Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, May 2018

Three new poems for May. I like them, I hope you do too.

Waiting for rain

Morning
clear blue.
In the canopy
laughing falcons
toucans
heard
not seen.

Slowly
clouds gather
the day grows
white
as page on screen.
Yigüirro song.

Afternoon
darkens.
In the distance
thunder.
Winds
whorl
bluster
fade.

You don’t try
says Bukowski
you wait.
if nothing happens
then
you wait some more.

The day
spent
dreaming
of downpours. 

Nothing.

A night spent
dreaming
tomorrow
will be rain.

Scorpion, Coyote, Capo

I.

A sudden sting
of the arm.
Pillow flung sheet brushed
and there
Scorpion
tail curled
dark against white
of the rug
like a sorceress
melts
into night.

The arm
enchanted
to the body
alien.
Throbbing
ebbs
into sleep.

II.

Yipping.
Coyote.
Across the creek.
Capo barks
wants out.

Canine keening.

Quiet.
The dog
back in.

Again
Capo
a sharp bark
wanting out.
Beckoning hand
he follows.
A pat
he lies on his bed.
Stroke his eyebrows
rub his ears
whisper
Coyote
from the beginning
even when not there
messing
with your mind.

III.

First light
awake
the vision fading.
Quick
fixed in ink
else forever forgotten.

On the forearm
a tiny dot
swollen red.

Juan Carlos
working the coffee
finds three strands cut
barbed wire woven
through the caña fence.

Capo
dubbed knight
Order of the Wagging Tails.

Ephemerality

Breeze
gentle like lotion
to the skin
of an old man
in his garden
manicuring
green growth
that springs forth
with the rains
composing
a landscape
colors and textures
painted in plants.

Ephemeral, he thinks.

Youth.
Life stretches
the horizon, beyond
even the grave
fame, glory
etched in stone
everlasting.

Ahh, cool quiet of morning.

Years from now
a hundred million
should some clever species
unearth the history
written in rock
only sign to be found
that humans ever were:

A thin layer laid down
between thick strata of stone
a boundary laced
with exotic markers:

Radioactive isotopes
decayed
bombs, meltdowns.
Chemical traces
a spike in the atmosphere
carbon dioxide.
Scattered throughout
strange carbon compounds
microscopic bits
of plastic trash.

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Diart: El Cajón de Grecia, April 2018

Two poems for this month, a reworked (once again) version of The Song of Deborah and a new one, The Dream of Paul (Thespis).

 

 

The Song of Deborah

I. Dvorah

Deborah the name
from Dvorah a mother leader of her people
at time of torment.
Her people she rallies musters an army
chooses her general
to confront their oppressors
he declining the honor
lest she fight at his side.
Dvorah declares
to stand by him in battle
the glory of victory
not to be his
rather grasped by a woman.

II. Daughter

Deborah and daughter
they talk every day
though far apart
touching
assuring.

Daughter’s wedding
plans fall to pieces
a man uncertain.
Deborah flies
to daughter’s side
in caring embrace
from each the other
they take their strength
and the tears
they dry.

Daughter reaching out
with hand redeems him
she stands by him in trials
descrying his finger
unbanded by ring.

III. Poet

A child enfolded
at mother’s bosom
anguish dispelled by a mother’s love
appears to poet
unsuckled to breast
an orchid most rare
a flower of fable.

Perceiving his wonder
Deborah breaks off a rhizome
sprouting of roots
takes his hand into hers
folds the bud in his palm
and to poet sings

Nurture this slip
let it grow in your heart
for those who love
will be like the sun
rising in its strength.

The dream of Paul (Thespis)

I. Paul

In a fold of the mountain
Paul lives in a cabin
enveloped by forest
wife cats and dogs
pony and goat.
As evening approaches
his spirits rise
to his myriad masks
presenting first one
then yet another
speaking in voice
the soul of his role
enlivening his company
as they break their bread
tipple their wine.

II. Thespis

The gods of the mountain
ancient, tired
powers waning
dulled of duties
amongst themselves bicker
remedy unseen.

Thespis leads
a troupe of players
(the poet among them)
high up the mountain
a picnic to fête
the engagement of two.
Being short of attention
easily distracted
the fare’s been neglected
a certain annoyance.
The betrothed even
pick at their nits
and in their snit
flirt again with old lovers.

Piqued by disturbance
the gods appear
affrighting the players
Thespis only left standing.
Flashing his bolts
the god king resounds
are you not awed?

Hmph Thespis answers
you gods don’t inspire
robes turned rags
teeth rotten
shoulders stooped
glories long forgotten.
My troupe presents better.
But don’t take my word
assume our clothing
go down and mingle
judge for yourselves
how you are honored.
While on your holiday
invest us your powers
we’ll mind the world
each player a god
myself as king.

Thespis holds his reign loosely
his thoughts wander.
Players men and women
threaded in gold
imbibe nectar, ambrosia
minding not to their duties
chasing after each other
sun pairing with moon during the night.
Warm places grow cold
cold places warm
and the seas swell
sweeping the settlements spreading the shore.
Rains fall heavy or not at all
winds blow like never before
fields and forests wither and die
and spring grows silent.
The nations know war, famine and plague
and the wine vats draw empty
people left without solace
the Bacchus a teetotaler.

Time passes
the gods return to the mountain
furious chaos besetting the world.
They reclaim their robes
and the god king in flash
hurls Thespis and troupe
back down to the earth
thundering the curse
these players esteemed
never again to see footlights.

a picnic to fête
the engagement of two.
Being short of attention
easily distracted
the fare’s been neglected
a certain annoyance.
The betrothed even
pick at their nits
and in their snit
flirt again with old lovers.

Piqued by disturbance
the gods appear
affrighting the players
Thespis only left standing.
Flashing his bolts
the god king resounds
are you not awed?

Hmph Thespis answers
you gods don’t inspire
robes turned rags
teeth rotten
shoulders stooped
glories long forgotten.
My troupe presents better.
But don’t take my word
assume our clothing

go down and mingle
judge for yourselves

how you are perceived.
While on your holiday
invest us your powers
we’ll mind the world

each player a god
myself as king.

Thespis holds his reign loosely
his thoughts wander.
Players men and women
threaded in gold
imbibe nectar, ambrosia
minding not to their duties
chasing after each other
sun pairing with moon during the night.
Warm places grow cold
cold places warm
and the seas swell
sweeping the settlements
spreading the shore.
Rains fall heavy or not at all
winds blow like never before
fields and forests wither and die
and spring grows silent.
The nations know war, famine and plague
and the wine vats draw empty
people left without solace
the Bacchus a teetotaler.

Time passes
the gods return to the mountain
furious chaos besetting the world.
They reclaim their robes
and the god king in flash
hurls Thespis and troupe
back down to the earth
thundering the curse
these players esteemed
never again to see footlights.