Monthly Archives: October 2018

Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, Octdober 2018

Three new poems for October, intended for the last part of the book The Book of Noah (which is nearing completion). I hope you like them.

Marvin, Michael


Marvin grows coffee
slopes steeping down
to the Rio San Juan.
A strip of his land
ribbons the ridgetop
squeezed between road
and plunging precipice
dirt bulldozed flat
three tiny lots sprouting
three tiny houses
three young families
however modest
homes of their own.

A spot of low pressure
swirls the Carribean
sucking up moisture
from the Pacific
the water wrung out
crossing the mountains
pounding the night.
The sky lightens
the fog lifts
cliff face, collapsed
embedded with brush
branches and trunks
bricks and blocks
metal and plastic
the muck burying
the servidumbre winding
to Marvin’s coffee
the little dwellings
at the edge of the scarp
left dangling.

Days later a back hoe
scoops and pushes
rearranging the rubble.
The guy built the house,
Marvin complains,
no gutters, the water
ran straight off the roof
sogging the soil.

Last year Marvin
grooming the tract
to cream his coffers
chain saw, screaming
trees, cut down
brush, cut back
bindings of earth.


Highway agency
back in the States
considering the effects
of lower fuel standards
notes temperatures to rise
three or four degrees C
by the end of the century
concludes the effects
of burning more gas
just a very small drop
in a very big bucket
of emissions, alone
making no difference
might as well keep
the car makers happy
party on.


A U.N. panel
in consensus warns
the world much hotter
in just a few years
seas rising
coasts drowning
lands flooded by rains
others turned desert
lest humans stop burning

About the study
the president says
I can give you reports
some fabulous
some not so good
I want to look
at who drew it.
Scientists scoff
sugary pablum.
Leaders shrug shoulders
can’t do nothing
economically disruptive.


That little disturbance
off Costa Rica
growing moves north
Nicaragua, El Salvador
Guatemala, Cuba
people swallowed and drowned
mud and flood.
The storm transforms
a monster named Michael
surges to Florida
swamps the Panhandle
sweeps away whole cities.
Survivors weeping
a rescuer comforts
I know, I know, but
we can rebuild.

The doggess of dawn

Night falls
the eyelids
mind untethers
shifter of shapes
scenes never seen
yarns richly spun
silk of the ether.

Bela the younger
at break of dawn
with flick of tongue
a rose tinted black
tickles the left elbow
her eyes quick
her body a smile
wake up, get up
then turning about
curves her head back
in form of question
as to her haunches
my stroke, my caress.

Days, nights
gray, are gone
march on.
Scribbled in pencil
scratched in stone
that which once was
never more known.

Swept away

French Frigate Shoals
stretch far to the west
remote Hawaii
tiny East Island
low spit of sand

a rogue storm
Hurricane Walaca
the sea surging
waves scouring
swept away, the land 

green sea turtle, monk seal
few remaining
flee to the sea
no home to return to
no nest, last stand