Remember

Emily Bjustrom

After Joy Harjo

Remember the sky you were born under-
The light and how it shadowed
Your mother’s face

How she howled and screeched-
The two of you were Human then

Remember your feet
How they carried you
Up mountains and trees

You clung to them
Remember the breeze
How it kissed you
And blessed you with its touch

You knew then what animal you were
Remember.

Numb

Katrina K Guarascio

I became numb
one afternoon,
essence drained
from veins

like a dried petal,
posing for pictures,
yet so close to crumble.

The thread pulled tightly,
and ribs corseted closed

unable to carry breathe
or speak the words that
scratch the top of my mouth.

Wanting to be a good woman,
I emerge mannequin,
hoping not to break
illusion with movement.

I am a clumsy masochist at best.

I continue to wake every morning.
Not a bathing beauty,

or ambitious explorer.
Not a teacher, or poet, or guide,
nor lap cat provided with secure function.

Without purpose, I only continue.

I used to trust in friendship,
assume confidence from conversations,
validations from simple smiles.

Now I cross myself in the morning
before covering my feet.
I keep my anger in an empty vase
that gathers dust on windowsill.

Broken

Katrina K Guarascio

Our conversation
dried;

our time
over.
It’s not your
fault.

We never
had a chance.

You left,
emptied shelves
and dresser drawers.
All I can think
is my grandfather will never
dance with me at my wedding.

My heart is broken
broken,
broken.
My body mourning.

All it is
all of this is
a boneyard
I can’t bury.

I’ve always had trouble
with the scraps,
always found it
impossible to let go.

And now,
at 10:30 on a Tuesday night
I am more empty,
more alone
than I can ever remember.

All I want is for
my mind to rest,
my body to resign.

This is not a holy time.
There is nothing sacred
in this prayer.

Dear child of my heart,
dear landmine,
how does one rectify absence
when the only thing left is
alone
aloneness
lone ness
lonely
ness

and I am
drip
drip
dripping
on white pages again.

Metaphors are the same
as curse words are the same
as damn I miss you
is the same as damn
I miss myself is the same
as damn
damn

I miss you.

At the holy ground

Liza Wolff-Francis

we are people composting slowly,
decade after decade we watch
the young birth themselves
into this world we have given them.

At the holy ground, there is lush
green brush, there is warmth
of sun, the cool of water, rock
mountain temple before sky.

At the holy ground, my pleasures
are gathered and woven together
like chain link, but softer,
like silk. The most curious

birds with tufts on their heads,
peck at memories, rise together
like levitation in the quiet air,
as if they hadn’t always been there.

At the holy ground, it was like
we had barely wanted any atonement
or penance at any time in our lives,
but suddenly we hoped

for a blessing to appear out of nowhere,
like we needed it in order to go on
into the loneliness we knew
would soon be floodlit,

its every movement echoing
like a tree falling. Here,
the petals of flowers wait for me
to lie down and kiss the earth,

to lap at their spilled nectar.
We eat dandelions, imagine
ourselves as strong, as new
as the words sung to us

by the voices we love,
as if they were angels
or mermaids or goddesses.
I should just call them goddesses.

While he sleeps,

Liza Wolff-Francis

I sit in the dark of morning, inhale
the sacred silence that comes between

his breaths like a tiptoe. My body balances
on the edge of the bed as if it was to decide

which day to climb out of. His breath, even
and pacing, as if it were the day moving

through itself and an occasional animal sound,
a raccoon perhaps, a squirrel, a dog, a bear.

My bear behind me, vulnerable like all
that would kill us is far from here, far from us.

My prayers that it will stay that way hover
at the floorboard cracks, like a spell of salt

and peppermint oil to keep away dark shadows,
politicians in their masks, the America

I criticize and want to be different. Only all that I love
here in the dark right at my fingertips, holding up

the droop of my breasts, the bend of my toes,
the wild of my hair. While you sleep, the air

holds me in its dying night and I wait to remember
myself, all skin and bone, in the coming light.

photographs of us…

October 2018

“I felt it shelter to speak to you.”

~ Emily Dickinson

February 2019

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

~Jalal ad-Din Rumi 

August 2019

I believe that poets have to be inside their poems somewhere, or the poem won’t work.

~Joy Harjo

We write the old fashion way, in our journals first. Many of us draw and paint and truly become energized with the love of creating in many genres and types of media. Photo taken by Gina Marselle from a salon in 2017. This is a photo of Kat’s journal…you can tell by her quote tattooed on her arm, “…disturbed….”
No stress, find balance. Photo by Gina Marselle, 2018.
Often, when we write, we have delicious foods to help keep the creativeness nourished. This is from a salon in 2017. We are now meeting online due to COVID-19 and we all miss meeting in person. Hopefully, soon things will return to normal. Sometimes, ordinary isn’t boring, after all. Image by Gina Marselle.
We live and write in the beautiful land of New Mexico. It truly is enchanted. Image from the Southwest Chief Amtrak train of the Sandias, taken June 2017 by Gina Marselle.
When we are together, we write and write, and write (and who needs shoes?). Image from a salon in 2017 taken by Gina Marselle.
Image of Saturday’s Sirens poets’, Emily, Kat, and a guest poet Sadof… from a salon in 2017.
We find inspiration in quotes…
Sometimes, we wear hats and have a cocktail (usually tea) to celebrate poetry and Shakespeare’s birthday (and did we say poetry?). Liza, in the photo above, is wearing a fabulous hat, shares her happiness even when we’re social distancing because of COVID-19. Salud. Kampai. Viva. Sociable. À votre santé. Cheers.

We have been meeting every Thursday for the month of April. Photo of Emily, Liza, Maxine, Kat, and Gina. Screenshot by Gina, April 23, 2020.