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Archive for January, 2011

If the moment is spent,
the time spacious
and gently irretrievable
then I grace it
with complete devotion
moving
lost in the morning light
tenuous
stepping into morning haze
sheer skin
once mine…
twice born
and as many times
awakened by the voices of those
still awaiting
a chance at this earthly dance.

I’ve learned
watching those close to death
bodies beaten down
by the weight of life
their eyes turning inward
looking toward home
where the lotus flower
blooms in vapors of the unseen
as winter calls to them
away from one more migration-
back
to slender threads of ice
sheer and
glistening
with their dreams
come and gone
and now finally done.

Learned to see
eyes closed
with my skin,
to imprint sunsets
and moon rises
in my heart center
full
traced
with whispers
in silence
of those that knew
but did not share.

Winter light
reflects white upon white,
the horizon turns
blurred
seamless
relentless in its vastness,
an amber dagger,
the sun
bleeds
gold in the morning heat:
constant
warrior king,
in its wake
burning years –
consuming
the short canvas of time.
I stand
alone,
yet
borne by the force of so many
faceless
formless
waiting in the wings
for a chance to birth
and brave
the fight.

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Si el momento se ha gastado,

el tiempo es espacioso

y mansamente irrevocable,

entonces lo honro

con absoluta devoción

al deambular

perdida en la luz matinal

para fundirme tenuemente

con sus nieblas,

apenas leve piel

que fuera una vez mía…

nacida dos veces

y otras tantas

despertada por voces

de quienes siguen a la espera

de compartir esta danza terrenal.

He aprendido mucho

de mirar a los moribundos

con sul cuerpo hecho trizas

por el peso de la vida,

sus ojos vueltos hacia sí mismos

en busca de un hogar

donde la flor de loto

surge entre vapores invisibles

que el invierno convoca

de su postrer migración

para unirse a hilitos de hielo

tenues,

luminosos,

con sueños

que van y vienen

y ahora llegan a su fin.


He aprendido

a mirar con los ojos cerrados

a través de mi piel

para copiar atardeceres

y lunas en creciente

en medio de mi corazón,

plenamente calcadas

con suspiros en el silencio

de quienes

los conocían

mas no los compartían.

La luz de invierno

refleja blanco sobre blanco,

y torna brumoso

el horizonte

sin fisuras,

impávido en su vastedad,

como un puñal de ámbar,

el sol

sangra,

dorado con el calor de la mañana,

perseverante

rey guerrero

con su estela

de años en llamas

que consumen

del tiempo

sus lienzos más breves.

Estoy de pie,

Solitaria

y sin embargo

apoyada

sobre el pedestal de tantos seres

sin rostro

ni forma

que esperan entre bambalinas

el momento de nacer

y entrar a combatir

en la batalla.

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Como en un peregrinaje,

voy por el atajo acostumbrado

al borde del río

hasta la placa,

más allá de las matas de salvia

que ya muestran huellas

de visitantes invernales:

renos, antílopes, venados

y una que otra ternera extraviada,

desesperada y desolada

al sentirse lejos del lugar

de sus humildes regodeos.

Qué curioso que los primeros

torrentes estivales del Madison

me cautiven y arrullen

con una canción de reencuentro:

tal como si los meses y los años

se amontonaran en este instante

al aferrar en las manos

las pocas flores silvestres

que pude recoger en el camino.,

Mis ojos se elevan al horizonte,

más allá de los perros,

de la maleza que circunda al río,

y de las primeras nubes matinales,

para vislumbrar a lejos

el resplandor que surge de la roca                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a pocos pasos de la orilla,

donde está a la vista

el testimonio de tu pérdida:

sólo tu nombre y unas fechas

grabados en bronce,

junto con tus dones y tus luces

condensados en la inscripción

elegida hace ya mucho tiempo

por el hijo aun niño

agobiado de pena:

En la primera claridad del día

la alcanzo a leer una vez más:

“Un amante de este río”

Como todo buen amante

nos legaste tu olor

así como tu tacto,

tan arraigados en mente y alma

que hemos dejado de razonar,

de cormprender,

e incluso de darnos cuenta

de cómo el río nos desprende

de la existencia cotidiana

al seguir convocándonos

interminablemente

hacia sus orillas,

hacia las aguas cristalinas

de remolinos y corrientes

que nacen del deshielo invernal

en los picos más altos,

empapando de neblina las mañanas

y adornando con fulgores

los atardeceres,

cuando hacen saltar piedras y peñascos,

y de paso pariendo

múltiples insectos de carnada,

amén de los secuelos bautizados

ante un imaginario cáliz sacro

con insólitos nombres –

“paracaidistas”, “colitas de faisán”,

“ninfas cazadoras”,”piojos de reno” –

aliados todos para gozar

de nuestro deporte predilecto

engarzando  las más peleonas truchas.

¿Y qué decir de  los matices

tornasolados y dorados

que palpitan a flor de agua?

Esta es la dádiva que los pescadores

esperamos con paciencia

enclavados en la orilla

hora tras hora,

año tras año,

para volver a gozar

de esa pausa tan perfecta

como si jamás la hubiésemos sentido.

En medio del silencio tenso

que antecede a la captura,

ciegos por el deseo

de ver surgir los peces

muy cerca de la orilla,

a veces frenados

por la sorpresa que les espera

en medio de la nada:

o sea nuestra bienvenida

en palabrotas humanas

que ellos jamás enunciarían.

Hoy, como siempre,

soy tu amante,

y tú eres mi río.

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As time permits I will post recent, and not so recent poems inspired by so many things in life…..Spanish versions by Luis Zalamea (my wonderful dad) will appear for most of the poems as well.

 

Life is good, but poetry is best…..

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At dawn the sun sits on the horizon

emerging from the Gulf

solid and brazen

fire drenched red,

while the moon slumbers

full and pale

in the morning sky.

I stand on the beach

warm from the bed

strung between the vision

of two forces:

pulled by the coolness of the moon,

intrigued by the flames of the sun:

like a pendulum

delicately balanced

in the hazy light.

My eyes drawn to the blinding light,

my mind,

dazed

needing the moon’s cool clarity.

HA – THA –

sun  moon,

light  dark,

life death

ultimate perfect union,

dancing in the earth’s vibration.

Orbiting around our planet

constant  and firm,

pre historic

witnesses

as we clamor

for more and more

now, today,

as we  daily plunge,

with consistent abandon,

into ultimate destruction.

HA THA

sun moon

rising setting

eclipsing

melding one into the other

perfect union.

I stand between the two

and try to feel

the essence

of perfect symmetry

right between the eyes:

heart of fire

quiet mind

one body

one soul

setting

rising

now

and

only

now.

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In pilgrimage,
I walk down river to the plaque:
always the same route –
treading through the parted sage
the work already done
by the winter’s visitors:
elk, deer, antelope
or a lone stray calf
desperate
and desolate
to be far from the source of her joy.

Funny how the rushing waters
of the early summer Madison
lure and lull me
into a signature song of reunion:
as if the months and years
could be drummed into this very moment
when my hands tightly grip
what few wildflowers have crowned
through the still hard ground
and I look ahead
past the dogs,
the river shrubs
and the early morning clouds
to see the shimmer off the rock –
the light
from the boulder
just beyond the river’s shore
where the simple mark of loss
lays bare for all to see :
a name with dates
blazoned in brass,
your gifts and talents
bound in a phrase
chosen long ago

by a young son
deep in grief.
In the morning light it reads:
“A lover of this river.”

Like a good lover,
you left us your scent
and touch
so deep in our minds
and souls
that we’ve stopped reasoning
or understanding,
even caring
how the river pulls us
from our lives
and calls us endlessly
to its side,
to its rushing and swirling clear waters:
high from winter melt.
to its morning haze and evening light
where it tosses stones and boulders
and brings to life
the many bugs
fishermen love to name,
as if holding some sacred chalice to their lips:
brown drake, elk hair caddis, pale morning dun,
golden stone fly….
the trouts’ very folly:
of which they make sport.

And what of the rainbow hues
and gold below the water’s crest?
the very gift fishermen patiently
pound the river’s edge hour after hour
to savor
year after year …
as if they had never before
felt the perfect pause
or tight silence
before the catch.
Blinded by desire,
they arrive …..
at first light hugging the shore
and sometimes
stopping at the sudden sight:
where
in the middle of nowhere,
in plain English
stare back at them
the very words
they would never dare utter.

Today,
as always,
I am
your lover
and you are my river.

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It’s been a winter,
and a year before that
since I walked these hills
dotted with clumps of spring sage:
their tops feathered and nimble
fragrant in the morning wind.
By my side a young dog,
anxious to sniff
every clump of muddy earth
and read its lingering message
of spring revival:
when the mountains awaken
from the frigid solitude  of a Montana freeze
hard and long
to the sound of rushing waters
and afternoon rains,
silence broken by the onslaught
of birth
bright as the morning beam
that breaks the morning cloud cover.

The sudden warmth warrants
a faster step,
a lighter gait
nose high
the silly pup darts from east to west
wasting precious energy
much to the antelope’s delight
as they taunt him
rump golden in the morning light:
at arm’s reach
they turn and lope in unison:
two bucks
black buds
decorating their painted faces.
From a safe distance
they eye us
knowing full well the dog is spent.

We turn down hill
in time
to spot a raven
harassing the much larger  red tail:
forcing her to shift mid-air,
and circle back away from
what must be her morning meal –
some  huge eyed deer mouse
scurrying along the sage’s edge.
Dauntless,
the raven drives her off into the clouds
and I marvel at the karmic turn of events.

It is then that I reflect
and ponder:  there is no logic
to life’s endless turn of events –
no justice
and yet
we constantly try to piece meal a pattern:
some reasonable explanation,
maybe not even reasonable
so we can continue to venture
stepping into yet another year,
another moment
another second
and not be dumbfounded
at the invisible
scar we have carved into what we call life.

I stand wide-eyed,
as the clouds shift
taking the warmth
with them.
Somewhere in the distance
I hear the guttural call
of sand hill cranes
flying toward the river,
and like the dog
begin to meander back
toward  the safety of home,
illusory as it might be.

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