Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Denise Low’

Inside the Crystal by Denise Low

Crystal gazers fated loversDenise

Coronado appears gold dross

midnight mirage Quivera lost

indigo flames violet sun

 

Future past cloud the orb

Cortez arrives departs

Malintzin lives dies

broken waves powdered stars

 

Comancheria burning blood

Santa Fe obsidian red

volcanoes boil hot cold

life death the same ore

 

Rainbow portals spiral

sun moon turning faces

betrayed lovers reappear

 

laughter tears glisten fade

~ Denise Low

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories.Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is’: Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

The Percentages by Greg Field

My father taught me how to track and stalk.Greg

He said, “Walk quiet in the woods

like your grandfather’s ghost.”

He had two fathers and neither was a ghost.

 

My grandmother said that each

was the greater of two evils.

She said this with her eyes, not with her words.

She told me one grandfather was pure Potawatomi

and the other was the pure antidote.

She said this on her deathbed.

 

My father said, “Walk quiet in the woods

like your grandfather’s ghost.

You can sneak up on a white man

and slit his throat.”

He laughed in the cold duck blind

and pulled two gulps of whiskey.

 

That night, I looked in the mirror and saw

I was white as the bathroom light.

I followed the smooth line

of my throat where it pulsed

with the words of ghosts.

~ Greg Field

Greg Field is an artist, writer, drummer, sailor, chemist, computer geek, and network administrator. His book of poems The Longest Breath (Mid-America Press) was a Thorpe Menn Finalist, and his chapbookEnd of This Set is from BkMk. His poems appear in many journals and anthologies, including New Letters, Laurel Review, Karamu, Chouteau Review, and Kansas City Outloud II. Field has degrees in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was an elementary art teacher for thirteen years. His paintings are in private collections all over the country. He plays percussion in River Cow Orchestra, an improvisational jazz band. Upon his wife’s death in 1987, he, Robert Stewart, Miles Sandler and Maryfrances Wagner set up the Crystal Field Scholarship for a student at UMKC majoring in creative writing. Proceeds from the annual Crystal Field Scholarship Reading contribute to that fund. This poem is from Black Heart, new from Mammoth Publications July, 2014. $15.00, 84 pages, ISBN: 978-1-939301-85-7. Field reads from the book July 23, Raven Bookstore, Lawrence, 7 pm.Order online www.mammothpublications.net or by mail, Mammoth, 1916 Stratford, Lawrence, KS 66044. Mention Kansas Time and Place and receive 30% discount.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories. She launches the book in Lawrence, Ks., the Raven Bookstore, June 25, 7 pm. Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is’: Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

Conjuro/ Spellbound by Xanath Caraza

CONJUROXan

 

Conjuro de ángeles, demonios y duendes que hacen que la Tierra se desgarre.

Que el aire gima y grite entre los árboles.

Conjuro de dioses y demonios que hace que mis pensamientos vibren

 

¡Oh fuerza bruta! Implacable que suena y sacude cada rincón de la Tierra.

Temblores internos, temblores externos que se hacen uno y quiebran la tierra.

 

Hoy te conjuro para que despiertes del letargo que te mantiene cautiva.

Hoy invoco al norte, sur, este y oeste.

Hoy te conjuro

A ti, guardiana de mi sueño.

 

A la canción de cuna que se oye a lo lejos.

Al origen de mi sangre, de mi vida, de mi dolor.

A la guardiana de mis noches más oscuras.

Conjuro tu nombre, aquí en mis pensamientos.

~Xánath Caraza

 

SPELLBOUND

Spell of angels, demons and duendes cause the Earth to tear

Make howls and screams among the trees

Spell of gods and demons unsettle my thoughts

 

Oh brutal strength! Unrelenting strength that resonates and shakes each corner of the Earth

Inner quakes, external quakes that unite and crack the Earth

 

Today I call on you to wake from the deep slumber that holds you captive

Today I invoke north, south, east and west

Today I cast a spell on you

On you, keeper of my dream

 

To the lullaby that is heard from afar

To the origin of my blood, of my life, of my pain

To the keeper of my darkest nights

Here in my thoughts, I put a spell on your name

~ Xánath Caraza

Xánath Caraza’s book CONJURO (English, Spanish and Nahuatl) is a bestseller for Mammoth Publications, and it received national and international awards. Mammoth will publish her Syllables of Wind/ Silabas De Viente late fall, 2014. Originally from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, Caraza has lived in Vermont and Kansas City. Her book of short stories, Lo que trae la marea/ What the Tide Brings (2013), is from Mouthfeel Press. Poetry chapbooks are Noche de Colibríes: Ekphrastic Poems (Pandora Lobo Estepario Press, 2014) and Corazón Pintado: Ekphrastic Poems (TL Press 2012). Caraza is a writer for La Bloga (http://labloga.blogspot.com/ ) and she writes the US Latino Poets en español column (http://www.periodicodepoesia.unam.mx/). This online poetry column is published monthly and is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum and Periódico de Poesía. In addition, she writes the poetry/narrative section for Revista Zona de Ocio (http://www.revistazonadeocio.com/ ). She curates the National Poetry Month, Poem-a-Day project, for the Con Tinta Literary Organization since 2012.  She has an M.A. in Romance Languages, and she lectures in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Caraza is an advisory circle member of the Con Tinta literary organization and a former board member of the Latino Writers Collective in Kansas City.  This poem is from Conjuro, $18.00, 142 pages, perfect bound, $24.00 hardback. Order online www.mammothpublications.net or by mail, Mammoth, 1916 Stratford, Lawrence, KS 66044. Mention Kansas Time and Place and receive 30% discount.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories. She launches the book in Lawrence, Ks., the Raven Bookstore, June 25, 7 pm. Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is’: Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

Bright River by Stephen Meats

It began when I sawStephen

the blackbird

on my father’s face

Black leaves took wing

from the skeletons

of sycamores

Lights began leaping

out of stones

Barking dogs revealed

white seams

in the twilight sky

Street lights dropped

small flames

on the ripples of a lake

A mockingbird’s feathers

created my hands

I felt a fire flicker

in its white wings

I listened for tears

in the fire’s voice

but heard only a bright river

flowing in the wings

that flew from my fingers

~ Stephen Meats

Stephen Meats, in addition to having articles and essays published, has published a mixed genre book of poems and stories, Dark Dove Descending and Other Parables (Mammoth 2013). His poems and stories have appeared in The Laurel Review, Tampa Review, Arete: The Journal of Sport Literature, Hurãkan, Flint Hills Review, Little Balkans Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Quarterly, Cow Creek Review, Prairie Poetry, Dos Passos Review, The Laughing Dog and others. Stephen Meats attended Kansas State Univ. before transferring to the Univ. of South Carolina, where he earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in English. He taught at the Air Force Academy and the Univ. of Tampa and Pittsburg State Univ. (1979-2014). He has been poetry editor of The Midwest Quarterly since 1985. He lives in Pittsburg with his wife, Ann, three Boston Terriers, seven cats, and five hives of bees. This poem is from Looking for the Pale Eagle, $12.00, 114 pages, perfect bound, ISBN: 978-1-939301-91-8. Order online www.mammothpublications.net or by mail, Mammoth Publications, 1916 Stratford, Lawrence, KS 66044. Mention Kansas Time and Place and receive 30% discount.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories. She launches the book in Albuquerque at Bookworks, June 14, 3 pm; in Santa Fe at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, 501 Halona St. (corner of the Paseo de Peralto), June 15, 2:30 pm and in Lawrence, Ks., the Raven Bookstore, June 25, 7 pm. Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is’: Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

Resurrection by Caleb Puckett

Lab-articulated Passenger Pigeons grow animate,Caleb

learn the lasting code of surrogate birds,

assimilate to survive a new world.

So much furtive futuring

with the wrong eyes

blinking belief

about history’s patent veracity.

What culture remains from this culturing?

Salvation’s negated by the damnation of seeming.

Passenger Pigeons pass clouds in body, dissolve in being.

~ Caleb Puckett

Caleb Puckett is the newest Mammoth Publications (www.mammothpublications.net) poet. His FATE LINES/ DESIRE LINES, spring 2014, is groundbreaking verse and prose poetry. Fate Lines/ Desire Lines balances between choice and compulsion, nature and persuasion. Originally from Albuquerque, Caleb Puckett lives with his wife, sons, and dogs in Ottawa, Kansas, where he works as an academic librarian. He has two book-length collections from Otoliths, Tales from the Hinterland and Market Street Exit. Puckett serves as associate poetry editor for Nimrod International Journal, and editor for the online literary journal Futures Trading (futurestradinglit.weebly.com). Poem here is from Fate Lines/Desire Lines, $15.00, 92 pages, perfect bound. Cover art by Thomas Pecore Weso. Order online www.mammothpublications.net or by mail, Mammoth, 1916 Stratford, Lawrence, KS 66044. Mention Kansas Time and Place and receive 30% discount.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories. She launches the book in Albuquerque at Bookworks, June 14, 3 pm; in Santa Fe at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, 501 Halona St. (corner of the Paseo de Peralto), June 15, 2:30 pm and in Lawrence, Ks., the Raven Bookstore, June 25, 7 pm. Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is’: Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

Report on the House at Cripple Creek by Denise Low

The mined-out mountain shifts against gravity. Denise.Col.web

Blasted rock terraces sprout scrubby grass.

A large raven sidles by, tail feathers down, submissive.

We are sorry to make it nervous.

 

Hummingbirds dive at my orange blouse, veer away,

buzzing pizzicato.

 

Amaranth is seeded already. Geraniums sprinkle lavender stars .

At night their flames rise in constellations.

 

Foxes burrow in granite catacombs under us.

At night soft weight shifts on the porch.

 

A spider lives in the sink.

Husks of brown moths litter the porcelain.

 

Out the window, hundreds of peaks intersect—

asteroids, mica sheets, bolts of blue silk.

~ Denise Low

Denise Low, 2nd Kansas Poet Laureate, has published 25 books, including Ghost Stories (The Circle -Best Native American Books of 2010; Ks. Notable Book). She edited a special issue on Leslie Marmon Silko for American Indian Culture and Research Journal. She is a former board member and past president of AWP. Her writings appear in Yellow Medicine Rev., Virginia Q. Rev. Coal City Rev., New Letters, Future Earth MagazineYukhika-latuhse, Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time (rENEGADE pLANET), I Was Indian (Foot Hills), I-70. Her blog and website are: http://deniselow.blogspot.comwww.deniselow.com.

149. To the Stars Through Difficulties: Denise Low

If I could touch the Milky Way
my hands could learn how sparks ignite.
I could learn the language of darkness.

If I could touch the sound of crickets
history of autumn would resound.

If I could touch November moonlight
I could prophesize the winter’s course.
I could stack woodpiles under the eaves.

If I could touch my distant lover
our breath would be the river’s mist.

– Denise Low

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