I have previously mentioned that I am taking a poetry class with Lorraine Mejia-Green through the Story Circle Network.  To date we have read poetry by Mary Oliver, Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Joy Harjo.  Clifton has written a very interesting series of poems called Foxes.  Joy Harjo’s most famous poem is about horses.  My obsession seems to be pumas even though I do love horses.

Puma I

                                                   My neighbor walked out her door,

                                                    found a puma lying on the lawn.

                                                    She arose and ambled off.

                                                    At night when I open my gate

                                                     I wonder if puma lurks

                                                     behind the cedar tree.

                                                     My daughter dreams puma dreams:

                                                      A puma chases her up a tree

                                                     There are no trees here big enough to climb.

                                                     A Zuni puma fetish guards my sleep.

                                                     I run with puma

                                                     Night wild


                                                     I scream and howl



                                                     I hike the canyon

                                                     Stroll around my house

                                                     Look for puma tracks.

                                                     I see none.

                                                     I would rather die by puma

                                                     than in a car wreck.

Puma II

                                        I watch for eyes, blue changing to amber and back.

                                        I put my palm, fingers stretched to measure, into the footprint.

                                        Too small, bobcat.

                                         No puma.

                                         My thin body squeezes between the rocks,

                                                           climbing quietly down the cliff.

                                         Watching, listening, searching.

                                          No puma.

                                           Pale amber rushes across my vision line.

                                           My heart quakes.

                                           I watch; I wait.

                                           It is Isabella, a golden whir chasing rabbits.

                                           No puma.

                                           At sunrise, I walk the rim.


                                          At sunset, I walk the rim,


                                          At night, I walk the rim,


                                           No puma; not yet.


I am daughter

of moonlight over desert landscapes

of emptiness and endless expanses.

Too many trees stifle my soul,




Let me see long,

watch the far horizon,

listen to the wind.

I am daughter

of puma, of jaguar,

stealing through black night

under endless stars.




Let me wander distances

watchful, timeless.

I am daughter

of the ancients





all knowing.

Let me walk into the sunset

talk with gods.

I am daughter of the universe.


Recently, I took a writing class about finding your voice.  Mostly, I took it not because I needed to find my “voice”, but rather to force me to really get serious and write.  One assignment was about firsts in our lives, e.g. first kiss, first love, first…You get the idea.  It was difficult for me because suddenly I realized I neither remembered nor even cared much about firsts.  My response to the assignment is this.

Memories of the future.

These are the memories that matter,

These and memories of the present.

Bold, fearless, fun, beautiful, wild,

Dancing, singing, writing, loving, laughing

memories now and tomorrow.

The past—gone, dead.

Fly free and clean!!

I don’t remember many firsts.  First dance, first communion, first love, first hand holding, first lie, first kiss.   Nothing.  I am not all that fond of kissing anyway.  I do remember first sex as a rather boring disappointment.  Good sex requires experience.

I have never been lost in my life.  I have never thought I really might die, not soon, but when I do I would rather die by puma than in a car wreck.

Pumas are going to prey

Yesterday I opened the latest issue of “Sierra”to find an article about someone who encountered a puma.  Here is some advice on what to do if you discover a puma stalking you:

-do not run

-turn and face her

-raise your arms and do whatever you can to look fierce

-scream as loud as you can

-if you know you are in puma country, carry a loud horn with you

-do not walk quietly–surprising a puma is not good

-remember they are more afraid of you than you are of them–really!!

Of course, the big problem with making a lot of noise as you hike is this:  you won’t see any wildlife at all.


The photo is the copyright of E.J. Peiker.

Puma Passion

I am a daughter of the moon.

Night wild, free.

I run with puma;

I scream; I howl,

Moonstruck, blood borne.

My neighbor walked out her door to find a female puma lying in her lawn.  The puma arose and ambled away.   At night when I stop my vehicle to open my drive gate, I wonder if she lurks behind the juniper tree, pounce ready.  My daughter dreams puma dreams:  a puma chases her up a tree.  It does not matter that there are no trees here big enough to climb.  When I hike the canyon or stoll around the house, I search for puma tracks.  I find none.  A Zuni puma fetish crouches, guarding my sleep.  I would rather die by puma than in a car wreck.

Photo copyright of E.J. Peiker.