The Sunday Poem: Michelle Holland...Stolen Song



I lay my pebbles down, the few I gathered.

The smooth and sparkle of the trail, I must confess,

is what I stole, like the tiny soap from that hotel.


Lay the feather from a bird I cannot name

at my feet, because I am inside,

away from the wind, the rain, the sun.


Lay the curled, dry, ulna-length piece of root

on the mantle, and the straight white bone

of something, again, I cannot name.


Yes, a guilty glance at all the little things

I carried for a time, but no time compared

to what brought them to the place where I found them.


Because I could.  Pick them up.  Turn them over in my hand.

Think about all that transpired before my step

into the space they occupied without me for so long.


Like church, like a prayer, like a song,

I think, because they all mean something,

they all belonged to a place, a time, an earthly moment.


My voice is imposed, even when I whisper,

remember, that their silence is not mine,

but I want somehow to claim, “I am not a thief.”

Michelle Holland lives and writes in Chimayo, New Mexico, and teaches at Los Alamos High School. Her books include the New Mexico Book Award winning collection, The Sound a Raven Makes, Tres Chicas Press 2007; and Chaos Theory, Sin Fronteras Press, 2009.

She is an active participant (Treasurer) in the good actions of New Mexico Literary Arts along with poets Joan Logghe, Anne Valley Fox, JB Bryan (La Alameda editor & publisher), Gary Glazner, our friend Don McIver, and others.

And besides admiring and picking up actual bits of nature, as, probably, all of us do, she is a first-class runner and, in fact, champ, the first woman to finish, in the National Senior Olympic 10K road race, Cleveland, Ohio 2013. This victory follows on her recent 5 gold medal performance in NM. Michelle is a champ as runner and poet. Thank you Michelle for your contribution to Albuquerque's Sunday Poem. Larry Goodell

Michelle (New Mexico) -- Gold on the podium after the 10K Road Race, with Joanna Brell (Ohio) -- Silver, and Kimberlyn McCormick (Mississippi) -- Bronze at the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio, 2013.

Note: From Richard Vargas. 

The Mas Tequila Review could use some support. "Issue #7 is chock full of great poetry, for only 7 bucks. (not including shipping/handling.) it's a bargain, poets/readers/lovers of poetry . . . .  Small press publications aren't in it for the money, we're in it to provide a place for great poetry that is neglected or brushed aside by the hoity toity artsy fartsy mags. You know who they are, because we've all been rejected by them at one time or another. So please give some serious consideration to ordering a copy of the latest issue of The Mas Tequila Review. if not for yourself, then as a gift for a friend."

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Sunday, today! Come out to Placitas to welcome and hear Damien Flores and Jessica Helen Lopez, September 15th at 3 PM, Anasazi Fields Winery in the Village of Placitas.

(Across from the Presbyterian Church, take Camino de los Pueblitos, drive past 2 stop signs, turn left into the winery parking lot.) Call 867-3062 for info. Free, but donations for the poets are enthusiastically accepted.

Views: 369

Comment by Margaret Randall on September 15, 2013 at 8:41am

Beautiful juxtaposition of silence and thievery! Wonderful poem. Thank you.

Comment by larry goodell on September 15, 2013 at 9:04am

Just as out in the Ojito Wilderness I feel slightly invasive when I walk through the "badlands" formations with rocks and pebbles that have been where they are for a long time . . . and if I pick something up, its place, its environment stays with it . . . so, be appreciative I tell myself. No picky wildflowers, no picky shards, but perhaps a few bits of wonderful Nature to live with at home . . .

Comment by Izquierdo on September 15, 2013 at 10:43am

Great poem, and what a wonderful combination of hobbies and  talents--poet, long distance runner, teacher, and like Thoreau, inspector of natural objects.

Comment by Michelle Holland on September 15, 2013 at 12:16pm

Wonderful to be included, and to have discovered Duke City Fix.  Thanks, Larry.

Comment by Dee Cohen on September 15, 2013 at 4:00pm

Maybe these things are meant to belong to you now. Lovely poem. Dee

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on October 6, 2013 at 3:06pm

I love the touch in the poem.  I see the little things carried and my focus for the day is more so, zoomed in, concerned with life as it is.  Good work, thank you


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