Mercury Poetry: Two poems from Joan Logghe

February 28, 2015

Voices, Art / Culture, Poetry

Saint Patrick’s Day on the Rez      For Dulce, NM
 

Sweet name for a new place.

I cruise your supermarket with poetry

in my heart.  I finger the Pendleton,

spend a lot of time at the Pendleton blankets,

and if time is money I own a Chief Joseph.
 

If time is money I sleep in a Best Western

with metal stallions rearing out front.

I read the plaques on the history of the Jicarilla.

In Dulce they sell beads at the grocery store.

I buy red and green beads thinking of Lyssa.
 

I buy needles.  I consume America bit by bit.

I consume a Jicarilla burger under a buffalo head

in the hotel restaurant, wonder who killed

buffalo, what the elk wants to say.  I laugh alone

in my room.  I am not lonely.  I am the Seinfeld

of poetry, held by distant family.
 

In Dulce, I embroider a black horse

with a small head.  I will make his mane Blue.

I put a red arrow on his flank.  I sleep

with my head to the east.  Find sweetness

everywhere I look.  I only see surface, do not

do complexity in three days.  That’s Romance.
 

I put prayers on this place.

It blesses me and I try to return the favor.

So many flavors of students wearing black,

except today, Saint Patrick’s, Dulce is Irish.

A woman older than I am says, “I am not Irish,

I’m Apache.” I wear red and am always Hungarian.
 

I read poetry never heard in these mountains.

The students write their own never heard here.

The mountains listen.  The trees listen.

The teachers look up from their desks

and read their own poems.  The buffalo listens,

and the rearing stallions sculpted of metal.
 

All of town fills with the silence after a poem

comes out.  Sweet town in the north,

Irish for a moment.  From now on,

I’ll carry you.

 

 

To Be Happy


On the most beautiful day in the world

the rain finally after so much heat

the sunflowers and asters sashay.

I have no idea the whereabouts of the

hummingbirds.  Have they flown north

with their tiny suitcases packed with

nectar and air?  Then all day

it poured rain.  Not our usual day

in the valley, more mountain

weather and I curled up with the end of a book

I never wanted to end. For the company.

Then my friend from Santa Cruz called,

California, not the one down the road.

We talked about everything ,

we gossiped in the best of ways.  We loved

each other and said so.  This tall friend

who I dreamed about the other night.

I told her there were Italians in the basement

in my dream.  And she said, there are, her new cats,

old men called Salvatore and Guido.

On the most beautiful day in the world

with the rain, the friend on the phone

my sweet husband puttering or reading too.

I like this day. I feel peaceful and old

in a good way.  It is fine to be old

if your heart is happy, if your heart

is the most beautiful day in the world.

 

(Photos: Native blankets by Claire Whitehouse / CC; Happy rain by *suika* / CC)




This piece was written by:

Joan Logghe's photo

Joan Logghe

Joan Logghe works at poetry in community in La Puebla, New Mexico. She and Michael built their own solar house, raised three children and have four grandchildren. Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry Grants, A Mabel Dodge Luhan Internship, and a Barbara Deming/Money for Women grant. She taught poetry in Bratislava, Vienna, and Zagreb, Croatia in 2004. Joan was Santa Fe’s Poet Laureate from 2010-2012. She has authored or edited a dozen books and her most recent books are The Singing Bowl from UNM press and Love & Death, Tres Chicas Books, with Miriam Sagan and Renée Gregorio, a New Mexico Book Award winner.

Contact Joan Logghe

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