October 2010

For this posting, I thought I’d share a poem from both of the poets featured in this week’s reading. Both of these poets are excellent readers, so to get the full effect, please join us Friday evening, 7pm, Oct. 29 at the Lucia Douglas Gallery. There will be poetry broadsides from both of the poets for you to take home.

The Old Ones of Saavedra

They don’t have much of anything,
but time? Ah… plenty of that.
So they can squander it like this,
supervising the fine
summer evening, commenting
on the immobile air as they sip
from wet cans of beer,
sitting on wicker stools
at this happy crossroads
of thresholds and sidewalk,
where the younger stroll
on the way to fluorescent pizzerias, malls.
The men in dignified pajama-
bottoms and cotton camisetas, the women
stirring the night with the half-moons
of their fans. The pots of angel hair soup
left to bubble alone inside, with only tin bowls
of white peaches to witness.
Outside, fireflies are keeping the old
people of Saaverdra busy with delight.
Buenos Aires is all that is South
of them, all that is siren
and haste. The city
is everything that has forgotten them,
forgotten the pleasures of wicker stools
or the bliss of callused feet
in house slippers open to summer,
the happening of nothing,
the obstinate scent of jasmine,
Saavedra punctuated by dentureless laugh.

—Lorraine Healy
from The Habit of Buenos Aires, Tebot Bach, 2010


There was a magic about that first winter,
a convergence of energies that swept
the desert like a blood oath,
never to return the same way again.
Playing music in bars drew invitations
for rafting trips through the canyons,
Texas on one side, Mexico on the other,

while gypsy moths flitted in your path:
the woman with dinosaur bones
built into her fireplace, a drug lord’s mistress,
people who lived in buses, caves, dynamite shacks,
jacals made of ocotillo and cattle panel. Their
lives reinvented, cobbled together from old
spare parts and whatever they could scrounge.

Surprise was the rain
falling from a dream you nourished,
a fragrance that chipped and flaked
like a chisel dug up from the Stone Age.
Here was no cop, no stoplight,
and the wind forecast your future,
told all you needed to know.

—Peter Ludwin
from A Guest in All Your Houses, Word Walker Press, 2009

We’ve set up another reading at the Lucia Douglas Gallery. This time it’s Lorraine Healy and Peter Ludwin on Friday, October 29, 7 pm. Lorraine will teach a workshop the following day from 10:30 am to 3 pm. The workshop title: “This Bunch of Flowers and Horseshoes…” What Neruda’s Odes can teach poets. See the Whatcom Poetry Series website for specific details.

The first time I remember hearing Lorraine Healy read was in Eastern Washington. It was a hot evening at a posh winery, and there were several poets sharing their work. Lorraine grew up in Buenos Aires. Her writing is vivid and imaginative, and she carries the listener with her. You’ll be there at the market, walking down a street, or maybe even creating the memories of a first kiss. You’ll be right there. That’s how she writes.

The first time Peter Ludwin visited us at Noon Road, he looked at the fields, and the art, and then fell asleep on a couch, warmed by the fire. His poetry won’t make you fall asleep, but it will make you feel at home, even in a strange place. A few days after Peter got up from the couch, he wrote a poem that included the studio and the fields, and a heron from the art. That made me feel pretty good.

Anyway, I think this reading will be excellent and I hope you will join us.

Frost hit the squash leaves last night,
and began the autumn melt. The fledgling
squashes have little time left. Tomatoes—

forget about them. They’ve been eager
for the earth since their hard, round
seeds were planted in the spring. All

summer, their leaves curled around,
and pointed at the ground. The zucchini
at least attempts to reach skyward,

as if in praise of something worthy.

—Anita K. Boyle

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