Publication Date: 15-Mar-08 | ISBN: 9781844714056 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 132pp
Stirring up the Water is a river of merging currents. In this award-winning first collection, the waters are at times stirred softly as though with the tips of the fingers, and at times harshly like an oar thrusting into the water’s depths. These poems address issues of ethnic identity, class, and love. They explore life’s injustices and dive into ages-old religious-spiritual questioning, casting their nets far across a philosophical sea. Ruiz “charts her stories” around the world from Australia to Canada to Spain, and lets herself “be carried by the current” of each place, “listening and learning” from them without intruding upon their sanctity. She contemplates the natural world by “living in the moment of bird wing and flight,” and by showing the ever-present “cycle of life, journey, death, then life again.” After exploring the tough and the gentle sides of human behaviour, she discovers the depth and purity at the core of human love. With these poetic waters we see that to live “at the edge” is no less bountiful than to live with a sense of normality and is often more conducive to seeing and knowing “the mystery.” Presented in freestyle verse and formal rhythms, Stirring up the Water is honest and forthright, at times simple and at times complex in vision. These waters offer channels of wisdom that are accessible to all seekers, poets and non-poets alike. Stirring up the Water won the First Book Award in Poetry from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas.
Table Of Contents
1. PEELED RED ONIONS; Peeled Red Onions; A Hawk Circled; Saturday Afternoon at the Fights; Uncle Ray Meant; The Calendars Were Still on April; Wish I Could Have Saved One; Piano Dreams; The Final Days of his Dream; I was Told I Have More Spanish Blood than I Wanted to Believe; Both Sides of the Border; II. SMOKE RISING; Smoke Rising; Soft Clicking Prayers; The Little Birds; What About the Boy?; One Year Ago, Guernica; The Way to Atocha; I am Thinking of the Snake River Canyon Again; Medicine Place; Latitude 20, Longitude 60; The Orcas’ Dance; Off Reservation Blues; Black Feathers; Under an Indian Blanket; Like a Lizard Blinking; How do you Wear Your Moccasins?; Ermine Cape on a Saturday Night; Two Foxes, a Rabbit and an Owl; III. SOARING; Soaring; Bobby Morris and I; A Rope, a Rock and Me Falling; A Kiss; What Happened to your Love Poems?; Fundamental Differences; Because I was Not Ready for Forever; A Man, a Woman and a Blackbird; I Feel your Essence; I Think You were Mistaken; Those Letters; The Eternal Magnet of the Kingfisher; IV. AT THE EDGE; From an Ancient Shard of Anasazi Pottery; At the Edge; Could it be a Hummingbird?; Copper Tracks; A Skin you Shed; How the Sea Breathes in the Morning; My Friends the Expatriates; Diamond Points; Coyote, the Trickster, Comes to the Zen Buddhist Monastery and I Realize his Buddha Nature; Mint Julep Paper Mache or the Labyrinth of the Swimming Pool; Why I Gave Jason B. an A on his Paper ; Even Though He Called Sherman Alexie a Hack; A Certain Stand of Poplar Trees; On a Theme of a Hot Summer Day; Beneath Bare Feet; The Seagull Let a Mournful Call; Each Page; Arrow Shoot; Today the Salmon; V. THESE PLACES; In Winnipeg; A Black Ribbon Says; Lone Egret; Take No Stone with You; Warm Springs; Morning of Hard Rain; Sevilla, Espana; A Tiny Group of Catholic Faithful; With the Seasons; At a Gathering of Friends; First Day of Spring; In This Simple Shelter; I Imagine it to be Hot and Dusty in Southern Spain; They Return Home; Glossary
Praise For This Book
“Cathy Ruiz is an astute and perceptive poet, endowed with an admirable facility with words, open to new awarenesses and experiences, all of which she quite ably converts into poetry of a high order.” —
“Cat Ruiz's poetry comes from many influences, many life times. From the hot, dusty streets of Southern Spain, the colorful blur of a Mexican town square, to the mystery of gurgling waters in the Pacific Northwest and the Buddhist meditative raptures she explores. She speaks authoritatively, sensuously, robustly, and yet, she sings with a beautiful tenderness and musical lyricism not found since Theodore Roethke. I am empowered by her skill and voice.” —
“Catherine speaks clearly, plainly and beautifully in words that we can all understand and take to our hearts. She certainly speaks my mind and she will speak yours as well.” —
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Cat Ruiz was awarded the Native Writer’s Circle of the America’s First Book award in Poetry for Stirring up the Water. Her poems have appeared in Chrysanthemum, Raven Chronicles, PoetsWest Literary Journal, Switched-on Gutenberg and in three poetry anthologies including The En’owkin Journal of First North American Peoples. She is a College English and Writing teacher and lives in Siskiyou County in northern California.