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Time and Time Again

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Last Sunday was Christ the King Sunday.  We sang one of my favorite hymns (I admit, I have many) “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” The last verse begins, “Crown him the lord of years, the potentate of time.”

That phrase, “the potentate of time” is marvelous in sound, with its string of “t”s, its long vowels. its strong iambic rhythm.  But what is a potentate of time?  After it stuck with me awhile, I decided to explore the idea in a poem:

The Potentate of Time

As CEO, I cannot allow loss
of minutes dropped by badly
calibrated clocks, seconds

split by timers racing after
ever faster miles, or precious
nanoseconds sliced, spit out

by precision machines: all
the clumsy human attempts
to alter time.

I dispatch work crews to
sweep corners and gutters, sift
bits from curbs and drains,

bring their gathered goods into
my laboratory where skilled
artisans sort, stitch, splice.  My

expanding universe requires
recovery, repair, reuse
of every particle.

I chose to put this poem in first person in order to leave it to the reader to decide for her- or himself whether the potentate is male, female or beyond gender.

Paley front coverThis poem is included in my book, Made and Remade, which has a whole section on the theme of time, as is fitting for a collection that starts with a text 200 years old.  (More info on the Books page.)

 

Now the cycle of church seasons moves on to Advent, another year begins, and Sunday by Sunday the Christian story is told all over again.

Booklover: That’s Me

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In a “one of these days we’ll have to move” mood recently, I began sorting through some folders of old poems.

I found early drafts of poems which ended up in Made and Remade, some of which I didn’t recognize until I looked up the final version.

Some of the poems in Made and Remade originally appeared in Ascent, the book I and four colleagues put together as “Five Southwestern Women Poets”  (Both of these books can be obtained from me through contact on this blog, by the way).

One poem in Ascent did not make it into the later book.  It says more about me than was fitting for the material in the book, the writing of William Paley..  It was fun to find the poem again.  It was even more fun to tighten it up – my sense of craft is stronger now than it was when this was first published.

Here’s a poet’s self-image:

Booklover

First editions, clean and jacketed?
I prefer those lived with,
lived in, a note card
slipped between pages.

I see myself in a used bookstore,
on a back shelf, loose cover,
yellow pages, among books not
classified: is it history, is it

romance, is it worth the paper
it’s printed on? The bookseller
does not come to dust.

I lean against another
volume, convinced there are
worse ends than this.

 

Some Poems

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I’ve had a couple of poems appear on line recently.

“Helpless” is about one of the difficulties of being a parent.  It’s a recent poem about something that happened many years ago.  You can see that it left an impression.  Oyster River Pages has published it:

https://www.oysterriverpages.com/helpless

“Midseason Report” is about fires in the western states.  It was written a couple of years ago, a season which seemed bad at the time, but wasn’t as bad as this year has been.  You will find the contents page for Route 7 Review at:

https://www.route7review.com/issue-5-2017

I’ve been noticing poems now and then which seem to fit our current situation, though they were written a few years ago.  I even have one of my own:

          Shaken

As a child in earthquake country
I knew the earth could shift
yet walked with confidence,
assured the fault did not lie
under the house.

When political tremors spilled
boxes into Boston harbor, an
Englishman’s table, set with tea
from Ceylon or India, fresh milk,
Caribbean sugar, did not tip.

New voices cried from far countries,
colonies.  In science, physics and
chemistry undermined foundations.
Causes widened like the Atlantic,
deepened into canyons.

Upheavals everywhere, I learn no
house is safe.  Leave silver locked
up, set teapots on tray tables ready
to be folded at the first
faint  rumble.

Two major earthquakes in Mexico recently. Political upheavals in Washington for months. Did I sense these were coming?  Of course not.

You can find the poem, and others that connect with it, in my book, Made and Remade (2014) available from me or through Word Tech Editions.  See Books page.

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.

Update and Reminder

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Paley front coverNot many people order my books through this site. Today I’m reminding you of another option.  I’ve just added Made and Remade to my listings on Amazon.com.  Yes, you can buy it from the publisher, and from various other sources on Amazon, but if you buy it from my seller listing, ERYbooks, you can get a signed copy, at a competitive price.

Both Map of Longing and John Emerson Roberts: Kansas City’s “Up-to-date” Freethought Preacher are also available through my ERYbooks channel.

Place your order just like anything else you get on Amazon, and all the connecting happens for you.  It’s like a bridge built over a river.

 

We Had a Party

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Good friends came to my book launch last week, and we had a good time together.  Thanks to Susan Gomez for taking photos with my camera for me, but as you see she was not the only one.reading 3

picture taking

 

Made and Remade is off to an auspicious start.lucille

From one of the poems, “Time Past, Time Present”:

What’s the time on Paley’s watch?
Without hands it would still be
a watch.  It’s mechanism matters
to him, springs and metal, not hours  . . .P1000241

We had a lovely hour together.

 

Launching My New Book

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Paley front coverMy first full-length poetry book is out! I will be giving readings from it locally at the following locations:

Palacio Bar, Mesilla
Tuesday, September 16
7:30 p.m.

This is the regular monthly SPLAT open reading night, the third Tuesday of the month.  I will be featured at the beginning of the readings at 8:00 p.m.  (Come at 7:30 to get your beverage and/or sign up to read after my presentation.

Café de Mesilla
2190 Ave. de Mesilla
Saturday, September 20
3:00 p.m.

I will be reading shortly after 3:00 p.m., so be on time!  I will read a different set of poems, so if you’d like to come both times just to support me, I certainly wouldn’t mind.  I will have plenty of copies available at both events.

For those of you who aren’t in the area, I have a give-away going on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_choose_address/107114-made-and-remade

It runs from now until September 20.  And you can also use the contact page here to get in touch with me about getting a copy in the mail.

I would like to schedule other readings in partnership with other poets.  They will be listed here when/if they happen.

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