Sandi Stromberg, a beloved Houston poet, shares with us another poem this year that balances the careful line between narrative and lyric, between familiarity and wonder.
Lake Buchanan Sanctuary
On the hillside above deep fried and barbeque,
Mariah serves organic sprouted grain and seeds,
fresh-fruit smoothies, fish. She’s hooked
on Paleo cuisine, Spanish guitar, her notions
. In the guest book, I read
how she and her husband, now dead, built
this community of cottages and sheds
below a hill-top sanctuary where the spirits
often come. She looks askance at me and says,
“You have to be receptive.” And she’s right. I’m
. I’ve seen too much damage
in the name of spiritual intent. Even so I sit
in the stone circle amidst pungent junipers, deep
purple blossoms, my eyes closed in anticipation.
Is doubt a deterrent? I dismiss the thought and
concentrate on the slight breeze tinkling a bevy
. of chimes. Their pitches in and out
of sync, they blend point and counterpoint. I meditate,
relax my mind, breathe deeply. As I indulge
in the soft blend of bird song and chime,
a slight ruffle moves against my cheek. My eyes
shoot open. Flashes of yellow, orange, and blue
flit silently before me. Butterflies.
. Their shadows traversing numinous ground.
Sandi Stromberg is a three-time Pushcart and two-time Best of the Net nominee. Her poetry appears frequently in The Ekphrastic Review and is recently published in San Pedro River Review, MockingHeart Review, Equinox, easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles, Texas Poetry Assignment, Sappho’s Torque, among others, as well as in the Netherlands in Brabant Cultureel and Dichtersbankje (the Poet’s Bench).