The Sunday Poem: Maisha Baton... From Shiprock to Albuquerque

Far from the city lights, the New Mexico night sky draws us into a very different world...a world where time and space seem so close, almost visible, almost touchable. This short poem takes us beyond that dark horizon.

Maisha Baton, poet and playwright, moved to New Mexico in 1979. Dr. Baton has taught numerous courses at UNM, been published extensively in literary magazines, and has had her plays MITOTE and KATE'S SISTER performed on both coasts.

On May 9th she will appear with New York Poet Michael Datcher at the Outpost Performance Space. Datcher is the author of the NY Times bestseller Raising Fences. Also on the same stage will be Hakim Bellamy, Idris Goodwin, Virginia Hampton, Gary Jackson, and Stephanie Willis. Call 242-1445 for info.


Somewhere between Shiprock and Albuquerque
I look up into an ocean of night
Where torrents of stars like rivers, pour forth,
shaping the rocks and re-defining the landscape.

(and the fish have returned to the sea &
the rocks spatter and scatter themselves
over millions of years and miles.
And the mountains, like sea creatures
loom large on the horizon).

And the only path open to us now
is this ocean of darkness, splattered with stars,
where reality trembles for a moment
in the light from an ancient moon.

--Maisha Baton

Views: 87

Comment by Richard V on April 19, 2009 at 10:32am
thanks for this vision of zen-like solitude; finding evidence of ancient ocean life embedded in the rocks at the top of the Sandias always fills me with wonder. your poem reminds me that "oceans" come in many different forms, and all just as beautiful. i write this as someone who grew up in southern california and misses living next to a large body of water. gracias. looking forward to may 9th!
Comment by Ben Moffett on April 19, 2009 at 11:42am
A unique and accurate portrayal of night on 666, or whatever that highway is now called in 2009 PC
Comment by bg on April 19, 2009 at 3:30pm
Ahhh. Sunday. The deep. The wide. The magnificence.
Comment by cc on April 19, 2009 at 8:48pm
Maisha, I love what you do with the wonderful NM night sky in this poem. Stars, mountanes, the town names are the important ingredients - my, what important ingredients for your imagination. Thank you.
Comment by Margaret Randall on April 26, 2009 at 12:07pm
I felt like I have so often, driving past Shiprock at night... wonderful images.


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