Thursday, March 27, 2008

West Side Story

This is a photograph of the new "city" which has been built in the middle of a commercial development just outside the village limits of Corrales. It looks like a tenement and it is brand-new. It will house thousands of families, Section 8 approved, whose children will be going to school in the Albuquerque Public School district. The toilets will be flushing and the faucets running. There are no trees, no shade, no parks, no recreational facilities that I can see.

Why did this happen?
Please tell me why.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A path along the river, overlooking the North Beach -- and what a view of Sandia Mountain... sorrowfully, I wandered south into the recently cleaned up bosque...

Read more about it in Corrales Comment, online
here - 2/25/08 Bosque Clearing Brings Outcry Over Wildlife Habitat Loss by Jeff Radford

Writing practice – 15 min. The Bosque.

The bosque is a cottonwood forest along the Rio Grande in New Mexico and it is my own special place. It is green, and it is brown. It has curving trails that wander through meadows of tall grass, of sunflowers, of tamarisk and olive and foresteria.

Towering over all are the textured trunks and twisted canopy of cottonwood trees, decorated with mistletoe and often raucous with hundreds of crows among clattering old leaves. The paths are private and winding, at times muddy with a frosting of snow or puddled by rain, other times deep dust, pocked by sneaker prints, hoof prints, bicycle tracks.

The bosque is quiet, a place where the howling wind on the mesa is tamed to a strong breeze, where the tamarisk petals spray a soft pink glow, or in the autumn when they turn flame-orange with the black trunks silhouetted against the tangled brush.

The bosque is fragrant, the smell of dusty warm leaves, or the orange-blossom scent of Russian olive in Spring…the sweetness of asters, brilliant purple even after frost has bleached the grass, and dropped the seeds of sunflowers – the multi-headed black-eyed susan who rules the field in glory.

The bosque is a beach, a changing landscape where the weeds and waters are never the same. There were springs I had to wade through hip-high water to reach the little patch of silky sand, where I could watch the clouds change and the shadows shift across the face of Sandia. There were years the little kids would climb on mossy green downed cottonwood trunks: a bridge, a balance beam, now is silvery and smooth, carved with hearts and names and charred like an old bone.

The bosque is roadrunners and jackrabbits, snow geese and Canada geese and laughing ducks…creaking sandhill cranes, feathered dinosaurs, clumsy taking off and stunning in unlikely flight. It is boys whacking sticks, dogs chasing sticks, swimming after sticks, shaking on the shore. Snakes, and turtles and peeping quail. Coyote scat, green horse piles. Rope swings out over the shallows, cool places on a hot day, sun and shadow, shadow and sun.

The bosque is the river…the Rio Grande, a name this muddy stream does not seem worthy of, but it’s all we’ve got. Rolling brown and rippling with mystery, source in the headwaters way above Taos, up in the meandering creeks and bogs of Creede, all the way to Mexico, it rolls on by.

Across the peaceful mirror of the rio rises the Sandias, pink in winter sunset, white with snow, golden in the autumn afternoon, never the same. Walking the path through red willow, cloudscape and sky.

This is my bosque, the thick dark places and the hidden paths to quiet duck-blind lookouts where one might hunker down and wonder, cry, dance, chant, worry for the world.

This scarred, empty chopped-down clear-cut bosque, with the lonely trees neutralized, exposed, brown on brown, fed to a chipper and left in the silence…this is not my bosque. It is someone else’s bosque, only what is left after trucks and scraping blades and teeth and tires have had their say.

What's Happened to the Bosque?

A short walk on a spring afternoon, and I was shocked and saddened beyond words at the recent clear-cutting and scraping of all "non-native" species from our beloved bosque.

In the name of "safety" and "conservation" this insulting attack has been sustained against all the undergrowth, all the little trees, all the hiding places and the quiet, private is all gone. You can drive a semi through the woods, nothing but chipped wood, stumps, and silence.

See for yourself.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Already the Heart

The spinal cord blossoms
like bright, bruised magnolia
into the brainstem.
And already the heart
in its depth — who could assail it?
Bathed in my voice, all branching
and dreaming. The flowering
and fading — said the poet —
come to us both at once.
Here is your best self,
and the least, two sparrows
alight in the one tree
of your body.

A. V. Christie
The Housing

This photo is of Sheldon's Point, Gallina NM

Monday, March 03, 2008

Florida Visit

Here's a few snapshots of the family from our Florida visit for M.'s birthday -

Click on the slideshow to start - or double-click to go to the web album for full screen images or to see other web albums.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

For The Time Being

My father, my son—
institutionalized, both—
for the time being—

The lad is in rehab,
he’s checked himself in,
brought to a halt on a broken leg,
run out of road and out of time.

He thumps on his crutches
through Turquoise Lodge
and coerces nurses
to carry his coffee.

Leaving childhood at the door
to learn the language of recovery,
he strives to come out clean—a man—
in forty days.

The haze slowly clearing—
for the time being—free of demands
beyond his own healing,
he sleeps like a baby.

A new life awaits, outside the gates
as he works the steps. Lifting sober eyes
to gaze at Canada geese, honking
south down the Rio Grande
almost too high to see but only just imagine—

The shining days ahead, stepping out
into towering shadows in November’s
sudden brightness—yellow leaves
dancing in the wind—he says—

“I’m fine. Can I go home now?”

But he isn’t going back yet—
not for the time being—
to the home of lost childhood,
where the family lab is laid to rest
on the last golden noon
of Indian Summer.

For the time being, my dad’s
in a home—not his own—
at the end of the road, at the end
of Maine where nurses speak French,
a language which he does not

He roams the halls of Borderview
on swollen feet, cranky and demanding,
pushing his merry-walker, getting
his days and nights mixed up.

He eats his pudding, takes his pills.
The days, the years, the decades blend.
My sisters and I are interchangeable.

He waits for something to happen,
wonders if it’s time: for the time being.
Nurses feed and change him, keep him warm
dressed and dry, and so he asks—

“I’m fine. Can I go home now?”

But he isn’t going home—alone
two years now mom is gone—
the little house in Caribou was
sold to pay the freight for this,
his last resort. His term
is terminal at Borderview.

My father’s lost his glasses, but he
hears the geese fly in from Canada—
turns his white head eastward, peers
down the frozen St. John River—

from the edge of one life to another—
across the fog-veiled border
where winds cut to the bone.

Linda Weissinger Lupowitz

For those who care to know, this is now an "old story" and we are happy to note that time goes by and things do change. Childrens do learn.