The Sunday Poem: ABQ Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy... Home Invasion

It was just over three years ago that Hakim Bellamy first appeared in The Sunday Poem series.  His love of the Duke City and New Mexico is so apparent in this piece that was published here at that time.  No wonder he was named Albuquerque's first poet laureate.  Congratulations, Hakim.  Congratulations are also in order to organizer Don McIver and the others who worked to put this together.  But there is more.  It takes a certain kind of city to have a poet laureate…a certain kind of public that fosters and actively supports a writing community.  Having a poet laureate says as much about us as it does about the talent of the poet.  So, thanks Albuquerque!  And congratulations!


*Photo by Christina Gavino Gray.


Home Invasion



It ain’t the sky
The sky with its personality, limitless
Knows no boundaries
No left or right
No east or west
No up or down
Just light and dark
But not my darkest moments
Nor my lightest pocket
Could buy the narrowest slither of the sky’s vast currency

It ain’t the crest
Threatening to eat the city I packed for lunch
Passing as a monument to the great Tsunami
However more rough around the edges
Shifty as a boulder
More costumes than aliases
A beach wearing more varieties of watercolors than species of melon

By morning
Cantaloupe rind, grainy with the sun behind it
Spanish Carribean
By lunch,
Honeydew
At some elevations,
Morning frost, snow sands
By dusk,
Sandia red, three abysses deep

Her mountains never run out of charm
Her peaks never underdressed
A sore thumb costume
Trying to masquerade a burglarized horizon
With an infinite supply of recognizable disguises

It sure ain’t the horizon
Even if it wasn’t hiding
Even if you could see it…you couldn’t see it end
A mirage
A scam
The illusion of paradise
Heaven just around the bend
Right there
Where the sky and the desert make out
Just beyond your reach

Get a hundred feet closer
It dances a hundred feet further
Faster than uncaught breath
Slipping over the unattainable like belly beads in the valley’s abdomen

Uncatchable
Like 24 karats at the end of a fishing line stick
Taunting a thoroughbred mesa to chase it
A precious race to be the crown jewel of the desert
When it was the perfect heist the whole time
She disappears at night
Returns in the morning, no explanation of where she’s been

It ain’t the dirt
That ends up in the eyes of every fair fight
That soils the shoes of an honest day’s work
That coats the dishonest tires of a stolen car, but never the wax job

It ain’t the adobe that hitchhikes the fingernails of the potter to germ food
Just as it ain’t the soil that bathed the germination to create it

The dirt that hues the majestic skin of the desert and its people
The same reddish-brown that camouflages it
Unable to see it
From Bosque to steeple
South Valley barrios to Cedar Crest
Both eyes are peeled curtains at Burque’s Hollywood Premiere
Here?

Yes, here.
In an environment where moving pictures can’t compete with the sky
The crest, the horizon, the dirt, the real
When plagiarized histories miseducated me, reel deserts…
Have gypsies, caravan-jackings and black market organs
Or black market orphans

And some people actually believe all of this
Me?
I believe none, but I’ll tell you what…
It wasn’t any one who stole my heart
It was a “baadasssss” city…
…combing the desert to make a nest for his sun


© Hakim Bellamy October 5th, 2007



Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email theditchrider@gmail.com.

Views: 209

Comment by Adelita on April 15, 2012 at 8:11am

Thrilled that Burque has a poet laureate, thrilled that it's Hakim Bellamy, and thrilled with this gorgeous poem!  Congratulations Hakim!

Comment by Margaret Randall on April 15, 2012 at 8:29am

The event down at the library yesterday morning to announce our first poet laureate was really beautiful. Others of New Mexico's poet laureates graced the occasion with their powerful presence. Our Centennial Year poet Levi Romero spoke wise words, including a wonderful passage by Luci Tapahonso. And Hakim's acceptance speech still rings in my ears--for its passion, truth and relevance. I was proud to be a poet yesterday, and proud to be an Albuquerque poet. Go, Hakim!!

Comment by Ben Moffett on April 15, 2012 at 8:57am

I hadn't read this poem before, but it made me prouder of my city and my state and my sky. One thing I never criticize Mitt Romney about is the size of his trees, "just right,"  because my sky is just the right height, just the right color, at just the right time as Hakim notes, although it never is exactly the same twice in a decade or a lifetime or two blocks from where you are standing, a fresh palette all day long, every day.  I love the efforts of the Land of Enchantment poets and Albuquerque poets and I thank the Ditchrider for providing me local poems regularly.

Comment by Jules Nyquist on April 15, 2012 at 11:02am

Hakim, you capture the sky! Perfect. So glad you are our Poet Laureate. Well deserved!!!

Comment by Dee Cohen on April 15, 2012 at 4:18pm

Congrats Hakim and thanks for capturing this uncatchable place. Dee

Comment by Hakim Bellamy on April 17, 2012 at 8:22am

Big thank you to Jon Knudsen, you provide the type of platform that Burquen@ poets need and deserve via your Sunday Poem series. Looking forward to the next get together of Sunday Poem Alum so I can hug all the folks who have commented here above me. Thank you, all. Really.

Comment by Hakim Bellamy on April 17, 2012 at 10:13am

Photo credit Christina Gavino Gray!

Comment by cc on April 17, 2012 at 9:23pm

Isn't this the poet to teach all? I had not read this before, Jon, thank you for re-posting. It is sooo fitting that THIS poet is the FIRST poet to represent Our Town.

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