Tag Archives: nature

Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, September 13, 2021

Today, a plethora of poetry.

A couple of bug poems, accompanied by photographs. Especially for you, Bryan!

First, caterpillars.

Juno silverspot caterpillars 

A black lump
teeming larvae
oozing over the patio
moving much faster 
than any one could alone

a rolling track 
of caterpillars
those on the ground crawling
at regular speed
those climbing their backs 
cover twice as much distance
those running on top
cruising faster yet
all swapping positions
each taking their turn 

quickly crossing 
expanse of tile
the roiling mass 
disappears into dense 
green growth of garden.

Next, a walking stick.

Giant spiny walking stick

At break of dawn
a twelve-inch stick
stuck to the screen
of the bedroom slider.

Feed in the night
phasmids rest the day
their disguise of twig
to keep them safe.

This one, three legs
but little matter
phasmids able
to regrow dropped parts. 

Most likely female 
no need for a mate
hatchlings like-sexed 
males rare to null.

The stick walking
off with the light.

I’ve been slowly working through a careful proofreading of the book of Rosibel Morera’s poems in the original Spanish accompanied by my translations into English, preparing for a future edition. Here’s one of my favorites, showing her more sensual side.

From the memory of my body 

Today there is barely a breeze
the air
to things

in absence of spilled fire
may remoteness burn us
may length of skin bring you 
because it is cold
animal warmth distant
I take you from the memory of my body
from its moist reliquaries 
and I make you 
in my own flesh.

De la memoria de mi cuerpo

Hoy que es apenas la brisa
el aire
a las cosas
que no hay lumbre derramada 
lejanía que nos queme
largura de la piel que te traiga
porque está frío
el tibio animal
de la distancia
te tomo de la memoria de mi cuerpo 
de sus relicarios húmedos
y te hago
en carne propia.

Credits: Photos by Irina

Diary: El Cajón de Grecia, August 5, 2021

Another month living with COVID. We went to town yesterday for a dental cleaning. In front of the dentist’s office was a line of people, stretching both ways and around the block, all wearing masks, desperate to get their vaccinations. Anybody over 20 is now eligible. Should have gotten a picture.

But we do have another flower photo. There’s always something in bloom.

Heliconia and ginger

I got an interesting email from my sister in California a while ago. I wrote a poem about it.


I heard from Peggy
my youngest sister, living
just north of Sacramento


of the heat, of smoke 
fires in the foothills


lakes and rivers
shrunk bottoms of mud
her faucet trickled
turned down to drips
as rolling around her
vast fields, great farms
long rows, wheeled sprinklers
spurting out streams.
"I’m so angry," she said
"Greed blindness inertia.
My coming to see 
is so shocking to me 
all of these years
I’ve been a Pollyanna."

Her fury simmered within me 
for weeks steeping
one night I found myself
with her in dream.

Sitting at a table
a restaurant, Midtown
near to the one
where she worked for me once
a sheltered patio outdoors
pandemic still raging.

“Remember those days?”
I say to her softly
“People lined at the door
receipts rolling in
to always be more
the money, success
you might think I was happy
but behind the mask
a man alone and lonely
a heart empty of hope
a life of despair.
Though I then didn’t see
the facade had to blow
I wanted, I needed
to start over from nothing.
I remember that day talking
eyeing path ahead.
"Get out of here!" I gritted. 
"Get out while you can.
This whole place
Is coming down.”

Y’all take care. !Pura vida!

Credits: Photos by Irina