Conundrum Press

A Night at Stonehenge: In Honor of National Poetry Month

April 26th, 2016  |  Published in Blog, Juliana Aragón Fatula

conundrum_press_logoFor National Poetry Month, Conundrum Press has asked our poets, writers, and contributors to offer their thoughts on poetry. We will be publishing reflections throughout the month.

Juliana Aragón Fatula:

I’m an artist. I need music, drums, dancing, shouting. I treat writing like a sport. When I teach writing workshops, we chant and cheer motivational songs. We get in a huddle and put our hands in the center and yell, “Uno, dos, tres! Write!” We sing Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, everything gonna be alright and stomp and clap to “I’m a poet and I know it and I’m gonna do the write thang!” I introduce my students to great poets: Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Sherman Alexie, Lorna Dee Cervantes, and of course, moi.

I run into some of my students from time to time and they ask for advice, or send me poems they wrote. It was an experience I’ll never forget. My seventh graders are now seniors in high school and remember the Chicano History and feminist literature that I shared with them. When I was a child, there was no Chicano History, no Black History month, no writers of color in the books I read. I am determined to change the way the children think about social justice, global culture and language.  

Stonehenge – 2007
from Gathering Momentum: A Spiritual Memoir (unpublished)

She hands me the dowser.
my hands—stones,
jagged blades,
monsters,
buried,
loose,
loaded-down.
Eyes etched
in treasures,
sea caves,
ancestral graves of jade.

Everyone is surprised when the dowser moves towards Stonehenge. My traveling companions take it as a bit of a magic trick, but I hold the rod and I know there is no trick involved. They move on; I remain behind to say a prayer. I kneel on the damp grass and begin to pray. My head begins to be bend toward the ground. I pull my head up. It begins to bow down again. I feel this eerie sense of magnetism drawing my head down to the earth. It looks like I am bowing while praying, like a Buddhist monk. I close my eyes and live in the moment.

My companions yell for me to join them in the gift shop before the bus returns to town. I fight the urge to spend the night at Stonehenge. To curl up in a blanket and lie under the stars and discover what other ploys nature has up its sleeve. My desire to purchase something that says Stonehenge, a postcard, a keychain, overwhelming. I can’t believe I traveled all this way for my dream to come true only to leave after twenty minutes. What a gyp!

On December 21, 2012,[1] I’d love to be at Stonehenge or Chichen Itza[2]  for the moment when the planets align and the world ends. I will lie on the ceque, spirit path, to receive my dream-time, when the land strengthens and energies flow through me, fertilizing the land and receiving my spiritual message, to be part of Mother Earth, to transcend, to be magnetized, to feel the pull of earth in my bones one more time before I join my loved ones in the spirit world and wait to be reborn in the fifth world.

[1] The end of the Mayan calendar.

[2] Chichen Itza, meaning “at the mouth of the Itza well,” is a Mayan City on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, between Valladolid and Merida. It probably served as the religion center of Yucatan before the Spaniards arrived.

Juliana Aragón Fatula’s three books of poetry are Crazy Chicana in Catholic City, 2nd edition, Red Canyon Falling On Churches, Conundrum Press; and her chapbook, The Road I Ride Bleeds, Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. She is a Southern Colorado Native, a member of the Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Foundation, and a writer-in-residence for Colorado Humanities’ Writers-in-the-Schools Program. She teaches cultural diversity and believes in the power of education to change lives. She is a performance artist who likes to stir the political melting pot and shake things up. 

Stop by our bookstore to see our many fine collections of poetry and other works from our authors.

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