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Sunday, October 31, 2021


by Katherine West

Via The Daily Caller

And so there came upon me a time of great thirst.  Dust and hatred rose from desert roads, and monsoon puddles turned white, the evergreens unchanged as totems made of stone.  Oh!  How I thirsted for the softness of peace, of leaves and seasons, for yellow, the true color of death. 

For death there must be water, so we drove along the Mimbres River to Lake Robert, my neck soon sore from looking up at the tones of lemon, tangerine, rust, gold--all moving as if paint could not stop once it reached the canvas, but continued to mix and blend and breathe unbiased beauty.

In between were ragged signs bleached by the sun:  Don't Blame Me I Voted for Trump  or simply: Fuck Biden, right next to: We Love Cyclists, with seats in the shade for the tired traveler. 

The lake was a sequin-beaded dress from the 1920's that the wind exploded into diamond bits that blinded us where we sat beneath the willows that could not cease their orange song for every ear. 

There we died.  We drank color and light until we too exploded--then coalesced on the walk back, talking with Lalo the fisherman about the 90 year old woman with terminal cancer who caught the biggest catfish he'd ever seen, right there where he was fishing today, and he'd shown her the place, his secret spot that he showed to no one, and she'd whooped so loud people could hear her all the way across the lake, and she died that winter, where no one could swim due to all the hooks left in the sand, left in the mind, and we forgot to bring food so we ate the peace of apolitical ospreys fishing with Lalo in the morning as if the RVers with their Don't Tread on Me flags didn't exist, only their grandchildren, lying on their bellies in the sand, hanging over the bank, scooping up the craw fish the grebes eat, while we swallowed gallons of yellow death, and yet were empty, empty, empty, and light as leaves. 

Katherine West lives in Southwest New Mexico, near Silver City. She has written three collections of poetry: The Bone Train, Scimitar Dreams, and Riddle, as well as one novel, Lion Tamer.  Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Writing in a Woman's Voice, Lalitamba, Bombay Gin, The New Verse News, Tanka Journal, Splash!, Eucalypt, and Southwest Word FiestaThe New Verse News nominated her poem "And Then the Sky" for a Pushcart Prize in 2019. In addition she has had poetry appear as part of art exhibitions at the Light Art Space gallery in Silver City, New Mexico and at the Windsor Museum in Windsor, Colorado. Using the name Kit West, Katherine's new novel, When Night Comes, A Christmas Carol Revisited came out in 2020, and a selection of poetry entitled Raising the Sparks will come out in 2021, both published by Breaking Rules Publishing for whom she also teaches Creative Writing workshops.  The sequel to When Night Comes will also be released by BRP in 2021. It is called Slave, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Revisited. She is also an artist.