We invite you, our members and website viewers, to join our Board of Directors and staff in contributing a poem or two to add to this archive of literature for all to enjoy. Please send your submission to Kenn Watt at Programs@nmhumanities.org and thank you for sharing something inspiring and thoughtful at a time we all need it most!


From Poet, Writer and longtime amigo Nasario Garcia dedicated his bilingual poem DOÑA CLARITA to Rudy Anaya, which comes from his Bolitas de oro: Poems of My Marble-Playing Days. 



Para Rudolfo A. Anaya

Doña Clarita

de mi placita

curandera mentada

y conocida

desde Santa Clara

a Casa Salazar

sabía cómo curar.


No había remedio

que no tuviera

o enfermedad

que no curara.


 Ya fuera dolor de espalda,

estómago o cintura,

ella lo curaba

con gran finura.


De todos lugares

y lugarcitos

iba la gente

con sus penares

y regalitos

de caridad.


Volvían a casa

a sus altares

dando gracias

a doña Clarita

cuyo don de curandera

por Dios donado

los había sanado

de su malestar.



 For Rudolfo A. Anaya

Doña Clarita

from my village

renowned and noted

folk healer

all the way from

Santa Clara

to Casa Salazar

knew how to heal people.


There was nary a remedy

she did not possess

or an illness

she could not cure.


Whether it was shoulder pain,

stomach or backaches

she cured each one

with self-assurance.


From large

to tiny places

people went

with their ailments

and modest gifts

of charity.


They’d return home

to their altars

giving thanks

to Doña Clarita

whose gift as a folk healer

bequeathed by God

had cured them

of their malady.












From Elva Osterreich -  Advice from La Llorona BY DEBORAH A. MIRANDA —a found poem   Each grief has its unique side. Choose the one that appeals to you. Go gently. Your body needs energy to repair the amputation. Humor phantom pain.   Your brain cells are soaked with salt; connections fail unexpectedly and often. Ask for help. Accept help.   Read your grief like the daily newspaper: headlines may have information you need. Scream. Drop-kick the garbage can across the street.   Don’t feel guilty if you have a good time. Don’t act as if you haven’t been hit by a Mack Truck. Do things a little differently but don’t make a lot of changes. Revel in contradiction.   Talk to the person who died. Give her a piece of your mind.   Try to touch someone at least once a day. Approach grief with determination. Pretend the finish line doesn’t keep receding. Lean into the pain. You can’t outrun it.        

  • From Board Member Miriam Langer: 


The day, with all its pain ahead, is yours

 By Derek Walcott


The day, with all its pain ahead, is yours.

The ceaseless creasing of the morning sea,

the fluttering gamboge cedar leaves allegro,

the rods of the yawning branches trolling in the breeze,

the rusted meadows, the wind-whitened grass,

the coos of the stone-colored ground doves on the road,

the echo of benediction on a house—

its rooms of pain, its verandah of remorse

when joy lanced through its open-hearted doors

like a hummingbird out to the garden and the pool

in which the sky has fallen. These are all yours,

and pain has made them brighter as absence does

after a death, as the light heals the grass.

And the twig-brown lizard scuttles up its branch

like fingers on the struts of a guitar.

I hear the detonations of agave

the stuttering outburstsof bougainvillea,

I see the acacia’s bonfire, the begonia’s bayonets,

and the tamarind’s thorns and the broadsides of clouds from the calabash

and the cedars fluttering their white flags of surrender

and the flame trees’ siege of the fort.

I saw black bulls, horns lowered, galloping, goring the mist

that rose, unshrouding the hillocks of Santa Cruz

and the olives of Esperanza

Andalusian idyll, and answer

and the moon’s blank tambourine

and the drizzle’s guitars

and the sunlit wires of the rain

the shawls and the used stars

and the ruined fountains.


from Lucy Silva, Program Assistant: 


You Carry All the Ingredients 

by Hafiz:


You carry

All the  ingredients

To turn your life into a nightmare -

Don't mix them! 

You have all the genius

To build a swing in your backyard

for God. 

That sounds 

like a hell of a lot more fun.

Let's start laughing, drawing blueprints,

gathering our talented friends. 

I will help you

with my divine lyre and drum. 


will sing a thousand words

you can take into your hands,

like golden saws

silver hammers, 

polished teakwood,

strong silk rope. 

You carry all the ingredients

to turn your existence into joy,

Mix them, mix them!



from Rosalie Otero, Board Member:


Woodstove of My Childhood

by Levi Romero-


woodstove of my childhood

where potatoes cut like triangle chips were fried

in manteca de marrano


woodstove of lazy autumn smoke swirling away

to nowhere


woodstove of December

evacuating the cold chill at sunrise


woodstove of celebration and mourning

of post-World War II Korea y Vietnam


woodstove corner that kept vigil over

drunken nodding remembrance

woodstove corner where uncles primos compadres

gathered on visits from Califas


woodstove corner with a warm ear for nostalgia

where Mama Ane stirred the atole and wrung her hands

thumb over thumb praying for her children's children's children


woodstove that witnessed six decades washing its face at the vandeja

that saw western swing dancing in dim lantern flame

that watched Elvis come in from across the llano strumming

a mail-order Stella and singing in Spanish



of the feast lamb tied up under the crabapple tree

of early sour cherries ripening above the cornstalk horizon

of neighbors bartering a cup of sugar

in exchange for mitote and conversation


woodstove that witnessed six decades washing its face at the vandeja

that saw western swing dancing in dim lantern flame

that watched Elvis come in from across the llano strumming

a mail-order Stella and singing in Spanish


woodstove of rain tenderly pouring into the afternoon

and salt sprinkling onto the patio from the mouth of the porch


woodstove of the nighttime crackling softly

of harmonious harmonica medleys

blowing before bedtime prayer


woodstove of rain tenderly pouring into the afternoon

and salt sprinkling onto the patio from the mouth of the porch


woodstove of the nighttime crackling softly

of harmonious harmonica medleys

blowing before bedtime prayer


woodstove facing John F. Kennedy's

picture on the wall


woodstove of Protestant Sundays

ringing without bells


woodstove of dark earth

fat worms and acequias


woodstove of 1960s propaganda

and all the rich hippies knocking poorly at the screen door


woodstove of private crazy laughter

of woodpeckers pecking through rough-hewn

barn timbers only to meet the sky


of rabbits nervously nibbling evening away

in the arroyo

of the water bucket banging and splashing

all the way home


woodstove of the water drop sizzle

of buñuelos and biscochitos and flour on the chin

of chokecherry jam dropping out

from the end of a tortilla



that heard Mentorcito's violin bringing in the new year

that saw Tío Eliseo bring in an armload of wood

that heard Tío Antonio coming down the road

whistling a corrido and swinging his cane


woodstove of the blessed noontime

and Grandma Juanita heating up the caldito


woodstove of the sanctified and untamed holy spirit

of the dream awake dreamers

prophesizing in the beginning how the end would come

of creaking trochil gates left open forever

of twisted caved-in gallineros rocking

in weeping April wind

of abandoned orchards waist deep

in desánimo

of teardrops that held back the laughter

of the penitente procession moving through the hills

for the soul of the village


woodstove of the wounded faithful proudly

concealing their scars


woodstove of armpit farts and bedtime giggles

of pitchforks and axes under the bed in case of intruders


of coffee cans filled with everything but coffee

of ten cents for a cream soda at Corrina's

of strawberry Nehis and a bag of chili chips at Medina's

of a handful of bubble gum acá Santos's


woodstove of genius wisdom dressed up as the village idiot

of hand-me-down stories locked away

in the dispensa

of bien loco local heroes cracking homeruns

Saturday afternoons en la cañada



of all that and more of all that disappearing

as children played hide 'n' seek in that abandoned goodtime feeling

while stumbling on the footsteps of tradition


woodstove that heard the fall of a people rising in silence

that died of a loneliness without cure

that cured itself in the company

of the so many more lonely


woodstove of my childhood



4 Jun 2020

"Muertos de Hambre" (English version "Losers" by Elio González & Rubén Tejerina)

Este video realizado por realizado por Elio González y Rubén Tejerina; resultó ser la inspiración para el programa del Concurso al Desempeño Artístico del Año 2016 conocido también como los Eddie Wharez® Awards en la ciudad de Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, México.

This video, the work of Elio González & Rubén Tejerina, was the inspiration this year for the Contest for the Outstanding Artistic Performance of the Year 2016, also known as the Eddie Wharez® Awards, Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, a fishing town know as Rocky Point as well.

Muertos de Hambre »

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