A Poet's Kiss

Albuquerque poet Mary Oishi puts poems, pictures, and thoughts here for her family and friends, and for lovers of poetry everywhere.

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Baby Veronica

this day is begging for a poem
this day is running crazy down an oklahoma street, screaming
chasing carloads of federal marshalls and one little girl
who wants grandparents and cousins
a clan, a community, a daddy who looks like her

this day is chasing those marshalls, wailing

the cavalry of marshalls disappears from sight.

(Is this 1813 or 2013?)

this day falls in a heap exhausted
exhaling sobs
knowing the system always favors
wasichu values: more money.
greed washed righteous by “respectability”
flawless hygiene to cover a hollow life
numb with ritalin and prozac
its sterile feet squeezed into gold prada heels

parading as success

oh yeah, this day is begging for a poem
not a sonnet, not an ode, not some couplet
contrived behind ivyed walls

this day begs a poem, no, a prayer, forgotten prayer
rising slowly like a feather on the wind

joined by an eagle's call, then wolf, then bear
then ten thousand buffalo
thundering on ancient graves

a prayer that wakes the ancestors from
their too soon sleep from long walks and long rifles
until they rise up and follow her
walk beside her every step in the white man's world
whisper comfort so her Cherokee heart stays warm
in the strange cold heat of south carolina

mary oishi
23, 24 & 25 september 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

after hearing about Julia Chen, a haiku

cut more than eyes when
she cut epicanthic folds
ancestors bleeding

-mary oishi

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

With my friend Herb Tsuchiya!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

when i sing of seeds

Audio of this poem
when i sing of seeds
mine is not a song of acorns and grains
kernels and cones
not when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds
falling from trees
wrapped in fruit
floating lightly bearded in the breeze
in a bird's beak, a squirrel's cheek,
a gardener's loving hand

i sing not of seeds but of
blossoms fragrant,
bursting fuschia and crimson and gold
i sing of majestic trees
that join wind and earth and sun
for two thousand years
when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds i sing
harvest, sing baskets of corn to be husked
sing peas to be shelled, shells to be cracked
and released of their nutmeats
when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds i sing
roasting and baking and grilling
sing conversations around the table
silverware clanking, appetites satisfied
when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds i sing
thirty years down the road
a child yet unborn crunching into
an apple
when i sing of seeds i sing of
bouquets picked and handed to
mothers with love in the year 2999

when i sing of seeds
my song rises
verse after verse into
all that is life
a swell of possibility
when i sing of seeds.

when i sing of seeds
i sing down seven generations
times seven times seven.
when i sing of seeds
my song never ends
my song never ends when i sing of seeds

mary oishi
4 may 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

a suite of lonely

no loud noises for
a woman who lives alone
at night and dogless

you could go crazy
in a big house by yourself
with a pack of dogs

women long divorced
and recently widowed know
night ticks relentless

that face looking back
from the mirror, you carved it
in sun, with river

would you like a kiss?
yes, you would, sweet and nuanced
and slightly hungry

good memories not
as much comfort as one would
imagine    {sigh}

mary oishi
january 2013

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thoughts on the Execution of Troy Davis

At first, no thoughts.

Just the numb. The blood moving slow, like sad slush.

An innocent man. Same day as a guilty man.

What was the message?

To poor whites: Don’t drag them behind pick-up trucks.

Let US do it by lethal injection. Legitimized.

By the courts. The Governors. The parole boards.

The INjustice Thomas, black mask of white supremacy.

The message: only WE have a monopoly on the means of violence.

On arbitrary. On taking what is most precious. Irreplacable. Irreversible.

This is the meaning of power.

But it’s not. It’s the meaning of madness.

Power would be the ability to bring him back.

I think of his last words.

To the family: I am sorry for your loss.

I did not take your son, your father, your brother.

Dig deeper into this case to find out the Truth.

To the prison staff: To you who are going to take my life,

May God have mercy on your souls.

May God bless your souls.

I think, in 2011 they would frame brown Jesus.

They would bribe witnesses, poor saps

Looking to reduce their own sentences.

Looking for some small favor from the State.

They would wear their crosses and honk their horns and

Yell out the windows, kill him!

By lethal injection.

By electric chair.


He is not one of us.


I think, heaven help us all.

This morning I am Troy Davis.





Heaven help us.

We are ALL Troy Davis now.

mary oishi

22 september 2011

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Upcoming Performances

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 7-10 pm MT
Hosting The Blues Show
Interview with Rory Block, Swamp Daddy & Hoodoo Jeff LIVE in the studio, Interview with John Lee Hooker, Jr. (pending)...Lots of great music!
KUNM-FM 89.9 Albuquerque/Santa Fe
www.kunm.org - Live streaming & 2-week archive under "Listen"

Saturday, April 16, 2011, 3 pm

Flying Star Plaza
Rio Grande Blvd., Albuquerque, NM

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 12 noon
UNM Bookstore
Campus of the University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 7-10 pm MT
Hosting The Blues Show
Featuring Willie Dixon, Poet Laureate of the Blues - A National Poetry Month Special
He wrote over 500 songs. We play him performing his songs, and other great blues artists interpreting his songs.
KUNM-FM 89.9 Albuquerque/Santa Fe

www.kunm.org - Live streaming & 2-week archive under "Listen"

San Francisco rain has 181 x federal limit for radioactive iodine

I read this morning that the water in the San Francisco Bay area has 181 x (that's 18,100%) the federal limit for radioactive iodine. Had to write this poem:

hiroshima is coming home
how could we think she never would?
she rides high winds across our borders
stealthed by our leaders' lies, our reporters' silence
she's coming down in gentle violence
a million soothing drops of poisoned rain
she's rolling down our streams
landing on our fields in rainbowed spray
staking her place in our babies' bottles
hiding out in our thyroids, our breasts,
our prostate glands, our DNA, our california tomatoes
hiroshima is coming home, my darlings--
there is no less than hell to pay

mary oishi
3 april 2011