September 11-17, 2017: Poetry from Patricia Godwin Dunleavy and Miriam Sagan

​Patricia Godwin Dunleavy and Miriam Sagan

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.

​Patricia Godwin Dunleavy

Bio (auto)

Patricia Godwin Dunleavy resides in Ila, Georgia, spends a great deal of time in the western North Carolina mountains, and travels throughout the western U.S. states regularly. Understanding and enjoying Nature is a passion. She is the author of the book Landscape lessons: A Practical and Inspirational Primer for the Southern Soil and Soul.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Patricia Godwin Dunleavy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Peace

I listened to the cardinals,
smelled gardenias through open window,
tasted Earth in asparagus and pecans.
Touched grey lichen on trees,
green moss on trailside boulders.
Watched muddy red creeks
carry detritus downstream.
Gazed deep into ponds & lakes,
beyond the reflection.

I walked hundreds of trails,
climbed mountains and volcanoes,
entered canyons and caves,
scouted marshes and beaches,
explored waterfalls above,
below & behind.

I witnessed
intense lightning splitting the sky
deluges carving gullies in minutes
hail storms stripping leaves from trees
droughts making earth cracked leather
floods oozing choking mud
wildfires lapping flames, smoking air
—all with respect and awe—
more wonder than fright.

I saved a newborn cottontail rabbit in the field,
helped newborn loggerhead turtles find the waves,
saved a hardwood forest from clearcutting,
saved another from subdivision.

I let wind tousle my long hair
sun warm my vitiligo skin
rain wet my wide feet
snow chill my chapped hands.

I flowed with the water,
wind, sunbeams, sand, soil,
ants, dragonflies, trees, bears, snakes,
and all else, breathing or not,
when spirit free.
When not, mere observer,
content, nevertheless.

Now I drift to body’s death
without fear—
recycle and repurpose.
Please forgive me,
those who must deal with
my baggage left.



Miriam Sagan

Bio (auto)

Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 published books, including the novel Black Rainbow (Sherman Asher, 2015) and Geographic: A Memoir of Time and Space (Casa de Snapdragon). which just won the 2016 Arizona/New Mexico Book Award in Poetry. She founded and headed the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College until her retirement this year. Her blog Miriam’s Well has a thousand daily readers. She has been a writer in residence in two national parks, at Yaddo, MacDowell, Colorado Art Ranch, Andrew’s Experimental Forest, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Iceland’s Gullkistan Residency for creative people, and another dozen or so remote and unique places. Her awards include the Santa Fe Mayor’s award for Excellence in the Arts, the Poetry Gratitude Award from New Mexico Literary Arts, and A Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa. She lives in Santa Fe, NM

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Miriam Sagan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


the block of marble
will become a girl—
as girls
we swooned over The Kiss
and how the figures seemed
to emerge from stone
you, however, child
of another generation
child of mine
just said
“I don’t like
as if this were

maybe it’s revenge
on the master
who neglected his wife
drove his mistress
who, the poet says,
didn’t even really
look at the naked model
his own hands
growing larger
growing older

Venus may be
Winged Victory headless
without a face,
it’s raining
in the capital city
at the end of empire
umbrellas in the street
our boots on pavement
tell us
we’re not just flesh
no longer captured
by the sculptor’s thought
remain unkissed.


the inner life
of strangers, or apples
or the color blue—
or a mop
left out to dry
now dusted in snow
of a distant
planet that shines
so brilliantly
as this week’s
evening str
or the border, or boundary lines
of the pyrocantha bush
to the south
of my driveway
the back neighbor’s
coyote fence
to the east

you come home late—
even asleep
my heart
your key in the lock
and what
you are dreaming about
but even though
I know you
the best
even I don’t know
exactly where
beneath your
fluttering eyelids
you wander


I felt life flow by all slow afternoon
outside the window, Kathryn Street
once, I’d turned that corner
from Hickox, I’d been
to a matinee
of Carmen
and felt—again
like a human being
Jewish New Yorker
that I am
thirty years
in the desert,
I’d gone to Tune-Up
for a take out
cafe au lait
in a paper cup
touched my lip
and I fell
recklessly in love
with my own
old shabby block
because in that mid-winter
later afternoon
it remembered me


Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: