Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eva Leola Stallcop Herzog Rotzler

Eva Rotzler passed away peacefully on April 19, 2011. She was four days shy of her 101st birthday. We love you Grandma.


The other mother
When our own mother couldn’t be
With so many to tend
all the time
She took us then
Spread out a lap wide enough for all to share
Yet still attend as if we were her only child

Watched when we erred with our choices
with a softness that never judged
Never held the wooden spoon over us
As mother would

Like a hen setting on her chick
to give warmth and protection
Like the tiller at some vessel upon a rough sea
that steers us to safe harbor

Shining star
Beacon of love
The other mother

- Michael Fike

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Update New Mexico


One neighbor had the marauding dogs while
Another neighbor had the foolish sheep
The shepherd complained
And threatened
And raved
Until one of those dogs is found with hatchet in skull
Another with hind foot and tail chopped off

While he continues to rant and rail
The dog neighbor ignores and snores away the threats
Until he, his wife, and all those canine thugs
Are found dead from shotgun blasts which
The sheep herder confesses to another neighbor
Then calmly blows his own brain out

Up down and all around the Rio Pecos
1870 more or less
Billy drops another reckless gun with his Winchester
Victorio mutilates another brash nester family
somewhere between the Llano Estacado
and the Jornada del Muerto
At Seven Rivers old man Beckwith upholds his
Confederate honor by drawing a bead
on his Damn Yankee son-in-law
Up north along the Chama
And in the mountain pueblos below Truchas Peak
On every Good Friday
Another black hooded bare back bleeding Penitente
Darme, señor, una buena muerte
Give us, Lord, a good death

Saturday, May 29, 2010


When he walked upon the earth he quickened war; he quickened vice, filth; he brought anguish, affliction to men; he brought discord among men; wherefore he was called "the enemy on both sides." This Tezcatlipoca is a great devil.
- Fray Bernardino Sahagun

I am very old.
So old the people have lost their memory of me.

They attribute all their visions, dazzlements, and hallucinations to my power. They call me lord of the smoking mirror, of darkness, discord, deceit, destroyer of worlds, ghost walker, the jaguar that consumes the hearts of men, whose priests wear my skin and hold aloft the sacrificial obsidian blade. Yet none of these is my true name.

I am Lord of the Between.
Master of Inner and Outer.

The drop of water in the heart of fire. The spark of fire in the heart of water. The switch that reverses the limited mind of conditions to the liberated mind of primal essence. The door hinge at the entrance to the source of awareness; that quiet central chamber where spirit and energy fuse, where medicine is dispensed.

Look into my mirror to turn the light around.
Observe the mind observing.

It is nothing but smoke. Break through to erase the images reflected upon any cave wall and the old names cease to exist. Then the four quarters turn in unity. The rainbow bridge of dreams weaves the spider's intent. The lightening bolt of potential ignites the serpent’s vitality. The thunder of earth strengthens the lion’s virtue. The wind of heaven supports the condor’s clarity. All together they burst into space and repose in the sublime mystery.

Here is where the golden flower opens.
And the true power of jaguar becomes yours to wear.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009



The dream isn’t really a dream
(Call up Chief Joseph and ask him)
Even though giant gentle elephants may float above
Or clouds laugh as children on the playground
In that place I look for my hands and find them
Watch penny whistle tweets shooting out the ends my fingers
Walk through walls and vault through closed windows
Talk to strangers from other realms
Find my self by losing it

The essence of who we are
Does not rot with this bodies end
The knowing of this moves us to use it
As a delicate instrument capable of fantastic feats
Sets us free to overcome our fear
Observe every present passing moment
With keen attention
With joy
And stop walking asleep

Friday, April 3, 2009



We look upon her soft as grandma
Queuing us according to gender
Our shoulders, legs, arms straight and stiff
Awaiting the rush of approval from her gentle touch
To win the flag of her tender lips upon our forehead
It seems the prettiest girl usually held firm to her chest
That tiny banner of white with red cross centered in the blue corner
And it seems too the favorite boy mostly held aloft
The other tiny standard with stars and stripes
As we marched the four corners of a Sunday classroom
Singing praises to those proud and valiant crusaders
Off to war
Armageddon began with us
Equipped with the prophecy
That damns the Philistine’s trespass
Upon the steeple this grandma protects
With lips so soft pressing us into battle
With resolve firm as ice hanging from a frozen beam

Sunday, March 29, 2009



When I was thirteen
And came in a half hour past their curfew
She called me a whore
And as he walked me to my bedroom
His big arm holding me tight he said
No you’re not

With the covers tight against my chin
My eyes open wide to the grim dark
I listen to their anger
She with the nagging blow
He with the tired retort

Today I still grieve his passing
And today she’s in the nursing home
Waiting for the call from me
That will never come

Tuesday, March 24, 2009



It was a rustic campground in the yellow pine
Just a simple fire pit and gray wood plank picnic table
No water or toilet
In the slot across the rutted dirt road from us
A family pulls in with their oversized truck camper
Grabbing a quick afternoon feel of outdoor-ness

While the three children scamper off to explore
The parents fire up the screaming gas generator
Pull out the gear with propane stove, tablecloth
Dinnerware, napkins, camp chairs and a braided rug
To cover the dirty ground
No doubt enjoying the natural scene
Better than their own fenced backyard

When the hot dogs were cooked the children were called
The kids on the rug with their sodas
Mom and dad in camp chairs with their beer
They settle back then to watch the portable television