Monthly Archives: June 2017

Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, May 2017

Lots of rain in May, the most we’ve ever seen here. According to the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional de Costa Rica, the most May rainfall since 2002, causing landslides all over the country. Including one on the hillside above our house, which we’re still cleaning up three weeks later. Fortunately, we suffered no serious damage.

I have two poems for for May, one about the sad end of a young bird and one about the landslide (and much more). I hope you like them.

Sweet waves of song

A nestling thrush
falls out of a palm
into a shrub
then to the ground
beset by two cats
mother yigüirro squawking frantic.

Irina shoos the cats
cradles chick in hands
sets on a branch high
out of reach of circling predators.

Turns her back
chick’s back on the ground
six cats batting
the birdie in sport
of most serious sort
brown-feathered mother screaming her horror.

The Clay-colored robin
breeds once a season
sometimes twice
two or three eggs
sometimes four
can live for a decade
but most lives short ending tragic.

In dearth of death
an Earth drowned
sweet waves of yigüirro song.




I. The landslide

Lightning flashes
birthing thunder

Rain pounds
the day
the night
again, again.
Umbrellaed from the water
pouring from torn eves
sheeting at Rick’s door
he nursing a new knee
we share a grilled chicken
an evening of banter
arrive home to find
the hillside slipped.
Leaving the car
wade the debris flow
fluid as water
a meter thick
straddle tall pines floating
root ball to tip
across the drive
through the yard
one piercing the steel railing
cornering the house.

Three weeks the clean-up
back hoe and men
shoveling mud
clearing lawn, paths
broken plants.
New fence welded
veranda repaired
gate piston replaced
gears sheared by mud.
The hill above
trees felled
hauled away
gash in earth bandaged
with steel caged rock
backfill, culverts.

Through days of work
tallying damage
Rick questions karma
kindness repaid
with unwarranted woe.
My brother if you knew
what must be atoned.

II. The dream

Lightning flashes
birthing thunder

God as storm
appears to four men
one laid low
three others chiding
he has offended
yet the one stands righteous
demanding accounting
God angered
at cheek of being challenged
expounds tedious
the sweep of his wonders
the slightness of man.
You presume to confront Me?
Temble at My might!

An orb of light
expands, glows bright
a female figure
contenance sharpened
now spewing sparks
wagging finger
up the nose of God

You vile old goat
all puffed up
before these poor humans
conniving to cow
appearing a tempest
jealous proclaiming
yourself first among gods
taking credit for all.
You swollen with vanity
enjoining your image
obsessed to control
proclaiming commandments
thirty score, more
rules mostly petty.
Humans walk on eggshells
lest they displease
you yet finding fault.
Try to forbid me
to sully your name
demon blind
to what is within.

The fiery sphere softens
turns facing humans
addresses them gentle

As with us all
the dream of Him yours
as is His likeness.
Now, awaken.
Gather yourselves.
Turn your backs.
Walk away.
Dream a new dream.

The dreamer in form
now of Woman
chanting softly

Rain must fall
bear Land to Sea
Fire in the belly
churns the continents
Fire in the belly
churns the flesh