrose, which has spread as if it, too, thought the chamisa was not coming back.  mexican primroseBut what is this little blue and white flower?  pansy

It’s a pansy from a seed that wafted from another part of the garden.  I am delighted when nature adds its own touches to my efforts to work with plants.  I can pretend we are a team, though I know I have much still to learn.

The Other Side of the Mountain

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Recently I wanted to get out into some green.  I decided to visit Picacho Peak.  The name is redundant, since “picacho” is Spanish for peak, but that doesn’t seem to trouble anyone.  There is one in Arizona, too.  Like the one near Las Cruces, it is an isolated mountain.

Looking west from Las Cruces, the mountain looks very dry.  To climb it, one goes through several housing developments and some private land to a BLM parking lot on the western side.mtn from parking area

To get to the peak from the parking lot one must go through an arroyo and a few other ups and downs.arroyo

After that the trail is surprisingly straight.  In this closer picture, the hole at the right is along a particularly steep part of the trail, which then angles up across the picture to the outcrop (a small dark splotch) at the left. closer to mtn

That outcrop was a far as I got.  The trail is steep and I was definitely out of condition. I don’t think this trail was laid out by recreation experts, but by people who wanted the shortest way to the top.  I estimate I got about half way up the one and a half mile trail.outcrop

But it was nice to be on a green slope for a while.  Here’s a view from part way back toward the parking lot. to parking area

“For Love of Lit” Reading, February 28

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Reblogged from http://www.sinfronterasjournal.com for my local followers.

Sin Fronteras (the organization, not the Journal), in conjunction with Artforms, is sponsoring a poetry reading Saturday, February 28, 1-3 p.m. at the Branigan Cultural Center (Swartz Room), 500 N. Water St. in Las Cruces.  The reading, “For the Love of Lit,” will be part of For the Love of Art celebration.  The following poets will be reading:  Win Jacobs, Michael Mandel, Catherine McGeehan, Lee Ann Meadows, Joseph Somoza, Tim Staley, Gerry Stork, Dick Thomas, Joanne Townsend, Frank Varela, and Ellen Roberts Young.  The reading is free and open to the public.

February has been “For the Love of Art” month in Las Cruces for many years.  This is the fourth or fifth annual “For Love of Lit”  reading.  The readers are local poets who may or may not be connected with the Journal.

Issue #19 of the Journal has just gone to the printer and should be out in about a month.

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