By Mary Beath
One vivid wintry weather afternoon alongside an empty New Mexico street, Mary Beath chanced on those inexplicable phrases painted on a peeling wood signal: shelter of Whirling mild. That second may perhaps stand for what she bargains the reader: the pleasures and insights of the unforeseen, the sensations of freedom and belonging that experience continuously drawn her to wander the land on my own.
"Beath's intensely visible tale poems are completely transporting, taking you out to longed-after landscapes and, on the very same time, into the terrain of our hearts and souls. within the culture of different keen-eyed, gutsy girls who've certain themselves to the Southwest, Beath expresses for all of us--men and women--our wishes for romance and liberation, and the way the land, on a daily basis, if we watch heavily, deals us metaphors for both."--Susan J. Douglas, writer of Where the women Are and The Mommy Myth
"Powered by way of a conscientiously disciplined and analytical brain, those poems are by no means content material to live in mere description yet press on into way more complicated interrogations of the world's nature, ecology, and structures of knowledge."--Craig Watson, writer of True News and Free Will
"Although written approximately frequent places--Chaco Canyon, Abiquiu, the 4 Corners--these poems chart a different geography. this is often the terrain of wind, making a song frogs, storms, and altering gentle, of possibility and silence and sexual hope, of that that's either wild and holy. i admire the 'unbounded, gutsy climate' of those poems."--Anne Batterson, writer of The Black Swan
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Extra info for Refuge of Whirling Light (Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series)
Refuge of Whirling Light One April ___________________________ I’d rolled my bag out by Echo Amphitheatre and could just see Abiquiu Lake, the Sangre de Christos behind, Pedernal to the right. At dawn I turned over to a sky ablaze, deep orange, alive. Not the burning bush, the burning sky. Could I make a life here? The show slowly faded, running through its tricks. Never will the sky hold still. The last paintings I saw before I left NY for good were careful square canvases, head size, of the night skies over Santa Fe: a little land, clouds hiding moon, edges lit like flowing memories, diffuse and sharp at once, the clouds clouds, the sky sky, the space space, each small painted square a frozen night, caught, captured from the living flux.
In light, in shadow, you watch the rocks. 37 REFUGE OF WHIRLING LIGHT 38 San Juan River ___________________________ III Once in the Met I saw a singing stone strung up in a small shrine from India or Tibet, behind glass, the taped guide playing its subtle note in my ear, out of context, like all museum fare. But the singing stones in the grey rock bowl above the San Juan lived neither in shrines nor behind glass, lying scattered, camouflaged above the river. They rang like bells when we dropped them, miraculously resonant, their tones reverberating in the open rock room, a room worn by water, carved by floods.
I greet the black dog Nula through her fence, rub her ears, think how she’s named Penula for the silkies off the Irish coast, the seals who raise their dark heads from the cold sea, curious. Nula licks my hand. ————Refuge of Whirling Light 17 I think of her owner, with my name, who swims alone for eight hours, ten hours, across lakes, across bays; who treads water in the pool to keep in shape. Nula presses her soft side hard against the fence and watches me as I walk away. REFUGE OF WHIRLING LIGHT 18 Cascades ___________________________ Yesterday a Cooper’s hawk lounged on a fence post by the ditch, made a few small nasal quacks, milder than a duck’s honks, too cartoony for his fierce attention.