The Sunday Poem: Mary Oishi....when i sing of seeds

Good morning, Albuquerque! Rich Boucher here, back again as your interim editor (for June and July) of The DitchRider. Before we dive in, I would like to thank Jon for this opportunity (again) the take the wheel here. This is an honor and a privilege and I'm grateful for it.

I actually got to hear Mary Oishi read this poem at her recent feature at Speak, Poet! (a great poetry open mic/feature series hosted by Andrea Serrano here in Albuquerque) and I was at once floored and quieted by the swirling music, the forceful breeze of this poem. I hope you feel the same way. 

when i sing of seeds

when i sing of seeds
mine is not a song of acorns and grains
kernels and cones
not when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds 
falling from trees
wrapped in fruit
floating lightly bearded in the breeze
in a bird's beak, a squirrel's cheek, 
a gardener's loving hand

i sing not of seeds but of
blossoms fragrant, 
bursting fucshia and crimson and gold
i sing of majestic trees
that join wind and earth and sun
for two thousand years
when i sing of seeds. 

when i sing of seeds i sing
harvest, sing baskets of corn to be husked
sing peas to be shelled, shells to be cracked
and released of their nutmeats
when i sing of seeds. 

when i sing of seeds i sing
roasting and baking and grilling
sing conversations around the table
silverware clanking, appetites satisfied
when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds i sing
thirty years down the road
a child yet unborn crunching into
an apple
when i sing of seeds i sing of
bouquets picked and handed to
mothers with love in the year 2999

when i sing of seeds
my song rises
verse after verse into 
all that is life
a swell of possibility
when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds
i sing down seven generations
times seven times seven
when i sing of seeds
my song never ends
my song never ends when i sing of seeds

Mary Oishi has performed and published poetry all of her life.  She is the author of Spirit Birds They Told Me (West End Press, 2011), and has performed in numerous poetry events, (as well as produced several) since her arrival in New Mexico in 1999. Her poems are published in anthologies and poetry magazines, including Harwood Anthology and Looking Back to Place (Old School Books, Albuquerque) and most recently in Malpais Review and Mas Tequila Review. The Women's Review of Books reviewer said her work has a “populist aesthetic.”  In addition to being a poet, she is a public radio professional and Blues Show host on KUNM-FM.  She is also a lifelong community volunteer and activist.

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

*Photograph of Mary Oishi by Kyle Zimmerman Photography.


Views: 88

Comment by Margaret Randall on June 2, 2013 at 8:33am

A Mary Oishi poem is always a great way to start a Sunday morning!

Comment by Dee Cohen on June 2, 2013 at 10:07am

She sings the seeds electric. Thanks for an inspiring poem. D

Comment by Izquierdo on June 2, 2013 at 10:19am

I love the last stanza, the reminder that seeds are generational. A fuschia bouquet to you,


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

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Community Forum

Protein Shake Shack? 2 Replies

Started by Kitson Harvey in Food & Drink. Last reply by Bret 49 minutes ago.

The best wings in town? 7 Replies

Started by Sophie in Food & Drink. Last reply by Adelita on Sunday.

Fives Things You Can do to Fight Hunger Locally

Started by Alison Sherman in Food & Drink Sep 22.

Black Cherry Pie!!! 9 Replies

Started by Adelita in Food & Drink. Last reply by JMG Sep 2.

My blog for where to go for lunch in ABQ 2 Replies

Started by Gretchen Winchester in Food & Drink. Last reply by Ron Da Bomb Aug 12.

Latest Activity

Duke City Fix posted a blog post
14 minutes ago
Bret replied to Kitson Harvey's discussion Protein Shake Shack?
49 minutes ago
Duke City Fix liked Robin Day's blog post At the Urban Homestead - Beautiful Maize!
2 hours ago
K Tyson is now a member of Duke City Fix
3 hours ago

Regular Features

Anyone can blog on the Duke City Fix, but here are the folks who blog most often:

© 2015   Created by Duke City Fix.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service