Photo Credit: Unknown

Flaming Aum

Itís a conspiracy,

someone said,

but Iíve done this myself.

Iím collecting things.

Drowning in stuff.

Clinging to memories while

packing and repacking


Iíll surely leave behind

when the big whatever

has its way with this corporeal                     


when I no longer identify with this body

when I no longer believe my emotions

are me

and when Iím no longer worried

about missing a call.


So Iím phoning aum

on my imaginary

gold-plated phone.

Wondering when I signed on

the dotted line

for this disease of busyness.

Trying to remember where I put that day,

that hour

that memory of how I first met love

on the back porch.


Iím packing it up.

Throwing some out.

Labeling the way

for the great unpacking

when it all turns to dust,

floats away,

and burns.

Cashed in

on the illusion

that anything

            or anyone

is guaranteed.            


Mary Celeste Labadie

(from Desert Shovel Review)



Reading in Santa Fe


I had never seen Abiquiu Lake so low.

Even morning primrose bowed their eyelids

to the Rio Chama.


Things forgot the time:

a hubcap along the road

the empty roadside table

and the joyous day, the third of May.


There were dreams lurking under sandstone.

There was a desire to preserve litter:

Ribbons of toilet paper, ripped t-shirts

and holey ice bags dressed wire fences

like prayer flags.


The presence of crow reminded me

of the Pojoaque poet who said,

Youíve taken mushrooms, youíre a shaman too.

This carried me into songó

to chant and drum,

to skulk like hungry Javelina

for newborn,

sprouting gardens.


All of it,

like stones in the hand,

turned and turned in the medium of memory

and the depth of Abiquiuó

exposing its thin belly,

the impermanence,


the one-day bloom of datura.


Mary Celeste Labadie



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