Poetry: Refugio’s Hair

 One of my favorite poems…

Refugio’s Hair
In the old days of our family,
My grandmother was a young woman
Whose hair was as long as the river.
She lived with her sisters on the ranch
La Calera– The Land of the Lime–
And her days were happy.
But her uncle Carols lived there too,
Carlos whose soul had the edge of a knife.
One day, to teach her to ride a horse,
He made her climb on the fastest one,
Bareback, and sit there
As he held its long face in his arms.
And then he did the unspeakable deed
For which he would always be remembered:
He called for the handsome baby Pirrin
And he placed the child in her arms.
With that picture of a Madonna on horseback
He slapped the shank of the horse’s rear leg.
The horse did what a horse must,
Racing full toward the bright horizon.
But first he ran under the alamo trees
To rid his back of this unfair weight:
This woman full of tears
And this baby full of love.
When they reached the trees and went under,
Her hair, which had trailed her,
Equal in its magnificence to the tail of the horse,
That hair rose up and flew into the branches
As if it were a thousand arms,
All of them trying to save her.
The horse ran off and left her,
The baby still in her arms,
The two of them hanging from her hair.
The baby looked only at her
And did not cry, so steady was her cradle.
Her sisters came running to save them.
But the hair would not let go.
From its fear it held on and had to be cut,
All of it, from her head.
From that day on, my grandmother
Wore her hair short like a scream,
But it was long like a river in her sleep.

 

by Alberto Rios

Alberto Rios Poetry

At last night at Chuckanut Sandstone’s open mic, Sandra F. Lucke shared the work of poet Alberto Rios.  Carla, the group leader, read his poem “Refugio’s Hair” and the world shook!
This wonderful poet makes his home in Sedona, AZ.  Ríos is a Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, where he has taught for over 30 years and where he holds the further distinction of the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English. 
With lines like “Carlos whose soul had the edge of a knife” it’s no wonder Alberto has won so many awards! 
Had to share this poem with you today. Get ready, here it comes! 

Refugio’s Hair
In the old days of our family,
My grandmother was a young woman
Whose hair was as long as the river.
She lived with her sisters on the ranch
La Calera– The Land of the Lime–
And her days were happy.
But her uncle Carols lived there too,
Carlos whose soul had the edge of a knife.
One day, to teach her to ride a horse,
He made her climb on the fastest one,
Bareback, and sit there
As he held its long face in his arms.
And then he did the unspeakable deed
For which he would always be remembered:
He called for the handsome baby Pirrin
And he placed the child in her arms.
With that picture of a Madonna on horseback
He slapped the shank of the horse’s rear leg.
The horse did what a horse must,
Racing full toward the bright horizon.
But first he ran under the alamo trees
To rid his back of this unfair weight:
This woman full of tears
And this baby full of love.
When they reached the trees and went under,
Her hair, which had trailed her,
Equal in its magnificence to the tail of the horse,
That hair rose up and flew into the branches
As if it were a thousand arms,
All of them trying to save her.
The horse ran off and left her,
The baby still in her arms,
The two of them hanging from her hair.
The baby looked only at her
And did not cry, so steady was her cradle.
Her sisters came running to save them.
But the hair would not let go.
From its fear it held on and had to be cut,
All of it, from her head.
From that day on, my grandmother
Wore her hair short like a scream,
But it was long like a river in her sleep.
Alberto Rios

Poetry: Loose Hair

Sometimes you don’t
Notice a stray hair
On your clothes
Until the light hits it
Stray thoughts
A lost memory
Forgotten friend
Your car keys

Things we loose
Blown off us
Fingers rustle through
Our hair, looking
How can you put
Back into the follicle
Stray hair that 
Left the scalp
It must instead be mourned
If it was even missed or
Greeted graciously
Like a fresh beginning

Frizz Control

The other day there was a rare moment at the local grocery store; both my teen-aged daughter and I were choosing a shampoo at the same time. My daughter has short, wavy, hair that she can wear straight or natural. I on the other hand have longer, naturally curly, thick hair that tends to be on the dry side. On this particular day we both were out of shampoo and thought to find one brand that would work for both of us. This proved to take longer than I could have ever imagined. How could we choose the right shampoo for our hair?

If you haven’t noticed there is a new retail trend on the shelves called “customizing”. The manufacturer makes a wide “performing” range of the same product with hopes of snagging customer brand loyalty, under the false content that they produced exactly what you needed. Making the same product seem “new and exciting” continually sounds exhausting to me, but that’s exactly what’s happening! It’s important to know, when it comes to shampoo that there are only four basic shampoo types: deep cleansing, conditioning, baby, and anti-dandruff. Despite this the manufacturers continue to display the illusion that there are MANY different shampoos. This style of marketing is also found in products such as skin care, make up, lotion and toothpaste.

We are both on a budget and decided to choose a brand that was on sale. A brand line we both like was, so we started to choose a set of shampoo and conditioner from the rainbow display of bottles, lined up like couples in a wedding greeting line. There were eight sets of bottles! When did buying shampoo get so complicated?

As we scanned down the line we discussed openly if that product would work for both heads of hair. To keep it simple we went down the shelf left to right. The conversation went something like this: “Color Treated Hair”, NO, neither of us had colored our hair recently, next- “Straight Out”, NO my daughter straightens hers I wear my natural, next- “Curl Up”, NO same reasons, reverse heads, “For Gray Hair”, no comment, “Big Body” neither of us needed to add any more fluff to our hair, next- “Deep Conditioning” in the dry, cold months this one works great but it was June, next- “Frizz Control”, our eyes met, “Could this be the one?” We thought. YES! We had an accord. Frizz Control worked great for both of us. Mission accomplished!

The art of shopping is often compared to the “gather” side of our human instincts, but that afternoon I felt more like a “hunter”. In the end we found a shampoo that met both of our needs and no more frizzies, at least until the bottle runs out. Remember the four basic types of shampoo, feel your hair and decide for yourself. Don’t forget to change up your shampoo type once a month to avoid build up. When your hair looks good you feel good, and feeling good is worth spending a few moments reading labels.
Somewhere over the rainbow, is the perfect, specially made JUST-FOR-YOU shampoo, go get it!