Even though "there are songs / about the rain," the poet is thirsty and is
briefly full of despair, with "no hope at all."
The dryness reminds him of the Felipe brothers' act of desperation in the 1950s, when they killed a witch in the guise of
a state policeman near the base of Srhakaiya.
mother guineas favorite son
knew rice and that was almost
all he knew
not where he was
not who were the pale sons
of a pale moon
who had brought him here
rice rice rice
and so he worked the river
worked as if born to it
thinking only now and then
of himself of the sun
Poet in the Basement – The Second Life of TMH
GC: This is the art that Lucille has cultivated her whole life – the persona poem.... And in that poem , look what she does with product placement. Look what she does with advertisement. In three poems, in less than fifty words, she takes on egregious, and painful subjects in American history. Do you think that people understand your poetry to the extent they should? Be honest, do you? I mean, it's more than just compact poetry.
from “The Poet” by Ralph Waldo Emerson | Poetry Foundation
LC: I should say I was born with twelve fingers. That's not metaphor. I was born that way. My mother had twelve fingers, and my eldest daughter. And so my hands have always, to me, felt special in an odd way, in that sometimes I can touch things, and get a feel for something other than what I have touched. And sometimes I can't and it doesn't matter to me, I'm not trying to do this. Also I should say that the ox stands for –...I was raised Southern Baptist, and I remember the day I woke up and looked at my father and said, "I don't think I'm going to church anymore." And it was so hurtful to him, but I just felt that that was – that there's so much else, you know, so much else, and that perhaps to connect with that which was divine… I just read something, in Poets and Writers I think it was, and it had some photograph ...they were talking about this boy who's considered a reincarnation of the Buddha, ... in India or Pakistan, one of those... and the caption was, "Is He Divine?" and my answer was, "Who isn't?" I mean of course he's divine. He likes to be in the woods with long hair. That's his business. That's his way of doing it. But maybe mine is sitting around watching The Price is Right. I mean that can be very divine. I'm at the age where you like The Price is Right, Grace. Anyway, going on;
[Again and again, even though we know love’s …
It was the connection
that really indicated the changes that were taking place.")
In addition to treating temporal themes in From Sand Creek, Ortiz also reminds the reader of the manifestations of spirit
in the Pueblo world: "In this hemisphere, corn is ancient and young; it is the seed, food, and symbol of a constantly
developing and revolutionary people." Corn is life-giving, as are the stars: "Indian astronomers studied the stars and set
them in their memory so their people would not ever forget their place in all creation."
Ortiz writes of the value of dreams as guiding forces: "Dreams are so important because they are lifelines and roadways,
and nobody should ever self-righteously demean or misuse them." It is with strength born of awareness of these
stabilizing forces that Ortiz summons the hope and compassion to love America, in spite of everything: "I have always
loved America; it is something precious in the memory in blood and cells which insists on story, poetry, song, life, life."
Although Ortiz is primarily known as a poet, he also writes fiction.
Metaphysical Poet; Language Poetry; Confessional Poetry; ..
LC: My dear friend, Maude Meehan was a poet in Santa Cruz, where I lived for a time. I taught at UC Santa Cruz for a time. And Maude was a poet there, well-known in that area. She was a dear friend, and a fine poet, and she used to live in Buffalo, though we didn't know each other then. During the Vietnam War, Maude used to drive – hide guys in her trunk, the trunk of her car, and ride them over the border into Canada,.... And she looked so much like everyone's grandmother – white haired, big kind of sweetheart lady. She was tough though. That was a tough broad.