Tag Archives: poetry

The occasional poet and the cypress

Artist Retreat updates from the occasional poet and the primitive seamstress (we are one and the same in case you are wondering. . .).  On the stitching front I finished number 13 and moving forward.  Lots of threads.  Loose and delicious.  I love it all.  Sea salt & vinegar and fog on the beach –who knew I liked IPA–?  NPR by morning and a daily walk through the cypress where I recently met an Australian labradoodle named Murphy. The turtle evades me though I’ve received this tip to look where the bridge bends to the right.  That place where I spotted two red-bellied woodpeckers.  Common to this part of Florida.


Primitive Seamstress series #13


A few months ago my friend Mike Burwell (the Cartography of Water) and I decided to get back to a writing group.  Small.  Just the two of us.  By doing a poem a week.  We’ve dubbed it the Thursday poem.

It all began the summer of 2005 in Anchorage, or maybe it began in Homer when we all met at the Kachemak Bay Writer’s Conference.  At Land’s End.  In the bar no doubt.  After listening to Billy Collins.  It included myself, Mike, and James P. Sweeney (A Thousand Prayers) who is also on the current season of Ultimate Survival Alaska.  Jim is too busy pissing people off and getting his book published to participate but Mike and I have been sharing a Thursday poem.  It is great motivation, and like everything in 2015, I’ve come to consider them beginnings.  Enough.  A start. Let go of judgement. Write. Share. The editing comes later.  A different approach than in Alaska where we tried to bring our most polished work to the table.  Both are acceptable formats.

Full disclosure:  I have no book.  Not even a worthy manuscript.  (not yet) –In fact this particular day of the Thursday poem I was so inspired (and defeated) by another poet that I nearly didn’t write a poem at all.  I felt unworthy.  How she flitted, like a hummingbird from right to left and tab far to the right and back again and it all worked so well. . . the alliteration, and I so safe (wearing the big panties) with my line breaks and hugging the left margin to the point of boredom.  Blah blah blah.  So imagine my surprise when my Thursday poet partner responds that he loves it all from top to bottom on the first draft.  Wow.  And so today I bring you said poem.

On the 8th day

I am cypress in a residential swamp
not uncommon not   not great my hips
swell wide at the border
in the company of lily pads  waft
across the shadow                            stir
waxy green upon the water                                               
            the turtle        promenade
does not care to win the race
who’s on first does not matter        discipline
            or disciple we are all god gifted
spreading wider        the Great Blue           heron              flies
            not without a scene
            screaming at interruption is redemption
for the unobservant.
Pray attention
or perhaps I am the bead of water
carefully cupped at the breast of stillness
all gathered wetness
            an offering     back    to sky
shadows long and dark go both ways
            across reflection                                . . .ripple. . .     
I am accumulation of whisper and dew drop
a pause upon the cusp         of Grace
The knees knobby (like) amputated stumps
protrude up and out            in sameness
not matched or exact           
            not not twin or triplet          
            not self-conscious or flattered         only raw
not cruel or kind the alligator rests
Brenda Roper (2015)

Brenda is a visual artist and occasional poet who lives in Santa Fe, NM.  She is currently at an Artist Retreat in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  Her work can be seen at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art (IGCA) in Anchorage in February 2015 or visit Art Happenings.  Studio visits welcome and by appointment.

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From Cerrillos to South Capitol

Poet applause in my heart

I wake into a Sunday of NPR discussion of Evangelical adoptions and Irish music and texting about a new odd job —to add to the five I already have in that slow flexible climb to enough a month for living.   I wake from a dream that spews forth like the Pavlof volcano erupting in Alaska.  Percolating notions and stand-ins for something important all mixed together and exploding from my unconscious.  The most vivid: the boa constrictor emerging from the side of the yard that is really a bedroom who turns into an alligator at the curb and flies across the street to climb a concrete porch where it is now a psychedelic lion with pink and purple flowers all beautiful and strong on the stoop.  Whoa.  From fear to glory.  And I fly too.  On my back, levitating in a long hall while two men look on.  As if I have to prove myself.  To rise up from “the help” wiping the salad dressing off the floor.  Okay.  Enough.  But I find dreaming fascinating.  And at the end of it all 34A appears.  A long ago number on a hospital bracelet that belonged to my mother.  Her room.  I made art out of it 10 years ago.  What are these messages?  These stories unfolding?


On Thursday I take my car in for brakes and walk from Cerrillos to South Capitol.  It is morning and I walk in the shadow of the buildings on the East side of the street as if I am in a foreign country.  Alive and elated and joyful.  Where does that come from:  a walk outside the perimeter of our own lives?  A change of direction?  Graffiti and signage and the dishevelment of an old street.  Gritty.  I like gritty.  I take out my new smartphone to snap photos as I go.  It so thin and heavy and I fear I may drop it.  I feel a bit conspicuous but that doesn’t matter.  Really.  At Baca Street I push the button to cross and take myself to Counter Culture where I’ve not been and eat the best lemon poppyseed cake ever with an equally delicious latte at a table by the wall beneath the art of photographs for pets.  The phone rings.

I rise to the occasion of the question and outside find a path I did not know that carries me all the way to the Railyard Park in a matter of minutes.  Past the community garden.  The Rail Runner runs and I pause to take its picture.  On my way to work but I have a moment to spare.  And now I vow to do that weekly.  A walk from this neighborhood to that neighborhood on a path that will carry to coffee.  To rambling thoughts of possibility and a person I use to be — on other paths.  In other places.

In this slow coming spring the days pass without focus.  A blur of interview and company and shuttle here and there.   The Etsy site undone.  The blog unwritten.  No poetry for Wednesday.  But there has been art.  In Microscale in Madrid at Metallo Gallery and An Affair with the Muse at Kristin Johnson Fine Art in Santa Fe where my work shares the walls with other artists, known and emerging and the joy of friendship and good times and wine and food and walking beneath the stars of the New Mexico sky.  A glimpse at  “behind-the-scenes” of movie making on porches and side streets and vans with kitchens on Armijo.  Those yellow signs with letters sideways and upside down that instruct those in the know on where to go.


And the trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida that blew open my closed perceptions has come and gone and my photos not posted or sent to friends, but still I keep the weather of St. Pete on my homepage.  Just in case.  I check rentals on craigslist and subscribe to a newsletter and the Warehouse Arts District but will the humidity be too big an obstacle? And my mom has gone into the hospital and is out again as I plan a trip back for the family reunion.  For my birthday.  To get together with sisters and brothers and cousins and those aunts and uncles that remains.  A hug to my dad and hopefully more than 30 minutes.  So hard to fit it all in.  A moment here and dashing off for a moment there.  Maybe a swim in a lake, a walk on the beach of Lake Michigan, wine tasting and a walk in the country but how to get from Detroit to Durand?  No public transportation that allows independence except a car I won’t really need and one might as well pay the difference to fly into the local airport.  For convenience but it is steep.  Pause.

Everything is changing.


Today a poetry reading in Eldorado.  200 NM poems.  I will sit in the audience to applaud the poets.  Important to applaud the poets.

Go well into the tomato starts, the basil outside the door, the pots of pansies that make you smile.  Through whatever gate you walk into whatever street you travel onto that path that carries us forward.  To life without fear.  To love.  To ourselves in all our imperfect beauty and authenticity.

Brenda is a visual artist and occasional poet who lives too far from the ocean but loves her new digs in South Capitol.  Her work can be seen at Kristin Johnson Fine Art or hereIn Microscale is up through the end of May at Metallo Gallery in Madrid.  Studio visits welcome and by appointment.



Posted in Dreams, Poetry, South Capitol, Travel Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Merry Christmas card & Happy Holidays –!

BELIEVE in possible. . .window
Christmas tree in store white
magic lights do glow and outside
a snow angel or two.  Jingle bell
the cathedral rings long. Then try
the road less traveled by. . .
 HAPPY Holidays jingle JINgLE
solstice sweet holy Hallejulah
JOY to fire light the world on
and fly our singing hearts oh!
wings of peace away fly away to
territory untethered. . .cloud
snow star memory tear whisper
kiss kind friendship into a New Year!
Peace and bliss and possible. . .

Merry Christmas & JOYful

ode to snowflakes

tree lights song. . .
all the stockings are hung by the
Chimney with care. . .ice skates,
brick cardboard fire place hot
cocoa and orange memory. Santa 
cookies sugar and icing. Nuts in
a bowl for cracking.  A box of
chocolates.  Poke.  A carrot for
Rudolph up on the rooftop and sing
Frosty the Snowman and Dickens. . .
it’s a Wonderful Life White Christmas
–peace on earth goodwill toward men

and woman.  Sweet clementines


In the bathtub on Saturday it comes to me a calling for wilderness.  A sojourn walkabout drive all the way to South America across many borders.  Across the portrayed realities of gunman and drama and fear.  Into the possible the unknown the joyful abundance of challenge and shift and belief.  To experience the tides as they rush in than out.  Toe heart rushing through and away and over flowing the river floods and bleeds no bandage thick enough to sustain the violence say push push believe drive go open up gratitude kind truth like a Hallmark Card.  Put down our weapons of mass destruction drone nuclear cold war pharmaceutical economy and help the butcher’s son the widow’s daughter.  Make room for those who need.  And that is all of us.  All.  Sweet juice dribble down our cheeks over our lips to love.


Brenda Roper is one of 6 writers and artists currently living in the oldest artist colony on Canyon Road in Santa Fe.   Her work forthcoming in Cirque the Solstice Issue #7.

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A morsel of happiness. . .

Sound bites from the weekend:  Bowling is a working class sport  and I wonder why the uptown girl is hanging with the Bud Light guy but then realize neither are living up to their potential.  Like a magnet.  And I associate “meek” with STUPID because isn’t that what people mean when they think it?  Some even say it aloud Meek. Cringe. Because you are quiet logical pragmatic you don’t have a personality, or the capacity to think, or much to offer the plugged in party down hoe hum don’t sweat the small stuff no consequence mentality.  Okay.  Fair is fair.  Fuck you.

Potential –yes! always inspiration for the possible.



The pull of the moon.


Let us walk on water.


On the bright side I sold a piece of art this weekend.  Thank you EAI.  The Visa appreciates it too.  The other small art kudo is getting a piece accepted into the Recycle Santa Fe Juried Exhibition that opens November 2, 2012 at the Santa Fe Convention Center on Marcy Street.  Oh and the beauty of moon rise over the Sangre de Cristos with a lavender fade over autumn in the river down the block with no water.  Six (6) inches of snow in Montana as the east coast prepares for Hurricane Sandra and I long to be entertained. Escape.  Thank you Gwarlingo for poetry that spikes the senses.  James Arthur. Has won every fellowship I’ve ever dreamed of.  He looks young but obviously that is unimportant.  My friend Mike is a poet.  Sometimes me too.  The part-time poet.  Ha.

Started a fire with one match and I’m a water sign.  That is supposed to matter so quite a feat I suppose and I love the ambiance.  Lists are made and doilies discussed in great detail.  How to stiffen. Kept me busy on Saturday.  Research. Wallpaper paste still a favorite but I Google options and really the cornstarch and distilled water is a bust without the addition of glue. Spray starch on the ironing board for next time.  Or nada.  The 2 cups boiled water with sugar seemed too sticky before Christmas– but I have an idea.  The shopping carts filled then emptied.  Like the tide.  Pearl iridescent.  Jog bra.  I dream of money and horses and coffee.  Sleep is good.  An old friend flew to Cuba.  Today. Bon voyage.  He suggests a dremel with a fine tip for signing the bronze.  Signatures are important.  Picasso.  Sotheby’s.  Brenda Roper apparently.

Nothing remarkable still there is happiness.  My mother turns 80 a month from tomorrow (which is quite remarkable).  Go mom.  Happy Birthday.  She likes Bingo.  Dancing. Cards. Staying up late to watch the news.  Spanish rice, pork chops, meatloaf, baked beans with bacon on top, boiled dinner, Swiss steak on Sundays, scalloped potatoes (my favorite), chocolate cake with melted frosting.  Milk in our glasses and may I please be excused? No bake cookies. My sister always burnt the last batch. . . but she could pop corn like a queen.  Sea salt caramel gelato was not in my childhood freezer.  Think I’ll go have a spoon.  Or save it.  For later.  But than again why wait.  A storm is coming and all the stars are singing.  Twinkle like a prayer. . .


This blog is a creative ramble.  An exercise in the practice of expression without censor though I do.  A one year ambition of discipline like a script out of context though not without intention.  A road construction detour not coherent to a wide audience but that is not the point.  The success is in the practice.  The I do did fairly consistently.  Perhaps next year a new vision.  Theme.  Focus.  Direction.   For now a meander.  Thank you.

Brenda Roper is currently an artist in residence at El Zaguan in Santa Fe, NM.



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The night before and the water poet

I set two alarms for my 4:30am wake-up call.  On my way to Michigan and thinking of Mexico. On my way to Michigan to celebrate my sister Kelly’s 50th birthday.  Here she is finally showing off her great legs.  Sometimes it takes that long to recognize our assets.  On my way to Michigan to see. . .we are family. . .I’ve got all my sisters and me. . .

Happy Birthday!!

and contemplating the election, forced to admit my not voting will not make the paradigm shift necessary for change — so I will cast my ballot as I have cast my ballot since I was old enough to do so. . .I tell a friend at least our vote counts in New Mexico where it fell fallow all those years in Alaska.  Be the change and books not bullets and shit. . .

and contemplating the change in the weather as I pack an umbrella and too many sweaters and realize all my shorts have holes in the pocket.  oh well.  but it is Mexico on my mind so I send off requests for rentals as if I can make it happen.  Necesito estudiar espanol cada dia. Repetir.   How to climb out of the box and into the possible.  Dream. Action.  Take 2.

and contemplating “otherness” –and wildness and writing poems that reach beyond wisteria and looking out a window and laundry.  How to articulate still life and inbetween and before and ever after.  How to become Gary Snyder’s water poet who stayed down six years fearless of seaweed criss-crossing the mud or perhaps a mind poet who stays in the house with no walls who sees everywhere and all at once.

Go well. Travel well.  Dream of the possible (to make it so).




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Happy 4th of July and I live in America

Santa Fe summer lightA moment of confusion after the day job and I call my friend Mike because what else am I to do . . .but it goes to voicemail and instead of hanging up I leave a discombobulated message apologizing at the end of it because why am I calling?  The phone rings.  He calls back.  I explain sort of –Not sure I want to make the effort for fireworks but maybe.  I leave it open. Fort Marcy hill climb.  He comments he hasn’t seen me like this for a long time and I agree though I wonder if he has ever seen me like this –I tend to feel quietly.  No one sees me like this.  Ever.  Well maybe they do but this isn’t low blood sugar.  I just need a direction.  Not exactly life or death but similar in a way.  That moment of in-between.  Two worlds.  The shore and tide.  The conscious and the subconscious.  The basement and the stair.  And so I abort the barbecue chicken and turn to cleaning.  The mop and the floor and Murphy’s Soap.  Seems to work.  I even walk around to the Canyon Road side of my humble (albeit charming abode) to dust the shutters but no windows.  I don’t “do” windows.  At least not often.  I break the sponge on the recycle mop but who cares –the floor licked of red dirt and dust bunnies and the art rearranged.  Manic –okay.  It happens sometimes.  The neighbors are noshing outside my window.  But we share a common portal. I jump in the shower.  The curtain closed.  And afterwards I am clean.  Rinsed and refreshed.  Reborn and fit for socializing.  The studio cleaned.  Everything rearranged.  No fireworks.  I pour a glass of white and walk out the door.  I don’ t see the watermelon.  It is monumental but I am not medicated.  Only the wine.  A bit of rain and the clouds still thick.  The temperature plummets to comfortable.  Only 66 degrees –and this a blessing.  We chat:  about writers and readings and music and marketing our artful selves from Nantucket to Etsy to Santa Fe Travelers.   Life is good.


The past two mornings my day job has turned into time in the studio.  As if I have a patron.  Thank you Portia.  The heat gets to her and she tells me not to come in.  Today specifically to work on my dress project and I do.  And yesterday too though I do walk over to deliver a few treats.  I need to feel as if I am contributing.   That Midwest upbringing.  The studio is invigorating and joyful and I realize how I love problem solving.  Not algebraic but the physical rendering of 3D mixed media:  sewing and barbed wire and the use of zip ties with metal and door knobs and such things.  How to attach without asking for help.  The drill press requires permission –or a favor.  Still not sure about the ribbon on the hanger.  Done. Lopsided.   How to attach all these rings?  OMG.  Not the way I envisioned but slowly one at a time embedded with the only stitch I know (of sewing).  I actually don’t know how to sew.  Still I do.  That’s what art does to a person.  This the girl who used to staple her hems.  Okay.  I wonder what it is I’m trying to say.  Do I ever know?  I write it down . . .all the knots have been tied and so many unravel-ing. . .a lifetime of pulled upon, charmed and rearranged. . .Excavating my art though I have an image.  It changes.

Still debating about the fireworks.  Might be nice for the walk up the Fort Marcy stairs with friends but I’m not sure.  I loved the 4th of July as a child.  We use to stand outside, in the country, with our sparklers and metal pail of water. And often went to wherever they were shooting them off. Though that was up to the parents.  I remember anticipation.  Would they rise to the occasion.   Like at the drive-in or a lake somewhere.  Hurry.  Are we going?  I really can’t remember clearly.  And later I hated the gatherings at the Lake.  In Whitefish. People poking out their own eyes.  Idiots with bottle rockets and no consideration for others or fear of consequence.  And so I am ambivalent, and older and my adventures take me down a different path.  Still I enjoy that burst of color in the sky dispersing in a flare of joy.  of celebration and glee.  Don’t we all?

And in that vein a poem I wrote once.  It mentions the holiday so I thought I might share it here.

Emmett Till


What do their children believe now?

The men and women of those men murderers

of Emmett Till: a 14 year old black Chicago boy

who whistled at the wrong white woman

in Money Mississippi?  Before the vote.

What has changed or stayed the same

or slipchanged straight back to murder?

Fear so great eliminates the great.

Only fear remains unspoiled across

this God Bless America 4th of July.


What if a woman murdered every white

man that whistled at her from a passing car

street corner blood bath Ford pick-up truck

Dodge Diesel convertible Chevy fat tire

ballcap banging up to no good American?

And the parade passes red white and blue

fireworks are illegal in the city and all the dogs

are deaf or terrified.

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Books & alleys & blossoms come & go

Monday morning Memorial Day.  I read on the internet this morning that one can bid on the crypt of Elvis.  Really?  Is that cool?  Weird? –but in the interest of capitalism there is no marketing scheme not possible.  No mail today.  My Netflix cannot be returned but since I haven’t watched it yet, though it came five (5) days ago –well that works out.  That and our substitute mail carrier refusing to pick up the outgoing mail.  I chased her down the street on Friday but tactfully.  She appeared overwhelmed under the weight of her leather pouch and long dark hair.  And very young.   She laid the stack of envelopes I handed her on top of a painted Santa Fe style box at the end of Gypsy Alley and assured me she would take care of it.  I want to trust her so walked away and let it go.

Canyon RoadCanyon Road alley

No banking and Kaune’s might be closed for the holiday but I am working this afternoon.  Because there is no possibility of errand I can walk the 15 minutes to this day job.  I love walking.  And I love walking to work through the gravel one way narrow streets of Santa Fe:  Abeyta, Las Animas, Arroyo Tenorio. . .it has been the loveliest of spring and how quickly the blossoms come and go.  The brilliant orange petals of poppies.  The lilacs long gone.  The wisteria, apple and cherry blossoms no more.  Everything in its own time.  For images please click here.

Odes & Offerings

Prose by Robbins 18"x24" mixed media on panel

The Odes & Offerings Exhibit continues through June 8, 2012 at the Santa Fe Community Gallery on Marcy Street.  Part of the Santa Fe Poet Laureate program and the final project by current but outgoing Poet Laureate Joan Logghe — where 36 local poets were paired with 36 visual artists.  The poets provided two poems and asked the artist to choose one then embed the text of the poem into their work.  I met my poet Phil Geronimo at a reading in the Gallery a few weeks ago.  He is quirky and earnest and fun loving and I was thrilled to finally meet him.  Rumor says he was waiting tables on the night of the opening.  A former long time employee of Collected Words.  A good poet. Grateful he thought my piece “Prose by Robbins” captured the spirit of his poem in its colorful and somewhat quirky interpretation.  A good match.

Prose by Robbins
It has been a very sweet event.   So much literary talent.   So many books.  All the readers well-read and read well.  And word on the street is a book from the exhibit is forthcoming by Sunstone Press.  Stay tuned.  Thank you Joan.  Thank you poets.  Thank you Rod Lambert and the Santa Fe Community Gallery, etc.  If you haven’t been please go:  201 W. Marcy Street/ Gallery Hours: M–F 10 to 5/Saturday 10 to 4.  Closed Sunday/Monday.

Speaking of New Mexico and poets please check out 200 New Mexico Poems –A New Mexico Centennial Project celebrating history through poetry.  Submissions still accepted.  Enjoy!

James P Sweeney


More on books, words, sweet events and all –my good friend Jim. Sweeney.  or James P. Sweeney, has published his epic experience of survival in the Alaska Range in his new book (that took eight years to complete): Alaska Expedition Marine Life Solidarity.  I can’t put it down and hope you will consider supporting his endeavor.  It’s a great read and you won’t be disappointed.  Order your copy at http://www.jamessweeneybooks.com/.


Brenda is currently one of six (6) artists in residence at El Zaguan, the oldest continuous artist colony on Canyon Road.  Please stop by 545 Canyon to see  the Zaguanistas Summer ART Kick-Off:  Billy McLane, Bethany Orbison, Max Carlos Martinez, Adam Eisman, Marilyn Sahs and Brenda Roper -–an eclectic group exhibition of photography, painting, words and wood.  Friday 5-7pm/Saturday 12-4pm. Through June 8th.  Studio by appointment dreamcafe943@yahoo.com.

Posted in Brenda Roper, El Zaguan exhibition, Poetry, Studio Art Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Who’s gonna build your wall?

Sunday in the High Road House above Bisbee.  The super moon risen and roosted. The sun shines all the way to Mexico.  I awake refreshed from pondering and fall down too much in my own head surprised it is only 7am (that one hour time difference — but in my favor).  The wind blows but not in alarm.  I think, to no one beside me but many in particular, that when I write my first poetry book or perhaps a new blog it will be entitled “What Keeps me Afraid?” –What keeps me afraid of taking chances, of driving to (fill in the blank), of booking an airline ticket from here to there –of using all my cell phone minutes? What keeps me afraid from quitting my job, from moving to the ocean, from taking all day to sit and read?  What keeps me afraid of  success/happiness?

I decide it already a good day (these are the choices we’re given) and then I read about Erasure poetry.  Who knew?  How do I miss these things so relevant to my own life?  And well now I know and isn’t that the gift?  Of course.  Duh.  Gwarlingo again.  Mary Ruefle. Jen Bervin. Brenda Roper (ha ha. . .).   Mine likely more mixed media and collage than fully erasure since I can’t even follow a recipe but I love this. . .excited to get to those old books at my day job (thanks Portia) and work with thread and yarn and taking away and adding to.  Travel hurts so good for creative inspiration.  And yes justifying the money spent, the time away, the pleasures of this glorious High Road view to all those ghosts still watching from the cobwebs of my judgment days. . .and I’m such a good girl. Yeah right.  Who cares.  I know.  Babbling.

I make an amazing ravioli frittata –in the big cast iron skillet provided.  I know you’re thinking what?  Ravioli frittata –but amazing.  With olive bread toasted and spread with peach preserves.  Groovy yum. Afterwards the walk down the Rose stair to the historic P.O. (attached to the library) –don’t get confused and send happy snippets on artful postcards to the stacks.  I pause on the stair climb oh my lungs please sing yes I can like the little choo choo. Yes I can.  Do.  The drive to Tombstone to look see and then wonderment at the why?  Really.  Even the Bank of America is “for sale”.  Hmmm.  Fat people wait in line to watch the shoot-out at the Ok Corral while costumed cowboys lack enthusiasm in getting me to buy a ticket.  On a side street people target-shoot paper silhouettes as if that is “okay” because it’s just pretend.  Let us not condone the freedom of load and shoot.  People?  I wonder the thrill of such entertainment.  And if  I want I can drive to view the wall being build to celebrate the separation of borders.  Only one mile.  One mile to Mexico.  A thin line.  And white trucks with green lettering.  I didn’t even think to bring my passport.  and I love Mexico.

And all the while the Tom Russell refrain runs ’round . . .who’s gonna build your wall. . .who’s gonna mow your lawn. . .who’s gonna cook your Mexican food when the Mexican maid is gone. . .who’s gonna build your wall? and God Bless America but I do and I don’t.  Glad I went on the two second tour.  Bought a post card for mom and dad, but really this is why people travel across the country on vacation? the anti-creative or curious and aren’t we all sometimes.  Holsters, hats, a stagecoach –dull  dry brown– wind geysers sweep up in the distance.  No hiking in the Dragoon Mountains today though that would be lovely.  Lovely to retrace this trip with friends.  To hike and meander and bird.  Share wine on the porch.  Climb all the up down staircases,  pizza at the Screaming Banshee, and night cap at the Stock Exchange.

Why am I afraid of doing too much and not enough and stillness, when stillness is what I’m after.  Of opening too wide inside out so colorful for there is art to do the talking.  To tell the tale.  Clarity slowdown meander like a lazy river played hooky in High School 35 years ago.  May –from study hall.  Wow that was pushing the envelope.  Good for me.  Authenticity does not play games.  I was baptized by my boyfriend at the lake when I was 14.  I was told to do this.  Parents go to church for a few years phase. People were watching.  I still feel them watching.  Always watching.  As if I need to ask permission.  Still.  No one is here.  I turn around but I’m all by myself.  So what happened to the map?

Posted in Blog, Brenda Roper, Poetry, Studio Art Also tagged , , |

Nibbles & Bits (of inspiration)


We become attached to our own words, of course, in the poetic sense of poetry as a poet –of what they mean to us.  What they say.  What we hear.  And to others something else.  Not enough or sometimes redundant.  I appreciate editors.  It makes me look more closely to “as” or repetition as a hammer to the head pounding meaning in and again.  Or perfectly –to make a point.  Poetic license and perspective may resonate with some.  A few or even many, but never everyone.  And perhaps not those we wish to notice.  Who we are.

I had a poem published this week.  the Night Heron.  Inspired by watching a heron all day stalking the high tide line at Sin Duda Villas outside Xcalak in the Yucatan and a thought while dusting a dresser, and other miscellaneous nibbles & bits that reside in the mysterious card catalog of the brain.  In Other Words:  Merida.  Great new on line zine.  Check it out www.inotherwordsmerida.com   Other artful endeavors of note included delivering two pieces to local Santa Fe galleries in preparation of two openings next weekend.  Thank you universe.

Odes & Offerings

Spent 3 hours in the emergency room on Friday morning for a non-emergency pain no doctor can seem to diagnose.  Not my own.  I feel her frustration.  But mostly I am aghast at the lack of communication or compassion while waiting in limbo.  On a bed in a nice room where I could easily have stolen all the blue rubber gloves and created havoc with the machinery if so inclined.  No one would notice.  No one did (notice) though I didn’t.  Create havoc.  I am well practiced in the art of patience but now I question that perseverance.   No one bothered to pop in and give updates.  For the result of the x-ray,  to ask if she were comfortable  or would she like a glass of water (or a large dose of Maalox as it turns out) –no one stopped by for anything at all except the two characters rolling by with the cleaning cart like a circus.  Who brought me two empty cups when I asked for something to hold water and with a generous heart I thought to also offer two sizes and directions to the bano.  Likely they are paid the least of all those I encountered.  They pass again and again.   I had just watched “Like Water for Elephants” –the cruelty of desperation.  And the kindness of those with the least to lose. . .

 Aqua Fria lady of long agoAfter three hours a nurse popped in to “her room” –said she didn’t know anyone was in here.  Did she really say that?  Out loud.  “Did you just arrive?” she asked.  Really?  Very energetic and friendly.  In fairness she had just arrived but doesn’t anyone communicate?  Then not a peep.  Understaffed or something else?  The doctor when he came, at the end of it all, had a nice bedside manner but no panacea.  For this we pay the big bucks.  Going through the motions.  A script of rote because they must offer something.  We expect it but don’t they understand how far placebo goes?  A kind inquiry.  A thoughtful hello how are you.  A moment –At least once every 30 minutes would not pass unnoticed. 

The wind is wicked today though now the sun is back.  I ran outside the third time the shutter slammed against the window but too late.  It lay flat on the ground.  Torn from the hinge.  I felt bad but nothing broken that can’t be repaired.  Yesterday I find bits and pieces of inspiration not from the wind or spring cleaning of dust and spiders from a winter of corners but from a yard sale up the block.  Creative ponderings.  A bride and groom cake top and an oval frame with a faded portrait of a woman who lived in Aqua Fria.  More possibilities for the Vintage Affair.  Ideas for photographs and celebrations and dresses and such.

magic in Canyon Road treeLast night I flew in my dream.  At the end of the chaos with the travel agents, the car accident and waiting for a trolley.  I walk into restricted space.   To the head of the queue and out the door.  And I realize it is the moment that I recognize I can.  Fly.  that brings the most magic.  That moment of self awareness and testing.  One leap and another and the possibility of flight.  Of lift off and letting go.  Like magic.  Into this day at home when I was planning to drive to Taos for the opening of “the Art of the Dress” but did not.  Another time.  And next time perhaps a blog of more concrete ponderings:  the 40 hour/week paradigm and how that system is not my model though to more degree than I’d like to admit I’m on that track though the one without a pension or 401K.  Perhaps more  on the art of marketing –ecommerce, etsy, ebay, and others that comes so easily to some yet feels too exposed for me.  At the moment.  But if anyone is interested.  The art on this site is for sale.  I welcome email inquiries or a studio visit or a wink and a nod.  Wine and chocolate also accepted. 


Brenda Roper is currently an artist in residence at El Zaguan in Santa Fe.  Her work can be seen in the Odes & Offerings Exhibitions at the Santa Fe Community Gallery on Marcy Street  and GVG Contemporary @ 202 Canyon Road.  Open receptions on March 23  & March 24 from 5-7pm respectively.  Stay tuned for details about the Zaguanistas summer art kick off at the Historic Santa Fe Foundation gallery Friday May 25, @545 Canyon Road. 



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