Monthly Archives: January 2016

Poems January 2016

A few new poems to start off the new year. Enjoy!


Back to normal

First Monday in January
back normal at last
t’ai chi early morning
after running errands.

Down the hill see José
talk about the car
blower quit three weeks ago
holidays all closed.

At the pulpería stop
for leche and tortillas
no hay the long weekend
no deliveries no stock.

Road to town hedges draped
clothes drying in the sun
women chat kids play
dogs running loose.

A man and two sons
shovel gravel and cement
wheelbarrow a driveway
all formed up.

Absorbed in the watching
slip right on by the market
at the courthouse come back
stop, turn around.

Un buen día para caminar

Once again Friday
afternoon the feria
evening dine out.
Car’s at the shop
a klick down the hill
been there three days.
The morning sunny
the air is cool
es un buen día
para caminar.

Along the road people
wait for the bus
visit in front yards
passing nod buenas.
A car rolls by
the driver waves
even though never
seen him before.

At Mary’s house
Tico-style lavender
drop off a little
dishwasher soap
bottle of food dye.
She laughs and explains
Leaving next week
Puerto Rico a cruise.
They charge for everything
a drink ten bucks.
I’m packing mouthwash
Cacique tinted green.

Outside the sliding steel
doors of the shop
new mechanic Meinor
power washes cylinder heads.
Inside, Leo, ¿Como está?
Muy bien pero su carro
no está listo.
Dashboard dismantled
parts there to install
a blower switch, new
a used instrument panel
just for the odometer
¿Y el resistor?
Jose opens his wallet
empty, no tengo el dinero.
¿Cuanto necesita?
Para todas, cincuenta.
Hand it over, five ten mil bills.
Leo promises listo esta tarde.
Muy bien mi esposa
estará muy feliz.
José asks, need a ride back home?
No muchas gracias.
Es un buen día
para caminar.

The cleaning

Laid back flat
in a dentist’s chair
a bright light drills down
on each side a face
four spectacled eyes.
La dentista behind
a plastic shield
mouth and nose hidden
behind a mask pale blue
accenting her smock
several shades darker.
Ayudante colors contrast
veil a pure white
coat a bright crimson.

Pick in the left hand
stainless steel
pokes and scrapes
at tooth and gum
mirror in the right
peeks and prods
cheeks, lips, tongue.
Assistente hand guides
a tube tinted mint
to suck saliva
a white plastic nozzle
to air blast debris.
The left hand holds
a cell phone to ear
talks the whole time.

Plaque dislodged
an index finger ring
red plastic palette
serving polishing paste.
Final flossing then bite
a green mouthpiece filled
with pink fluoride goop
rinse spit and wipe
cleaning done.

The sausage maker

Harry Hofmann
built like a butcher
brings from Schwaben
Tica wife and recipes
stretching back to Charlemagne
forcemeats bursting
pig gut casings —
sausages salamis
patés of liver —
and hams, smoked trout
mustards, sauerkraut
Irina attests
reminds of her youth.

Harry stands aproned
tongs in hand at the grill
Alexandra at the table
serving up samples
to folks lined up
to taste in turn
German sausage washed down
with new world wine
and beer echoing empire
lion-blazed Bavaria
and Imperial flying
the Holy Roman eagle.

As the party wears on
a cold wind shrieks
from the far north
shaking and shredding
the eaves and the trees
all through the night
the following day
the thin roiling skin
of all living things.


More heard than seen

Last days of January
the cool of the morning
the hills ring with Nicos
men women chiildren
hooting and hollering
swarming the coffee trees
gleaning the red cherries
like birds in the boscage
more heard than seen.