Let this bold blooming yucca in my neighbor’s yard stand for the achievement of the five southwestern women poets as we presented our work in our book Ascent to the public today at our local library.

Some of us have been writing for decades, others only recently, but for all of us this is work of our maturity.  Three years of critiquing each others’ work had not blurred the difference in the way we see our world.

I shared this observation on the environment where I now live:

A jackrabbit feeds on
freeze-dried prickly pear,
bolts a my approach,
happy in his speed, doing
what he’s made for.

Susan Gomez describes a dust storm in “Fury”:

Our small car listed
as we navigated the wind
with its airborne sediment. . . .

Air and silt, violent, howled into the night.

Teral Katahara closely observes another part of our landscape:

I stop to see Sandia and pungent Jalapeno
chile plants
sitting in the neighbor’s field. . . . .

Sun shines through
translucent red skins
splotched with warm gold.

The other poets chose to share pieces about their past.  Lucille Tully recalls Chicago in “State Street 1957”:

Now in the quiet of the late night
I walk alone except for the one

staggering drunk who does his dance
while I smile, do mine, to stay clear of his

Still, as strange, silent companions
we share this concrete way.

Polly Evans, eldest and in many ways wisest of the group, encompasses a lifetime in “Hide and Seek,” beginning with basement and closet. Then

The apple tree was easy . . .
I hid in the foliage.
The big dog knew I was there;
I watched the cats,
and the kids coming home.

After a stanza about hiding in early marriage, the poem concludes:

The night you died
there was no place to hide.

Ascent is a truly self-published book, available only from the authors.  See the Books page and use the Contact page for more information.

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