Peggy Dobreer
        Host of the LMU poetry series, educator, poet, mother, Peggy is many lives old and her writing comes straight from the heart. For her the well-crafted poem is all very well and good but there is something more important at stake: helping us to live better lives. I don’t know if Peggy would agree with Tolstoy’s assertion that Uncle Tom’s Cabin is greater than all the works of Shakespeare, but Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel comes directly from the heart, like Peggy’s poems, and is passionate, is not overly concerned with being “literary” and is above all a call to action. I see Peggy as a poet who more than anything else wishes to make the world a better place for everybody. The languages and literatures of south Asia have influenced her profoundly, and in this she follows a venerable European and American tradition of looking eastward for solace and wisdom.


Curiosity is a train, a hundred miles an hour around the bend.
If you jump off, you will surely end up in North China:
smell of ice fish, streak of snow wind across cheeks, the
burn of tomorrow facing into the clouds overhead, the
underbelly of communion sings three Hail Mary’s
and two Our Father’s.

These are a people of forgotten arts; the binding of feet,
the making of masks, the sipping of teas which cannot be
consumed without proper accoutrements, a deep bow into
the field of all possibilities. No…stay on the train. Do
not disembark, do not make your way to the dining area
before the last shizzle of the landscape eats into your

The sweet sway and longing of the car, the whistle,
the mountains’ courageous caverns lurking in the West;
these are the riders’ vestments. This is a garment
of many pockets, deep with the secrets of the countryside,
bent with an indigenous wisdom the final priest carries
under her tongue.  Gamu, gamu!

Do not feel free to move about the car! The book on the seat
sings her a lullaby. The notes are sullen and interested in
everything but what is in tact. When the train stops at the
end of the line, disembark one at a time, leaving all baggage
in the berth. Nothing can be carried away!

2010 Peggy Dobreer
Peggy Dobreer was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the  February 2010
Second Sunday Poetry Series.