Poetry Trek                                          Recite the Journey!



Panduren                                            Poems by Wanda Panduren    


Please listen* to Wanda's poem, 

My Swing Was Tied In An Old Apple Tree, recited by her sister, Helen Spencer Schlie, and Helen's family poem, 

In Some Other Future Time.



Nakai’s flute dreams

                of places where night

tumbles from skies

                I had forgotten

                                the singing


of waters     No one

takes my hand

                to lead me

to the cool lakes

                of my ancestors


where Coyote walks

                a path for my feet

to place themselves

on parched clay      Little stones

stumble         In the shadows


high mountains watch

                               and Shamans

warn of the time

when Nakai sees my eyes


and breathes my spirit


through the cedars

                                of his flute


From A Small Book of Words (1999).

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In Memoriam

Wanda Panduren was born in Michigan, working for thirty years in the Probate and Superior Courts of her native state and Arizona.  She made her home in the desert east of Scottsdale where the surrounding nature helped inspire her poetry.  Wanda studied at Oakland University-Michigan, Central Arizona College, and Arizona State University with an emphasis on the arts and creative writing.  Her poems have appeared in Bitterroot, Encore, The Country Poet, Lucid Stone, Sandcutters, and various journals, anthologies, and newspapers.  She published two chapbooks: Word Pictures and More Word Pictures.  One of her projects was working on a series of poems inspired by the Pacific Ocean near her summer home in San Luis Obispo. Wanda served as an executive board member of the Arizona State Poetry Society and was a featured poet at McGee Park Poets in Carlsbad, California; the Corners of the Mouth series in San Luis Obispo, California; Mars Gallery and Divergent Arts in Phoenix; and at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Arizona.  Wanda Panduren: 1925-2005.


Fortune Teller                                                                      When You Poured My Tea 


She reads my palm:                                                              What if

                                There is a legend                                   in this bright day's noon

in my village of how I dreamed of cities.                                we could pass on the city's streets

I ventured great thoughts, planning                                       and our shadows could speak

my Glorious Life.                                                                    jostling words of old relationships       

                               The fortune teller,

her palm heavy with silver, tells how                                      I can't forget your skin

she watched me toss coins into water                                   stretched canvas-taut

and how, in the warm springtime, this                                    over bones thin as silhouettes

small stream also dreamed glorious                                       of Sitka spruce

dreams of overflowing its banks,

becoming a great river—                                                         I hear only silence

                                In the moonlight                                       between the notes of a trumpet's

the seer returns my gold, laughing—                                       blatting noise

                       It is too late.

                                                                                                 All I have left is

My village and I are old.  Streets are                                                 a chiseled name

silent.  The wind no longer shouts from                                             a carved date

corners where young men shared visions.                                        a bed with no warmth

The stream does not reflect the silver of                                  the impossibility of yesterday's touch  


                  I stumble through the cobwebs                              Water boils in the copper pot

of my dreams—                                                                        I pour one cup of bitter tea

                               the moonlight laughs.                                to drink


Appeared in Caliche Echoes 2003.                                                          Published in Sandcutters, Spring 1994

Basket of Fire  

Blown     twirling through space

I gather into grace

                          Silence speaks

in tongues     Come     Touch

my silk skin     soft as the sea

Open yourself        Sit with me

in black-tipped midnights    Moons

weep blue tears     Melt into me

I am eternal       I am more

than larkspur gathered

in ragged baskets      Iridescence

pours from my milky way

                  Look through me

Choose what you will

                                 I am

the mountain     lighted

by aurora borealis     Call

my name Iliamna     half spirit

half woman     tilting my face

to the heavens

                       I feed you

from my blue breasts

                   Your tongue

remembers glaciers


baskets dancing      Gather

my mantle around you

Offer your arms       I fill them

          with miracles

From The City of Tempe Municipal Arts Commission Artmarks: a visual artist/poet collaboration project;

commissioned in 1996.


Copyright ©. Rights to individual poems are retained. All rights reserved, except as otherwise noted. Reproduction done for other than personal or internal reference use without expressed permission is prohibited.