Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate


I saw this sign in Santa Fe on Cerrillos Road, near the corner of Cerrillos and St. Francis where all the little prairie dogs hang out. I have no idea what the heck is going on behind the wall.

Yesterday I went for gas, decided I would go for a ride just to get away from the computer and ended up in Taos a little over an hour later.  Turns out it is Fiestas weekend in Taos. Lots of cars moving 5mph. Viva Fiestas! Some clever man with an ax to grind anticipated the slow moving hordes and set up about seven of these signs on either side of the road to inform the drivers of his latest grievance.

I later learned the story behind the signs. Seems Mr. Sign Writer had been pleased when Smith’s added a gas station and charged prices that undercut the local dealers. But, alas, since February the price of gas, according to the signs, has risen from $1.70 to $2.60, so Mr. Sign Writer is displeased. A few of the signs suggested an alternative location where Smith’s could store the gas nozzles.

I leave you with this bumper sticker seen on a car in the Kaune’s parking lot in Santa Fe last week. The guy, and it was a guy, has a New Mexico license plate and still, and yet, he decided it was a great idea to slap this on his car. May he never head south to Albuquerque or, God save him, north through Rio Arriba County on a leisurely drive to Taos.

As The Bombs Are Bursting

For those of you who could use a quiet alternative to all the bombs bursting in air, whether literally or metaphorically,  I offer you David Whyte’s poem.


Make a place of prayer, no fuss,

just lean into the white brilliance

and say what you needed to say

all along, nothing too much, words

as simple and as yours and as heard

as the bird song above your head

or the river running gently beside you,

let your words join to the world

the way stone nestles on stone

the way water simply leaves

and goes to the sea,

the way your promise

breathes and belongs

with every other promise

the world has ever made.


Now, leave them to go on,

let your words alone

to carry their own life,

without you, let the promise

go on with the river.

Have faith. Walk away.


David Whyte from “Prayer after Prayer”