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Laureate’s Spring Offering!

A vernal equinox literary mix presented by Eve West Bessier, Poet Laureate of Silver City and Grant County, New Mexico

Happy spring equinox! It’s been a long winter! This month, I’m pleased to feature a poem by Grant County writer, Lynne Zotalis. I’m also offering a spring poem of my own which I feel creates a resonant pairing.

Flight of Fancy

by Lynne Zotalis

I took a flight of fancy into the quail brood’s milieu only to discover

they can fly but oddly prefer to dart across the ground.

My quail family hatched ten tiny offspring

holding a daily promenade through my yard. Mama, Papa and fledglings

only flying when startled, flushed out of my carport

hearing the heavy tread of my approach.

I want to warn them,

“listen feathery friends, you’ll lose your ability to fly completely

if you don’t practice it more often. Spread those wings,

flap and sail off into yonder clouds. You’re easy pickins for the coyotes

as you scrounge down there among the weeds.

I understand

your sustenance is on the ground

but wouldn’t you rather be cruising around

up there in the atmosphere

with such a freedom, at least a few hours a day?”

I tried so hard to imagine flight, me, actually flying,

breaking free, above it all. I pondered

with fits and starts what that freedom might look like,

but am so mired in the clay, so tethered, bogged in muck

that I can barely walk, let along fly.

Battling depression

I’m on a downward spiral,

sinking into the mattress buttressing my ears with pillows.

Blessed sleep. Still

I drag myself to my desk where I am faced with birds

and butterflies flitting out the window, a few yards away

landing in the pinon branches,

singing the lilting melodies and I watch,

wondering how to shake off the heaviness,

to be grateful for the smattering of rain last night. I will.

I must.

Then a stunning swallowtail glided through my field of vision.


Inspire me with your vigor,

those papery wings fluttering to find your mate.

Delighting in the five inch striped wonder,

their sole objective to propagate, can I take heart

in the bright yellow glimmer of hope?

The swallowtail isn’t worried

by coronavirus, or corrupt law enforcement,

global warming or Southern border walls.

Unencumbered, they escape barriers on gentle air currents.

Here am I

a flightless ostrich who evolved,

relegated to the earthbound, human condition

but still I dream of release, transcending

like the mythical phoenix

to soar once again.

What I Perceive

by Eve West Bessier

by evidence of the senses

I know what I perceive

is but a weak phosphorescence

in the deep unknowable

my ears perceive the succulent

sounds of creek eddies

silt-filled and receding

only recently

from flood stages

muddy water lapping at banks

rusty rapid water slapping at stones

my skin perceives moist soils

with bare soles

chilled toes feel the growing

undertow in the river’s spring flow

that teases twigs and tadpoles

my eyes perceive mauve shawls

of soft bloom on eroded

sediment edges

glistening in raw umber

my cheeks perceive hot sun

on taut muscles

my mind perceives time

as specific, numerical

while the motion of water

knows time as fluid, immeasurable

my heart perceives

my need to end

with the pen

and resume

with the meditation

of now


For more about Eve West Bessier, see About The Author below or go to

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

Eve West Bessier

Eve is a poet laureate emerita of Silver City and Grant County, New Mexico; and of Davis and Yolo County, California. She has served on the steering committee for the Southwest Word Fiesta, and was a presenter during two festivals. Eve is a retired social scientist, voice and life coach. She is a writer, jazz vocalist, photographer and nature enthusiast living in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
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We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University is a traditional academic press that welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, children’s books, historical fiction, and academic books. We are particularly interested in academic work and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. We will also consider selective works of national and global significance.