The Wild River Speaks
The stories of New Mexico's last free-flowing river

Natural Disasters
Is it the end of the natural world as we know it?

Hillsboro's Other 9/11s
Sept. 11 was a memorable date back in 1879 and 1885

The Great Pretenders
The Sonoran gopher snake evolved to mimic a rattler

2012 Writing Contest Winners

Adventure at the Silver Bell Mine
There's nothing worse than a ticked-off ghost

Notes on Being a Newcomer
Where life sometimes moves into the subjunctive mode

Adobe Tears
This year's best poem

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About the cover

Adobe Tears

by Karen Ray



People think poetry is easy because poems are often short. But it's poetry's very brevity that makes it actually the most challenging form of writing; every word counts. So we set the bar high when evaluating poetry submissions, and in this economical evocation Karen Ray leaps right over it.



Gritty west wind flees the sunset.

Thumps dusty fists against adobe walls,

angry with its kin for keeping stationary form.

Slowly dissolving back to earth.

Coils around a corner — then

slaps the courtyard face.

Howling through the slats of the heavy gate

feebly barring entrance.

Fine earth eddies and swirls,

dusting the chile ristras.

Powders the face of the old adobe, filling in the fine lines,

Finishing the surface for a time

Until the rains come like tears to course down her walls again.





Karen Ray is a nearly lifelong resident of Las Cruces, who grew up here, attended NMSU, then returned 17 years ago to finish raising her family. She earned a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.


Our other two writing-contest winners will be published in the October issue: "It Came from the Agave!" by Tara Straubinger and "Tunnel of Love" by Mary Ann O'Donnell.


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