Photo shot by me 1990 Pueblo de Taos

Clay baked bricks waken legends
where the people built
quick-lived spaces with
cave wrought skills.
Cooking outside,
wafting smells lured
trackers home. Their artisans
crafted images of deities with sand,
erected carved totems
depicting spirit guides.

Now flowers twine over the
adobe church wall.
Its towers stretch
toward a moving sky
crossing another route pounded
and danced on hardened earth.
A distant rumbling resounds
through space and rolls
down the edge of the Sierra Madre
stretching over the great high plains.
Those cool winds blow back
ghosts and dreams.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

Posted in Uncategorized28 RepliesEdit

clay baked bricks waken legends

where the people made

quick lived spaces through

cave wrought skills

cooked outside

arcing smells luring

trackers home leaving

images drawn in sand

placing carved totems

as spirit guides

flowers twine over the

adobe church wall

its towers stretch

toward a moving sky

crossing another route pounded

and danced on hardened earth

a distant rumbling resounds

through space and rolls

down the edge of the Sierra Madre

stretching over the great high plains

cool winds blow ghosts and dreams

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved


  1. ah, you’ve written of mi tierra, Gay, New Mexico. I know that place. You capture it expressively and with a generous spirit, and innovatively– hard to do. cool winds blow ghosts and dreams– oh so absolutely, in Nueva Mexico. xxxxxj

  2. Ah, western poetry…they always do have such a unique feel to them, one you do not find in others. A piece that exudes a tender sort of longing…this reflective feeling of looking out over all that has come, all that is gone. Looking at the remnants of what was. Lovely atmosphere, expansive, and of a mood…particularly strong ending – it encapsulates that feeling so perfectly, with a touch of the melancholy.

  3. Thanks Chris and Jenne. Yes this is a photo prompt for me today. This is a photo I took before they quit allowing photography there. Some years ago I had it pulled from the slide and printed. It hangs in my family room and I escape into it every afternoon about this time when the light hits it and brings it to life. I hope I captured something of the span of the life still being lived there.

  4. smiles…ghosts and dreams…would love to visit this land…nice bit of culture you wove into there…just a taste to draw me there to hear the tales the cool wind blows…

  5. There is a light there you see nowhere else. I don’t wonder that artists have spent lifetimes painting it. And you have painted it for us in words so that you can feel the past breathe.

  6. Joy, Brian, Corbie and Joy. Thank you so much for your comments. Sometimes your comments bring me to tears. I like to read your work too. But getting comments consistently from you, fellow writers, gives me an insight into what I’ve done, what I’m capable of writing, and whether it gets a response I’ve hoped to receive.

    We are actually like actors here. Poetry is not only the script but the way it’s delivered is our roles. With no audience we act in a vacuum and that does not satisfy our creativity or our souls. So your response whatever it may be makes me complete as an artist and a thinker.

  7. I wanted to pull out my guitar and strum along to your words, you have such a knack of making your poetry alive and lyrical…then I started strumming out the old Tanya Tucker (Judy Collins) song and your words took flight and the ol blue norther was a source of warmth and inspiration…Love this one, thanks!

    So blow you ol blue northern
    Blow my love to me
    Hes drivin in tonight from California
    He loves his darn ol rodeo
    As much as he loves me
    Someday soon going with him someday soon

  8. Love how both stanzas build and conclude with suggestive spiritual elements; especially the second stanza in the form of thunder leading into ghosts and dreams.

  9. beautiful and “cool winds blowing ghosts and dreams..”..what a wonderfully magic line that floats you away with those winds…blessings…bkm

  10. Oh, this is wonderful, Gay. The high desert echoes with the whispers of those ghosts. Your poem does too.

    I haven’t painted in decades, but when I’m in the high desert, those whispers shout at me, “Paint!”

  11. I always write to my last lines. I think I come up with them first. I didn’t quite capture that smell that happens when the last baking heat seems to drift off like smoke from the hard ground, and before the first clap of thunder. The smell surrounds you and you sense the cool about to descend. It makes you heady and a little high. As children, when clouds formed dark and close to the ground, we ran outside to breathe the air before fat drops began to fall. (Texas Panhandle…but it’s the same in New Mexico and Colorado too)
    Thank you for the comments. I’m happy the last line resonated.

  12. I love the wide open western spaces blowing through this poem, arid and dusty and coming in from a sky bigger than God. So full of “ghosts and dreams,” yes.

  13. This poem is so fully of the senses! The photo’s contrast between the white-white of the builldings and the blue/grey of the sky probably isn’t seen in any other place except there.

    Your poem marches into history, and brings forth a lost world. I don’t know the place or time, but you put me in there with your photo and your words.

    Wonderful poem!

    Lady Nyo

  14. An enchanting snapshot of the southwest.. the words played on like a beautiful song, Gay…
    “rain danced on hardened earth
    a distant rumbling resounds
    through space and rolls” — that was so visual… really awesome!!

  15. I am ready to be thrown to the wind, to perhaps touch down lightly in such a wonderful, mystical realm. Dreams and ghosts are the only friends I’ve truly known..I think I would fit it 🙂

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