The Sunday Poem: Miriam Sagan... Two Poems About Water

Water.  It is at the top of the front page of this morning's newspaper.  But Miriam Sagan follows those underground currents into places where reporters can't go:  into the center of the dance.

Miriam Sagan has published over twenty books, including Searching for a Mustard Seed: A Young Widow’s Unconventional Story, which won the award for best memoir from Independent Publishers for 2004; her poetry collections Rag Trade, The Widow’s Coat, The Art of Love and Aegean Doorway; and a novel, Coastal Lives. Miriam directs the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College.  Her literary blog, Miriam's Well, focuses on poetry of Santa Fe and the southwest but does publish other pieces dealing with other issues of interest.

Tea Ceremony in a Drought

You say it is just a hut
Froth green tea in the hand-built bowl

Offer to the right and left
The bowl is nameless, worth nothing

Small hard green pears
Litter the edge of the acequia

Last night we danced barefoot
Longing for rain's percussion

Heat lightning scars the sky's old face
Illuminates ours for just a moment

Our dusty footprints leave the shape
Of departure on the zabutans.


Today might be
a redundant map--
position vis a vis
this morning's dream--
and don't tell me
to relax.

what rain might do
to memory:
smear it, or
wash away the false narrative layer
beneath the clouds'
black and purple
touched with chrome yellow.

Christo plans
to hang this gorge
with a curtain
that like water or regret
might sweep away
the expected
if only

Wasn't this landscape
mostly in the end
about water
its secrets, its subterranean
its lack.

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Views: 156

Comment by Margaret Randall on July 15, 2012 at 8:26am

What marvelous poems! The second one's ending, "Wasn't this landscape / mostly in the end / about water / its secrets, its subterranean / caverns, / its lack." defines life on earth these days. If poetry can save the world, as many poets hope it will, this poem contains warning and judgment in lines that might be inscribed on banners from the drought-ridden southwestern United States to China's Three Gorges. Thank you, Miriam. And thank you once again, Jon, for always giving us something thought-provoking to go along with Sunday morning breakfast!

Comment by Dee Cohen on July 15, 2012 at 11:47am

Two lovely & thoughtful poems. Thank you. Water has been a big worry for a long time.You've captured its power over us with your descriptive and evocative wording.

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on July 15, 2012 at 2:01pm

ah yes --water worry --oh that it be washed away so we can stay in this particular paradise, the warm an sunny one, the one with history of drought--thx Miriam, lovely, especially the last lines of poem two--stunning

Comment by cc on July 15, 2012 at 8:57pm

Fun to come here and hear everyone, along with Miriam's 2. Hear, hear -- worthy community!


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