The Sunday Poem: Jeff Hartzer... Halfway Up the Hill

It happens all the time. Walking in the woods, you come across something abandoned...and suddenly your thoughts careen into a different direction.

Jeff Hartzer is a poet, writer, teacher, artist, and photographer who resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Debra Landau , and their Schipperke dogs . He is the creator of BunnytownUSA . Jeff serves as the Executive Director of the AirDance ArtSpace , home to the critically acclaimed aerial dance troupe, AirDance New Mexico . Jeff is a Florida Native who migrated to the Pacific Northwest before settling into the High Desert of New Mexico in 1985.


A giant hawk screams warning
I whistle back
then the dog barks
then the Volkswagen
lies dead in the woods
right there
It happens that way
on Sundays
out walking with God
Then the Volkswagen
lies smashed and dead
papers scattered across the straw
windshields blasted away
And I sit
where it sits
Still as death
while my dog walks close
and sniffs and barks
And the sun warms my back
on an October Sunday
when leaves are crimson
more bright than the dead
My life is filled with symbols
and signs
like the dream of thumbs and fingers
Mimi says I need to be touched
Yes I say
Touch me
all you people
Touch me
and my heart will shatter open
like this broken windshield
so very still
so right with the world
And how in the hell did this
stolen heart of a Volkswagen
get up this hill halfway
to this place here
to be dumped lifeless
in the woods
And what's in it for me
where is the sign
what does it all mean
And where'd that hawk go?

© 2010
Jeff Hartzer

Taken from Jeff Hartzer's book, FLAMINGOS

Poetry submissions are welcome. Email

Views: 47

Comment by Debra Landau on January 16, 2011 at 3:38pm
I love "stolen heart of a Volkswagen" ... and not just because I learned to drive in my German mother's old VW Bug. So, where did that hawk go?
Comment by anthony b miller on January 16, 2011 at 8:09pm
The hawk exited thru the gift shop after fowl-vey art design stencil on the wall.
Comment by cc on January 16, 2011 at 9:01pm
Nice journey with you through the bosque, Jeff!!
Comment by Dee Cohen on January 17, 2011 at 5:18am

Hi Jeff,

My life is filled with symbols and signs

I love the unexpected discovery of the abandoned car

and how it compares to what we can discover in poems and in dreams.

Thanks for this poem, Dee

Comment by Margaret Randall on January 19, 2011 at 3:14pm
This is a terrific poem! It's wonderful that even outside the country I can log on to the Ditchrider's blog and find my Sunday morning poem!


You need to be a member of Duke City Fix to add comments!

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Big Changes to the Fix!

We're making changes to the Fix! Check in with us for local news stories, events, photos, all the usual DCF stuff, on Facebook and Instagram starting September 1st. Find out more!

© 2017   Created by Duke City Fix.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service