Desert Exposure - November 2015

Page 36

36 • NOVEMBER 2015

Another repeat winner, Beate Sigriddaughter catches a view with the simple made complex. While poetry is one of the hardest forms to write, Sigriddaughter has developed her own formula and made it work. One of the judges wrote, “Beautiful poem. Very well-structured,” in response to this entry. 2015 WRITING CONTEST • BEATE SIGRIDDAUGHTER

Yearning to Praise

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Beauty starts so early: a bowl of roses at the inn, sunrise with my father at the lake, a sailboat crosses liquid orange, blue beads of glass glide through my fingers like desire. I am filled with gratitude. The green scent of rain. Discord, of course. First: you’re only a girl. Later high praise: you think like a man. I am drenched with hunger. I have learned to live with it. Magenta desert bloom. At night the breathless stars. Surely I was meant to be a comet. There, a red winged blackbird. Red winged grasshoppers too, psychedelic, blazing sunsets, roses in spring and after the monsoon again. I am grateful. Sun scent on wood and dust. Another woman in another desert is silenced with stones for angering men, not a thousand years ago, not even a hundred, but yesterday. She thought she was safe and honored, as we so often do. I send belated, useless love. So I will praise magenta desert bloom and some brave journalists who will not let me sleep. Three peaches on my tree this year, and lizards sunning on stone. Roses again, as gratitude and hungry prayer tear at me.


continued from page 33 scripture readings and quiet contemplation. 6:30 p.m. Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 538-2015. Woodcarving Club — Second and Fourth Fridays except holidays. 1 p.m. Senior Center. 313-1518. Youth Space — 5:30-10 p.m. Loud music, video games, chill out. Satellite/Wellness Coalition.

SATURDAYS Alcoholics Anonymous Beginners — 6 p.m. Lions Club, Eighth & Bullard (entrance at Big Ditch behind Domino’s). Newcomers and seasoned members welcome. Alzheimer’s/Dementia Support — 10 a.m.-noon. Gila Regional Medical Center Conference Room. Margaret, 388-4539. Blooming Lotus Meditation — 12:45 p.m. Lotus Center at 211 W. Broadway, 313-7417, geofarm@pobox. com.


continued from page 35 keep his eyes on the raven, but the assault he’d made on the tequila bottle had taken a toll on his senses. His breathing had slowed and his eyelids closed, like a curtain at the end of a play. He struggled to open them and to focus on the ebony bird. Alex fought the fatigue, but the liquor won the battle and his eyes closed again, his head relaxed, and his chin settled on his chest. The raven, perched as still as the Maltese Falcon, continued to stare at Alex through obsidian eyes. Behind the darkness of his lids, something gnawed away in his head, urging him to fight, to open his eyes, to stay in the moment. He heard the great whooshing of a blacksmith’s bellows and felt the pulsing wind on his cheeks. Alex forced his eyelids up and, through a tequila fog, looked directly into the red-rimmed eyes of the raven. The bird seemed as large as a condor, its giant wings spread in a wide arc, the feathers heavy, velvety, drape-like. It had left its perch on the chair and now stood beak to nose with Alex, its talons gripping the small box. Alex wanted to back away, but the bird had him pinned to the chair. He tried to focus on the raven, strug-

Double Feature Blockbuster Mega Hit Movie Night — 5:30-11 pm. Satellite/Wellness Coalition. Evening Prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition — 5 p.m. Theotokos Retreat Center, 5202 Hwy. 152, Santa Clara. 537-4839, Kids Bike Ride — 10 a.m., Bikeworks, 815 E. 10th St. Dave Baker, 388-1444. Narcotics Anonymous — 6 p.m. New 180 Club, 1661 Hwy. 180 E. Spinning Group — First Saturday 1-3 p.m. Yada Yada Yarn, 614 N. Bullard, 388-3350. Storytime — all ages. 10:30 a.m. Silver City Public Library, 515 W. College Ave., 538-3672. Vinyasa Flow Yoga — 10 a.m. All levels. Lotus Center at 211 W. Broadway, Becky Glenn, 404-2345331. All phone numbers are area code 575 except as noted. Send updates to gling to draw a breath into his starving lungs, but feared he’d startle the bird if he moved. Almost like a warning, the raven screeched, then pounded its wings, and lifted off the table. Still holding the small box in its talons, it flew over the wall and disappeared beyond the junipers. The sudden silence spread over Alex like a shroud, binding him to the chair, and mercifully his mind went blank. v



Alex woke up the next morning, surprised that he was in bed, and more surprised by the absence of a hangover. He rose quickly and walked out to the back yard, glancing at the junipers across the wall. The chair he’d been sitting in lay on its back, and the open shoe box and empty bottle were side by side on the small patch of grass just off the patio. He looked around the yard, trying to make sense of what he saw, but clarity wouldn’t come, and soon he realized he didn’t want to know what had happened. Instead, he decided that after a cup of coffee he was going to take Sarah’s stuff to the Rescue Mission and then head down the hill to the deli to see if there was anything going on, maybe buy some soup, or make a new friend.


The Butterfield Rest Area, located between Silver City and Deming on U.S. Highway 180, is more of an information stop than a rest area. A short walk around the area reveals a lake made of painted blue pebbles, shelters with hidden murals and a scenic marker which is part of the New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative about “Lottie Deno,” the inspiration for Miss Kitty on “Gunsmoke.” (Photos by Elva K. Österreich)