Martha Sanchez-Lowery



I am engaged

From a field I am engaged!

I am from a field engaged

I am in the dialogue of life engaged

I am in the night musk wet,
............humus dark, and filled with black eyes susan
............engaged in the dialogue

I am in the sound of the last days of heat
.............engaged in the interstice of soft,
.............and I am not to be misunderstood as other than engaged the night's drone, starry dome
.............and milk filled trees

I am in the internal beating blue
.............flooded by rivers of red, engaged so,
.............that no blue river will open the shimmer of the call

I am engaged in the keeping time



To not know the beginning
to have missed that first tinge in the sky
like a flint stroke
ages on
that set the world in flames
you were meant to be there
you were well meant to be there
but darkness closed you in
and like a curtain drawn heavy against the day
so was that being wild self in you
of what was earth from sea from sky
had you a teacher
you would have been shaken in that indolence
to see the turquoise blended in glassy limestone
the salt in a smooth moving line
precisely bordered
there is home and home is here
precision knowledge
of target and solace
of not knowing a beginning or tracing pattern
but you are the silent
that deaf and dumb
can only be that.

Judy Jashinsky
Farnese Garden

30" x 22", pastel/gesso, 1998
more work by Judy Jashinsky





In that luminous green room
it is the everyday
the banded day
the swerving on the road day
mallards and canada geese
crossing the interstate
in the glass the flickering
green and blue
and the awe
was this here years ago
was this yesterday
the you are here
the you do everything here
the you put on your mascara routine
the you sing intensely off key
in this intimate space
of speed and direction
and at a light like all natural surprises
that old millionaire you just happen to know
is reading in his car
watching the lights turn
red to red to red
his hunter Oldsmobile rusting
and you surprise the loneliness there
a cat on your neck
six rose bushes in the back seat
and the dirt of a busy life
cellophane and yellowing magazines on the floor
stopped at that red light
your life visible
your everyday
moving so fast.




Que frío!
here it is always
an interminable nowhere of winter
what little scrub brush there is
wiry and flowering
its small hope
cleft to the edge
the only beyond of this desperate flatness
where four men stand
iconic judges on a four corner promontory
above sheer precipice and rock
beyond it is only a fall
and the sound of wind meeting rock
and then nothing
but the circling of the bird
so high and close to heaven
the white haired sages stand
ponchos negros
"chulos" rojos

chewing coca leaves
listen, listen,
the wind is so sweet
so like the night you cut out my heart
and I let you
knowing they would ask the bird
to tell them
whether you'd made me blossom
like a poppy on the crater's bed



Dedicated to Oscar Ochoa who identified 260 varieties of potatoes cultivated by the Incas

Let me say, I never liked anything else,
not chocolate
not sugar
nothing else
I'll say it now and I always will
I cured
the hunger and the dread
after school
still wearing my white school jumper
the one I liked to get dirty
they would make me three potatoes fried golden in olive oil
we were Spaniards and everything but everything had to be made in olive oil and if the
afternoon had found us in the middle of the city
because returning to the pines that guarded the house
was also returning to cries that went long into the night
well then we would eat sausages with mashed potatoes
in a small kiosk on the Prado
and if in that wandering fear we had crossed the city to the other side before we would dare
to see the yellow eyes
that opened the doors on the stately pines
well, then to the Stadium
to eat skewered roast potatoes with the hottest chili
and there
next to a street fire
I would feel small
like an abandoned animal
who gets something basic
that smells of earth
of mineral
of stone
of bite
made of everything



Martha Sanchez-Lowery works as Director of Special Projects at Moller Communications, a multi-lingual video production company and happily resides in Arlington in a small cottage with many resident birds. She is poetry editor for Minimus, an annual literary journal and Director of the Word Works Washington Prize. Her chapbook Bocanegra was published in 1997 by Mica Press and a bi-lingual edition of her translations (Galician/English) of El Pueblo de la Noche/The City of Night by poet and fiction writer Manuel Rivas is forthcoming from Anaya Publications.

For more information about Minimus: http://www.writer/org/minimus
For more information about The Word Works, Inc.:

Published in Volume 2, Number 3, Summer 2001.