Good morning, Albuquerque! Rich Boucher here, one final time as your guest editor of the Ditch Rider. It's been fun. It's been a learning experience. It's been a joy and it's been a privilege. What do we say when we finally come to the end of a journey? My first thought is that we say "that was fun!" and my second thought is that we say nothing, and simply gird ourselves up for the challenges of the next journey. I'm doing both this morning. I truly hope that you all have enjoyed the little changes that I've made to the column here during my time in charge, and I hope also that maybe, just maybe, you've told a friend or two about this column, that you've helped to spread the word. We're in this together. I'm fortunate to live in a city so full of people living their art, whatever it is. It's a magic that smells of cinnamon and sage and pre-rain iron in the air here. I'd like to thank Jon Knudsen for his faith in me, his belief that I was a a good choice to steer the ship for a while. And my gratitude also goes out to all of the folks who are regular readers here; thank you for helping me to know that this column is reaching people and maybe even helping to connect people together; that means a lot to me. Thank you, adieu, and bon voyage! Now, who is ready for a poem?...
...So, I love this poem by Sara Roman. And I'll get into the specifics of why I love this poem in a moment, but first I'd like to say how proud I am that I got Sara to say yes to submitting a poem to the Ditch Rider! This is her first poem on here, but this is by no means her first (poetic) rodeo. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Albuquerque attending live events that incorporate poetry into the mix will have at some point had the pleasure of seeing Sara perform, and I really hope that YOU get to see her, too. She brings this warm light to any mic that she touches; I mean that sincerely. Now, with respect to this poem, I adore that Sara has found one image, one concept (one balloon) and she takes it (and us) on a big, little tour of poetic introspection ("...My conscience tapped me on my shoulder...") that eventually blossoms into a new way of looking back out at the world. How can something so simple possess such complexity? I have rarely ever witnessed a poet taking a series of words and so deftly imbuing them with multiple meanings in the way that Sara does ("...I learned a lot in the minutes after that clown let go of the truth...") with this work of hers. One of the many hats that the poet must wear is that of the Sembler, the one who reveals how simple the confusing can really be and the one who shows the true complexity underneath the seemingly easy-to-grasp. Over the course of this past week, I asked Sara what she loves about the city of Albuquerque, and this is what she had to say: "I am in love with the city of Albuquerque. It is just my speed and my size. This lil' big city offers much to a lover of culture and art and I am blessed to take part in some of the many communities that it has to offer. It is the quiet moments that I share with the pink and purple sunsets that paint the sky brilliant every evening that keep me faithfully basking in the life that is offered here. My roots stem from the ground of southern New Mexico, but it is Burque that I call home. She whispers lullabies while I sleep and keeps the monsters at bay and I am thankful for every morning that I wake to the city of Albuquerque." I'm feeling very thankful, too, my friends.
Sara, the mic is yours...
I watched the most beautiful thing the other day
It was a balloon.
Escaped from the hands of a clown
to swirl and twirl
amongst the gray and white
I witnessed it fly free
and longed desperately
to be that red ball of helium
about to bathe in the sweet divinity of change
and wash itself clean of constraint.
And as my mind and eyes, like the red balloon, continued to drift away,
My conscience tapped me on my shoulder
and I swear, I heard her say,
“Simmer down Child,
you know better than to waste a day wishing for the rain.
There’s no need to hope and pray that way. You’re the one making the weather.
You’re gonna go outside and check it out
whether or not it gets any better
so change if you want change
and then so will the weather.”
And on such a gloomy day
the clouds broke away
revealed the Sun
and made a path
for that cherry bomb of Truth.
The heavens opened up and made room for that balloon.
And I knew that could be me too.
Re-acquainting myself with freedom.
My eyes welled with release
those rain clouds and I were crying.
And I’m not sure if it was the excitement of enlightenment
or the pain of sadness
that washed over me,
but I knew I would have to leave.
It’s a funny thing, release,
when you realize you've got to let go.
It never comes with easy terms.
It pisses you off and it hurts.
And it awakens you
and it reminds you of your worth.
Fuels you with courage to fly,
with the courage to say goodbye.
I learned a lot in the minutes
after that clown let go of the truth.
I learned that the Universe is playful
And balloons can be messengers
And women can believe hers
And poets can be painters
And they’re all one artist
And that day
their masterpiece was
Sara Roman found her passion for writing and performing poetry in or around the year 2007 and has been committing sometimes calculated, often random acts of poetics ever since. Sara believes that poetry is medicine and words can be weapons and the if the two blast off just right there just might be more Peace in this world. She recently qualified for the Individual World Poetry Slam city championship in Albuquerque and will be competing for the chance to represent Albuquerque at IWPS later this year. Her latest musings can be found at www.onelovepoet.wordpress.com
Poetry submissions are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Poetry Event News: For those of you who are looking for some good writing workshops to participate in, I have just the thing for you, and it starts up today! The organization Speak Easy Tangents Poetry is commencing a new series (this one is its FOURTH offering) of workshops of the topic of revision. This series will focus primarily on writing prompts and workshopping/revising poems. These workshops will take place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, starting TODAY at 3 pm at The Source for Creating Sacredness at 1111 Carlisle Blvd SE! The dates for this workshop series are: September 1, September 16, October 6, October 20 and November 3 from 3 pm to 5 pm. You can pay $25 for the whole series or pay $10 for each "drop-in" individual session. Per the press release on Facebook, "...for more information about this workshop series or the goals of Speak Easy Tangents, please contact Katrina K Guarasico or Zachary Kluckman." Recommended.