Many thanks to Scott Thomas Outlar, Sunil Sharma, and Anurag Sharma for including three of my poems in this fourth Western Voices issue of Setu, among the many fine poets included. I appreciate the hard work they perform on behalf of the global poetry community. My apologies for formatting problems in this copy and paste.
Here’s one of the three.
The grackle’s gifts
In my backyard there’s a grackle. His eyes quick,
he finds gifts I do not realize I need. Gives
me his cocked head of attention. Sings love songs only
my Viejo knew, back to keep his eye on me, frustrated
he no longer has thumbs, fists, a facile tongue, and bilingual brain.
The grackle found another’s ring with letters and a date. But now
it’s gone to pay the water bill.
Indigo shards adhere to glass bricks, bend light, distort shadows
both inside the house and out.
My favorite sound is the harsh cry of a grackle.
My favorite smell is the honest sweat of a worker.
My favorite tastes are whisky and sin on his breath,
or the gush of sex memorialized on hands and thighs.
My favorite gift is a lover who pays attention, gets it right.
The one who pulls me into that other dimension where nothing
exists but percussive sound, intimate scents,
secrets muttered through clenched teeth into the back of my neck,
a single black feather left outside my closed door.
Many thanks to Scott Thomas Outlar , Anurag Sharma and Sunil Sharma for including three of my poems in the Western Voices issue of Setu, along side a group of excellent writers.
Ostara in the Key of Bach for Leslee Becker while listening to Bach’s Suite I for Unaccompanied Violoncello Prelude On the vernal equinox, a lace of rosettes wreathe a maiden’s Read More …(Poem) Ostara in the Key of Bach by Donna Snyder — Return to Mago E*Magazine
She can make the heat death of the universe
a thing of beauty,
and an exploding star an object of desire.
But the gravity
of untimely death eludes her magic. Killers
proceed like a curse written in an ancient alphabet. Death,
indifferent to color or class,
turns crowns of glory into meat hooks, pierces our flesh, steals
our breath, pulls us into the final black hole.
Our bodies, sanctified,
the mix of every color together, disappear
into the ultimate dark.
“Oxygen: Parables of the Pandemic” anthology inspired the “Oxygen” project to help India fight the deadly second wave of COVID-19 and raise substantial funds for GiveIndia and Project Hope, supporting the cause.
As Meaningful As Any Other, Gutter Snob Books’ new publication of Donna Snyder’s fourth collection of poems and fragmentary prose, has been called a surrealist poetic memoir. Divided into five parts, Part One, Roots, is made of personal mythology, both actual and imagined. The second part, called Auguries, is mostly set in Twitty, the tiny rural hamlet in the North Texas Panhandle Snyder lived in as child, and shows the unexpected and incongruous impact visual art and classical music had on her development. Part Three, Flight, describes her escape from hometown and rural culture and the development of a political awareness, again often shown through her response to visual art. Part Four is called Awakening and is passionate. Part Five, Crossroads, addresses magic and both the losses and personal transcendence that can come with age, again using myth and art as pathways into Snyder’s psyche. Main repeated elements throughout the book are ekphrasis, theories of physics and time, and myth.
A longtime activist lawyer in New Mexico and Texas, Donna Snyder has represented indigenous people, people with disabilities, and immigrant workers. The legendary founder and director of the Tumblewords Project as well as an acclaimed poet, she now adds a fourth poetry collection As Meaningful As Any Other, to her body of work. “I walked in the Sandia foothills/ chilled by the first wintry wind,/ half moon in a dusky sky, arroyo/ luminous with profligate datura,” she writes, introducing us to her world in the American southwest. By turns somber and sanguine, troubled and troubling, puzzling and clairvoyant, this collection of prose and lyric poems is truly “a cloak of many colors” that envisions the Creator as a female at the heart of the Creation. Bravo, Donna!—Carlos Nicolás Flores, author of the novels Our House on Hueco and Sex as a Political Condition
From a powerful and driven perspective, Donna Snyder writes with a delicate intensity that will coil around your soul and swallow you whole. In her new book, As Meaningful As Any Other, Snyder will delight the reader with poetic form and fury, short and long. Her words are filled with revelry, intelligence and grace. Truly, this is not a book to be missed. —Jack Henry, author of driving w/ crazy living with madnessDonna
Snyder writes like I wish I could. As she says in her piece “Monstrous Angel,” (included here in As Meaningful As Any Other) “…Both unearthly and of this earth, she has a secret.” And indeed Ms. Snyder does have a secret. Her language brought to me images of Leslie Marmon Silko and Sandra Cisneros and of course a bit of Di Prima. Her words caress, her women are nurturing and beautiful and mystical. I want to read her work again and again. It belongs on my top shelf. —Nadia Bruce-Rawlings, author of Driving in the Rain and Scars
Donna Snyder’s poems are like the whisper of falling rain before a raging thunderstorm. They search for meaning in the random, chaotic mess of everyday life—infusing everything with beauty and pain. There is a sense of urgency behind every word. Let them seep into you. Let them change you.—David Dorado Romo, author of Ringside Seat to a Revolution
Donna Snyder’s compassionate and wise poetry is always a favorite. As Meaningful as Any Other is a balm for these difficult times. Another vivid and articulate treasure from Snyder, I highly recommend this beautiful collection.—Trista Hendren, Founder of Girl God Books
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I am so pleased to have two poems in the anthology Paws Healing The Earth, alongside such writers as Robert Pinsky, Xánath Caraza, Marian Haddad, Candice Louisa Daquin, Melissa Stoddard, and editor and poet, Kalpna Singh-Chitnis. Many thanks to River Paws Press.