Bolivar and San Martin: Guayaquil, Ecuador

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Concluding "Veinte Poemas de amor, y una cancion desesperada

You’ll have to pardon me tonight, Neruda,
But I’m finished.
I’m done poring over you words,
Tracing the perfection of their weave and hating myself
Because I cannot make my words sing like your versos mas tristes,
Verses so sad indeed that they flood my heart with ice water,
And buckle my knees if I think of them in stride.

I cannot transcribe the silence of evening
Nor the perfection of a floating bumblebee.
But things such as these you capture in words,
And as I read them I throw my hands in air,
Half in celebration, half in disbelief.

I have often wondered how it was you learned
The perfection of your craft. It could have been practice,
But as I sit here now, having intended to write a poem,
I am almost certain you were born with it.

I have been patient, dear Neruda,
But I cannot go any farther.
I am weak, for as much as
I praise your gift, I covet it more.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

11 p.m: My mother’s kitchen

The green glow of the digital clock
That sits over the oven would be the only light
Illuminating my mother’s kitchen right now.
Its weak beam hints at the cage across the room,
Below the window with the blinds pulled closed,
Where little Bella sleeps quietly.
And suddenly a foot scrapes over the gate
That bars the kitchen door, and Bella pops up,
Her tail wagging, her tongue hanging down
In her canine way of smiling.
When the light comes on her hopes are confirmed: Kristi has come home.

It was a long day at work, no doubt.
The children must learn, their papers must be graded,
Their next day of activities planned.
With great care, she lifts little Bella from her cage,
Letting her play once more before she must be shut in for the night.
Kristi smiles at the puppy’s innocent charm,
And kisses her on top of the head before delicately
Placing her back in her cage.

In the room directly above, my mother is sleeping
Peacefully, far removed from those years of hardship.
I am called back to the times when she worked
All day, and then deep into the night,
And if she was lucky she would see me for a minute
Before I had to be in bed for the night. When she could,
What great love she poured into that kiss on my forehead,
Or into the song she sang as I drifted off to sleep.
Those times are gone, yet they remain a part of me forever.
Not because she showed me what it was to persevere,
But because she embodied love, sacrificing everything
For Andrea, Kristi, and me.

Monday, September 19, 2005

on being wronged

The path the world would have me take is hate,
I have been wronged, so anger is my right.
But talks of vengeance I will now abate,
He who stole from me, I curse his plight.
He took from me that which I value not:
Possessions that speak nothing of my soul.
And though the laws of man this man forgot,
To see him punished, or harmed is not my goal.
For I delight in nature, and in smiles,
And these are treasures that no man can steal.
And wealth in this world only lasts awhile,
Yet still it fuels most with a fervent zeal.
I will not walk that path of hate and greed,
In friends and smiles, I have all that I need.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

To -

She vanquishes my sorrow with her smile,
and with that same light could illuminate the world-
rolling back the dark covers of night as she opens her eyes,
appearing once more as the incarnation of beauty.

What beauty lies still beaneath the surface,
in the sacred vault of her soul?
what thoughts and feelings lie hidden,
awaiting the One who will
teach them the manner of the their expression?

Each time I see her is the first time.
We meet, we part, and I am left pondering the perfection
I have witnessed-debating its reality,
almost certain that one so fair could not walk the earth with me
here and now.

And still she smiles brightly,
and still the sun must hide behind the clouds in shame.
Still I long for my time or my calling,
Awaiting the will of she who may command me anything.

Random Time

Random time.
False hours tick on the clock
in this or that man's memory of reality.
reality is our impression of what is real,
for the things we call by name
are not contained in words on the page
or in syllables enunciated from the mouth.

we are- in effect - sliding through time,
stopping here or there,
desperately holding on to this moment or that
and vainly seeking our own sense of what is real, what is true.
our thoughts are hindered by a day-to-day world
which distracts us with false problems,
and which scorns the sentimentality that is paramount to our being.

we are indeed creatures of light.

compassion and understanding are our supreme endeavors-
yet our time is fading, and my words are failing,
and a sinking wasteland lies
where our Eden was meant to bloom.

sweet memory of change!
sweet silence that erases my words from the page.
and as hope drowns in the clouds of the oncoming storm,
I stand watch alone in the sweet air of twilight.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Waking Life

Today has been a rich day,
A sore day.
A day filled with waking life
In a waking life filled with dreams.

Hesitantly we reverse,
And seek to upbraid
The loneliness from our shadowed hearts.
Inspiration stems silently from-

Today was a rich day,
And we walk softly
As evening's darkness hastens itself
Across the sky.
If my waking life is a dream then my dreams are-

My heart is faint, beating forgetfully
For I seek what others have sought.
There is a rumour in his slow and steady rhythm:
A propitious unquiet that speaks of scattering
This confusion,
And of dissipating our distance into the darkness


There will always be poetry, they say,
Those who have witnessed the immutable power
Of a sunset, or of a green leaf
Tinged with gold in the early days of Autumn.

The speak this truth those who have wept
For lack of words, who stare silently
At pages filled with vain symbols,
Calling this thing rock and this thing tree.

There will always be poetry, they know,
Those who have loved and been loved;
Those who dream of meadows at twilight:
The moon and the lark and the wildflowers forever and ever.

But ever do the poet's words come short or go astray,
Failing in the task with which they are charged:
To capture the poetry around them: in smiles
And sadness, in passion that shakes the heart of the being.

The poet is a liar- mincing half-words
And well intended metaphors to create a half-truth.
But the aura he feels and would transcribe
Is swirling, dancing-rhyming, yet remains,
Inescapable, unreachable, and smiles mockingly
With each penstroke that falls.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Waves of Silence

Last night I dreamed of silence
As though I'd never dreamed before.
I dreamed I saw a purple sea,
And stood on its silent shore.

I could not hear a single sound,
Noiseless waves caressed the sand.
The sun faded, on came the absinthe moon,
Its light walked with me, hand in hand.

The air swirled between the sea and moon,
And touched each leaf on every tree.
There was no rustle, the breeze was mute,
She left me for eternity.

I held the scene as long I could,
And still the Tyrian waves I see.
But hope has long since flown away,
Only in silence will she return to me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Podría escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Las palabras están adentro, esperando luz,
Y he tenido en mente compartirles contigo.

Cada sílabo evocaría simpatía,
Cada letra enunciaría mi soledad.
Pero las palabras quedan adentro,
Vencidos por la desesperación del momento.

Podría describir cuanto la amaba, o la amo, o cuanto la amaré para siempre,
Pero mis versos desaparecen, ahogándose bajo las olas
De una mar de melacolía.

Podría llorar a cántaros esta noche,
Y en realidad debo,
Pero mis pensamientos han volado más allá que el dolor,
Entrando en las profundidades de la existencia.

Me retiro a mis sueños,
A la jardín donde la vi por primera vez.
Sólo en vano podría intentar describir sus ojos, o su sonrisa,
Porque palabras así no existen.
"Placerdemivida" la llama, o mejor, "ella inefable"

Y la desesperación es completo
Lamentando que no la puedo describir,
Que jamás la cantaré los elogios que merece.
La soledad es inescapable y rencoroso,
Y mis lágrimas finalmente vienen
Porque reconozco que ella nunca me amaría, y sólo puedo pensar
En la distancia entre mi amor y su corazón.

Sweet dreams to those who remain

Slip slowly backwards on streams of silence,
Awaking in the garden, breathing in green,

Slide willingly into an obtuse dream.
Let strands of thought unwind
Until emptiness remains,
The majesty of sorrow will be yours.

What is the garden?
It is not green, for green is the feeling.
Its qualities consist of it being:
The garden is, no more, no less.

Embrace the oneness that quiets your mind.
No tears, let consciousness fade into being.
Self dissipates into the wonder-filled night,
Chaos is bound at the feet of unity,
And only the One remains.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Crossroads of Midnight

And all this pain cannot subside,
Not here at the crossroads of midnight.
There’s no recourse now, having wallowed so long in darkness,
Yearning only to see the last remnants of light.

And the angel’s voice pierces the eardrum softly,
And flows delicately in and over the receptacles of sound,
Words enunciated by the voice of longing itself take up residence
Touching him only enough to make him feel something again.

What are these words, and what are these dreams?
It is the hollow trail of passion and unrequited love,
It is the unspoken words exploding in fits of violent rage,
It is the false heart coming to fruition, achieving awareness of its own impurity.

I remain, though sunlight does not.
There is but the shadow of the moonlight passing through clouds,
Quietly falling over dead and broken trees,
A desperate whisper of what I used to be, and of my life’s love,
Which flickers and fades slowly in the emptiness of night

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Streets of the Undead

The sky is crying today.
Its children are dying
And no one seems to care.
A haze rolls in under the grey sky
I'm stuck in England on a rainy day,
Walking quietly
For the end of her empire has come.

The people who pass me have no faces,
I see only dark shrouds
Drenched in the sky's tears, and their own.
I stop to ask one of these phantom people why they cry,
She tells me it is becaue they are not alive,
But they cannot die.

I ponder these words
As the woman disappears into the mist.
I huddle in a corner
As the rain falls and the fog thickens.

The truth comes galloping to me on the wind,
And I sob in the cold, unforgiving rain,
When I realize I walk the streets of the undead,
And will remain here eternally, without the power to die.