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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Veronica Golos

Near the Migrant Camp

This morning

crows appeared as ruffled shadows,

singing their hysterical song

with all the world’s beauty and cruelty inside them;

and within the dark blue morning glory I saw

the waiting hours, their gone color–

Yet, also there was laughter,

and the Kinnkinnick’s tiny lanterns;


I am alone in the place where loveliness burns the eye–

It is then I see,

always, like a floating ghost

the shy child’s white dress, left behind

on the twisted black

branch of the mesquite.


Here, on the road above San Cristobal, the sea-black tail of the magpie, its white chest,

and its cry of Maayg! Maayg! filling the breast and waist

of me, with sound, a kind of rocking,

as my face also feels the sun’s new burnish.


This is happiness, striding down this road, a single car every once

or twice an hour, as I walk and lean toward the mountain I see into

the distance, the distance itself filling with grace

of new green sage, the darker pine.


Yes, this compass of me, who loves it, it being my

sight-sigh, the brash grasses, pitch and timber of quiet,

where I am fragile, forgetting the lists, the to do’s and,

where I belong.


I felt so Here, how the sky opened my ribs,

pressed against me, and it seemed I walked through,

as if I were treading to somewhere new, though I’d

walked here so many times. Mine, I would think.


But the eye of history is always open. And its dense

gravity of land, and now this sickness — when

a stranger, his own voice hawk-like, drives

his beaten truck alongside me, leans out his window,


“Foreigner!” he shouts. “Get out! I

live here! You

bring disease. Get out,

You, You!”


Veronica Golos is the author of four poetry books: GIRL, awarded the international Naji Naaman Honor Prize for Poetry, (Beirut, Lebanon); Rootwork: Lost Writings of John Brown and Mary Day Brown (3: A Taos Press), Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press), winner of the New Mexico Book Award, poems from which are translated into Arabic, and A Bell Buried Deep (Storyline Press), co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, adapted for stage and performed at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA. She was the former editor of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and presently the editor of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, and on the faculty of Tupelo Press’ Writers Conference. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her husband, David Pérez.

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