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Mary Cisper


Listen to Mary Cisper read this poem:

The Generous Field

What if, when two chestnut horses come toward you galloping,      
the sun is at the fit angle for rapture?
You might embrace, suddenly, after its long
approach, the year’s arrival at umber,
as the field brims with tawny fadings, armatures,
the violet understory of beauty.    
As you spill back into yourself,    
the pasture will glow like amber, 
the horses pressing body to body.
Although your joy will be quiet, it will be
intemperate, the silver wire of the fence
haloing the glinting text,
leaving you no choice in the matter
of loving both your visible
and your covert failures.



Listen to Mary Cisper read this poem:

Daffodils, Blue Vase

In cool water, this resting.  Our broken stems. 

And why shouldn’t they speak? 
The bud taken, wrapped in cellophane
and tendered—the cut unacknowledged,
as is the hidden rhizome,
shadowed pockets of green moss,
the brief unbidden gestures. 
How much unspoken although
naming’s practiced: anther, sepal,
stigma.  Leaf and stalk. 

A time-lapse film of thistle blooming
reveals the quickened offering,
a galaxy is birthed.  And this
still life, surpassing gold above the blue—
a wave frozen into syllable—the caught,
if not the strangled?



Mary Cisper lives in northern New Mexico below the Sangre de Cristo mountains. She worked mostly recently as a chemist but now focuses full-time on poetry and the visual arts. Her poems have recently appeared in Natural Bridge, Borderlands, and Confrontation.

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