Monthly Archives: November 2016

Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, October, 2016

The rainy season here is drawing to a close, another couple of weeks. That’s the change of  seasons we experience here. Mid-November the trade winds pick up and blow away the rain. The weather will be warm and dry (and at times very windy) for six months, until the rainy season begins again in late April. We like the rainy season, everything is green and lush, the mornings almost always warm and sunny. But it’s just like living up north: no matter how much you look forward to each season, you’re always glad as each draws to an end, anticipating the coming of the next.

I’ve still been working on translating the poems of Rosibel Morera. I love her work, it demands to be shared with speakers of English. Here’s one I just finished working on:

Me Llamas, Me Consumes

Del centro del alma
de ahí mismo, partiendo,
por la punta de los dedos hacia arriba
de la misma sonoridad con que se canta
y debajo de donde me atas para halar
de ahí me tienes.

De donde proviene la voz
la que dice los nombres
como llegando en sucesión
de una memoria dormida
estable, dormida porque es quieta
porque flota en la mitad
al medio de las cosas
polvo de pensamiento
de los espacios infinitos.

De ahí me tienes, me llamas, me consumes
cada vez más viva
más alargada de distancias.

You Draw Me, Consume Me

From the center of the soul
from right there, setting out,
with the fingertips upward
with the same sonority with which one sings
and beneath where you clasp to pull me in
from there you have me.

From where the voice springs
that speaks the names
like coming in train
of a memory sleeping
steadfast, sleeping because it is still
because it hovers in the middlemost
of the midst of things
dust cloud of mind
of infinite spaces.

From there you have me, draw me, consume me
each time more alive
farther along the way.

I’m still working on my own poems, too. This one commemorates a visit to El Cajón by Luis Solís, President of the Republic of Costa Rica.

El Presidente comes
to El Cajón

A Friday morning
half past eight
pulled up in front
of newly completed
El Cajón gymnasium
three cars stenciled
Fuerza Pública
Presidencia de la República
and Rescate an ambulance
fully equipped
Presidente Luis Solís
here for the inauguration.

El Presidente greeted
by a band snazzied
uniforms crisp
black and white
graduated red
with billed hats
flaming white feathers
drumming
glockenspieling.

Dignitaries sit
behind placarded table
folding chairs seated
stretch to the front door
standing one guard
uniformed armed
kids running
in and out the back.

Podium speeches
by agency heads
charged with development
El Presidente last
white shirt sleeves rolled
open at the collar
first mourns the deaths
twelve in a bus crash
half-masted flagpole
adorned a black bow.

Speechifying done
all stand and crowd round
El Presidente chatting
posing any and all
first with the band
each of its members.

Inside at a counter
women serve from coolers
kept warm gallo pinto
huevos revueltos
natilla tortillas
spooned paper plates
urned coffee
people form a line
waiting their turn.

The way out the door
El Presidente hands down
at the open kitchen
leans in greeting
¡Buenas, chicas!
chats the women up
poses for more photos
turns and walks off
two aides at his side
and the crowd straggles home.

cropped-mark-solis-and-iIrina, Mark, Presidente Solís

I’ll end this month’s missive with one last little poem.

After the deluge

a thousand parakeets
shriek
shoal

curling
mist

forest green
plunges
the gorge

swollen
drone