Thursday, October 29, 2009

Can It Be?

Can there be so many arms
raised up as if in prayer?
one almond sun saying goodbye
and the sun is a stop sign-entry prohibited
for so many raised faces leaving the promised land
so many promises forgotten and broken

And can it be that the water is violet
so silky and mauve? A magenta dream something to drink
there is a story in these boats and a sigh that blows the travelers
to an unspeakable destiny the fervent desire that drives them on.
Can it be those death vessels are filled with children and a hope so
vague that the sea is the promise land now?

And would it be that the sea will change
and something watery and wild will take over
and people lost to their desires will find a horizon where they can rest?

And could it be that the Straights so narrow and fine
Can take a boat under and mull it around
spitting it out like a mulched old tree.
That turbulent boundary that divides hope from despair
There's life on the other side
for those who make it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Guardia Civil Talks To a Stick Man

The guardia civil agent had his life arranged in his pocket
His wife and family wrapped around him safe in his mind
He knew the day was like a clock and this day was almost over.

He came upon a man so tall he had to gaze up to see the tired face
At first he thought it was a ghost or maybe a strange bird swept up from the tide
And seeing the dark eyes he knew that he knew almost nothing

He wanted to lay down his life his pain his history
He wanted to forget his parents and their hunger during the war
He wanted to turn to the manual of how to handle this sort of thing
But something ancient and primal sung inside of him.

He turned from the stick man and headed back to his jeep
Where payday and family dinners and things closer to his
Short reach of control waited
The tall shadow of a man was gone as he turned his head
And he thought of blue and his grandmother

looking towards fire

the boats had gathered over one
screaming ink spill of red
you could feel the tension as if
you too were perched on the helm of a little tottering craft
peering down into the big what of a journey

the air smelled like kelp and wood
you could almost imagine the rocking
and if you leaned into the wind
your destiny would all be presented in that red
it went deep as blood and you could swear it whispered something.

then there was a shout and the boats moved on
stopping at one mystery was not enough for this voyage
the boats would rest when each foot touched land
where hungry children and broken people could rest.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Ones Who Stay Behind

It was a clear day the waves were coming in

This sand so hot as always a red dry road brought us here

My brother sat just out of reach

He watched the boats taking away our village.

I close my eyes and in my mind saw Marion the big fat fish vender

When she got in her boat it almost tipped over her red kaftan swaying in the wild wind

She was giggling like she does when she sells a big catch and I laughed too

But now I feel empty and behind me our market is empty

My mother is humming and I try to hum too

But the boats are getting smaller and smaller

And I have to squint to see my father still waving as the boat surges with the water

Something flashes in the sun and I swear it's the necklace I made him

I found the shells and pieces of glass on this very beach

It doesn't seem important now my heart is heavy and I keep looking on the shore

For something that I lost but I don't know what it is

Sunday, August 10, 2008


they`re swaying with the wind
they`re singing there`s a whisper in the waves
as they swing against the shore
an echo in the emptiness they come without people
the people come without them

there are doves of hope
doves curious about the contents
doves chattering the story of these vessels
they came all the way from Africa
they won't leave the little empty tombs

a beach umbrella in the back is a beacon
where people lay suntanning doing their normal things
people on vacation people who didn't leave their homelands
running away from sadness people sitting looking out over the waves
where the boats keep arriving empty or full

Sunday, August 3, 2008

that thing

they should have run they were free now
sick flames of their little boat had captured them
all of those days at sea up in flames
their stories were whispering back

it couldn't hold them anymore
but their feet dull and mired
like anchors in the new land didn't want to leave
their sweet doomed vessel alone
to its fiery end
it was one loss too many
they couldn't bear the burden of another soul
flying home to destiny´s whim

they´re burning boats that carried the ones
all the way from the deep
they bring children and women,
men who have walked through Africa only to find the other side
empty and replete with more danger
than the hunger and death `
left behind

each boat cracks with a sigh
smoke rises like stories of hope
and reaches the heavens like all good angels do
once I saw an old shoe go up in flames
the only testament left in the sand are flakes of ash
blowing like flowers back to the homeland