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Monday, March 25, 2013

UBC1113 The Talking Gourd

Lois Hayna

LOIS BEEBE HAYNA … Speaking of Phenomenal Women, this grand dame of Colorado Springs poets is still observing nature and creating lyrics at 100 years of age. You can find a video of her 100th birthday party this past January on YouTube. An amazing woman, I met her through Poetry West – the largest community of poets and writers in the Pikes Peak Region.

Regis University maintains an archival collection of Hayna’s papers. As the site explains, It begins with poetry from her college days, and … essays and short stories she wrote in the 1970 -- 1980s. Of significance is a very comprehensive collection of her poems from the 1970s to the present. Also among her writing are drafts for an unpublished book on herbs, entitled “The Casual Herbist,”  as well as her notes on herbs and a bibliography … Her poetry books include Never Trust a Crow (1990), Keeping Still (2008), and her latest The Praying Mantis(2012) – published when Lois was 99 years old!

A mutual friend, Liz Lewis, has written a lovely tribute to her, appearing this week as the Talking Gourd.

Dirt, Sky and Things Between

-for Lois Hayna at 100

A birder must watch her foot’s
solid placement between roots, prickly pear.
It’s slow progress through poplars,
willows so leaf laden each twig
holds silver/green birds
in a pre-Audubon hallucination.
Real warblers escape the lens,
magpies klatsch in ponderosa tops
and heat distilled sandalwood scent rises
above the ant-chewed underworlds.
She stumbles on a cedar branch, loses
her footing, her binoculars, language:
place and birds, coyote slipping into shadow,
no words for this desperate joy.

-Liz Lewis
Colorado Springs

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