Friday, May 5, 2017

Passing Through Albuquerque

Photograph by Kenneth Park (NARA)

I'm traveling today and will be enjoying some rest time and some work time over the next two weeks. While my journeys will keep me in the Deep South, I enjoyed this poem from the Southwest. Wherever your feet take you this week, I hope you find joy. 

Jama has the round up today at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

Passing Through Albuquerque
by John Balaban

At dusk, by the irrigation ditch 
gurgling past backyards near the highway, 
locusts raise a maze of calls in cottonwoods. 

 A Spanish girl in a white party dress 
strolls the levee by the muddy water 
where her small sister plunks in stones. 

 Beyond a low adobe wall and a wrecked car 
men are pitching horseshoes in a dusty lot. 
Someone shouts as he clangs in a ringer. 

 Big winds buffet in ahead of a storm, 
rocking the immense trees and whipping up 
clouds of dust, wild leaves, and cottonwool. 

 In the moment when the locusts pause 

Read the rest here


  1. Balaban is new to me and I enjoyed his poem. Such vivid images! Safe travels to you.

  2. I traveled through Albuquerque once, but I didn't have much of a chance to see anything beyond our hotel and the restaurant next door. This poems evokes such strong images. It makes me want to go back with my eyes open.

  3. It's just what it looks like, feels like, Doraine, quiet and dusty and a Spanish girl.

  4. Though the memories of this poem aren't mine, it makes me long for the years I did live there... the dust, the cottonwoods, the levee, the music. Thanks for sharing this poem, Dori. Enjoy your travels!

  5. Love getting a glimpse of life in another place!

  6. Indeed, moments like that ... you CAN love this country. Preserving moments. That's what we poets do.

  7. I thought this poem was outstanding and went to find our more about John Balaban, whom I wasn't familiar with. It read to me as if he was talking about an earlier time, perhaps he was, but I thought it was even earlier maybe 1930's. How timeless it is, yet how far we are today from this time. Thanks for sharing his work Dori, and hope your traveling goes well.