Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, December 2017

Five new poems for December, all of a theme.

Canticle of the earth

Wind fluting through the night
the sigh of a far sea.
In the morning quiet
the movement Water through Canyon
is played pianissimo.
Clouds ensilked
waltz on the ridge
in the arms of the trades.

Rails croak in the deep woods
chachalacas cry out in the trees
a cuckoo whistles in the orange.
The trill of a wren
tsk tsk of hummingbirds.
In the pines up the hill
whoo-whoo of an owl
the laugh of a falcon.

Human toes tickle
dirt dried to crumbly
and fingers pluck
at overgrown green
prink at the flowers.

An ensemble performing
the cantical of the earth.

Ear worm

Polar wind slips
far down from Arctic
quilting a continent
with frigid air.
Snow falls in the deep south
California breathes fire.

Highlands of Centroamérica
cold blows fierce
the shoulders of Poás
shredding leaves
snapping limbs
straining roots.

Shrieks worm the ear
racking the mind.


In the middle of night
off a beach near Jacó
Temblor turns in sleep
his matting of mountains.
The bed sways
windows rattle.

Vulcán Poás

Poás belches
stinking of sulfur
coughs and black ash
peppers the patio.

Convergencia and Alisios

Convergencia eyes Alisios
blowing in from the east
of a sudden picks up
and leaves shouldering
her moody ways.

Sweet in spirit in spring
and through the mornings
snappish after noon
but her pique soon passes
she calms to sleep
wakes again in smile
freshened and blooming.
As her season ripens
her spirits darken
tantrums of temper
grow tedious to endure.

His disposition is sunny
but he’s sometimes a blowhard
gets on your nerves
rarely offers a drink
but he’s welcome
for a change
for a while.


Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, November 2017

All of my books (in ebook format) are now available for free at Smashwords , go to the Purchase My Books page for details. Hopefully they’ll be free at Amazon soon. Please consider buying a paperbound copy if you like the works – the books and their artwork are beautiful, and the experience of reading poetry is much more rewarding holding the book in your hands.

For this month I have two new poems. Also, a translation of a Rosibel Morera poem that she and I worked on together, about the relationship between a writer and the artist’s reader.

On the plinth of the porch post

at morning’s first light
two moths lie together
heads antiposed
like Molly and Poldy

white etched black
shaded in gray
her downy wing blankets
the whole of his body

there unmoving
the all of the day
as would befit
creatures of night

dawn the next
the male is gone
she lies there still
unseen moves on.


Jose’s father died.

(had to ask Ligia,
didn’t know his name
though we waved each time
passing the shop).

Friday morning
Mainor working by himself
car won’t start
after stopping at the little store
just two doors down.
He sets his task aside
together we walk
hand him the key
he turns it
Back up to the shop
and down again
carrying a cable
opens the hood
clips the jumper
cranks the car, it starts.
Bring it in Monday
can’t get to it today
he says
I’m all alone
in Spanish of course.

Early afternoon
at the Rosvil Super
waving and smiling
José and his wife
(Vanessa her name
had to ask Ligia
though we often spoke greeting).
I took the day off
José says.
I say.
My father died
José says.
Oh I’m so sorry
I say.

Drive back up the hill
tarps are stretched
shading benches and chairs
in front of the little house
attached to the shop
where Eduardo lived.

Late afternoon
on the way to Isabel’s
the street’s lined with cars
seats are filled
people milling
open casket laid out
crowding the small sala.
We stop
leave flowers
with Ligia
she’s a Barrantes.

funeral at the church
just a few doors down
street again lined with cars
hearse parked in front.

the chairs and benches
under the tarp at the front
of the house at the shop
again fill with people

Rosibel Morera:

The reader

you come to this book
fleeing like me

you know me by name
and by little snippets
on the back cover

the serious sound of pen
that becomes as one as we talk alone

flow for hours
speaking of you and of me
identities joined

brief the summer
giving way to thunderous storms
of rain

everything will come
to this grand party
to this smoky corner
that you set for your love and mine