Poem

 

The Right to Live in Peace

We have the right to live in peace.
Without fear, without terror.
But death rides a motorcycle
In these streets of dust and blood
Where kids used to play.
Mexico, you are breaking our hearts.

We have the right to live in peace.
Streets with flowers, not bodies.
Our country is in ruins,
Burying the dead,
Looking for those who have disappeared.
Mexico, you are breaking our hearts.

We have the right to live in peace.
Men and women, children and grandparents.
The question is simple:
Where will we put their birthday cakes –
On the table or on their tombs?
Mexico, don´t break our hearts.

30-day Challenge. Day 21: The Fragrant Kitchen.

Kitchen

Forget the boardroom.
This is where the power is.
This kitchen
filled with clutter and spice,
swirling and dodging,
collecting our lives.

It is here that we make
Big Decisions,
where Peace is restored
Hunger solved
Souls replenished.
Here, we make mistakes,
red-button catastrophes and, then,
apologize and hold one another
hoping to be forgiven, to forgive,
never really knowing.

This kitchen, bright and rambling,
a world in itself,
secures us, like a bouquet of rosemary
swinging lightly from the eves,
the fragrance of
our ragged dreams
our mingled prayers
sustain us as we move beyond
the porch steps.

– Anne Kundtz

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Girl in a Hammock

 

girl hammock
Bella
Pablo Neruda

Bella,
como en la piedra fresca
del manantial, el agua
abre un ancho relámpago de espuma,
así es la sonrisa en tu rostro,
bella.

Bella,
de finas manos y delgados pies
como un caballito de plata,
andando, flor del mundo,
así te veo,
bella.

Bella,
con un nido de cobre enmarañado
en tu cabeza, un nido
color de miel sombría
donde mi corazón arde y reposa,
bella.

Bella,
no te caben los ojos en la cara,
no te caben los ojos en la tierra.
Hay países, hay ríos
en tus ojos,
mi patria está en tus ojos,
yo camino por ellos,
ellos dan luz al mundo
por donde yo camino,
bella.

Bella,
tus senos son como dos panes hechos
de tierra cereal y luna de oro,
bella.

Bella,
tu cintura
la hizo mi brazo como un río cuando
pasó mil años por tu dulce cuerpo,
bella.

Bella,
no hay nada como tus caderas,
tal vez la tierra tiene
en algún sitio oculto
la curva y el aroma de tu cuerpo,
tal vez en algún sitio,
bella.

Bella, mi bella,
tu voz, tu piel, tus uñas,
bella, mi bella,
tu ser, tu luz, tu sombra,
bella,
todo eso es mío, bella,
todo eso es mío, mía,
cuando andas o reposas,
cuando cantas o duermes,
cuando sufres o sueñas,
siempre,
cuando estás cerca o lejos,
siempre,
eres mía, mi bella,
siempre.

Apache Dancer

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JOY!

Let joy keep you.
And take it when it runs by,
As the Apache dancer
Clutches his woman.
I have seen them
Live long and laugh loud,
Singing, singing,
Smashed to the heart
Under the ribs
With a terrible love.

Joy always,
Joy everywhere—
Let joy kill you!
Keep away from the little deaths.

–Carl Sandburg

 

Dance on the Earth.
Dance in the Sky.
Every Breath is a Dance.

Los Voladores are the original aerial dancers.  The dance originates from ancient Mesoamerican ceremonies.  Dancers climb a 30-meter pole and fling themselves into the air.  Watching them reminded me of this poem by Mary Oliver. The poem’s imagery also evokes the wildfires raging in California.

sky dancer

Where Does Dance Begin?
Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?
Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.
But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?
Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking
to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,
as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?

 

Vaquero Love Poem

Laska

–Frank Desprez

I want free life and I want fresh air;
And I sigh for the canter after the cattle,
The crack of the whips like shots in a battle,
The medley of horns and hoofs and heads
That wars and wrangles and scatters and spreads;
The green beneath and the blue above,
And dash and danger, and life and love —
And Lasca!
Lasca used to ride
On a mouse-gray mustang close by my side,
With blue serape and bright-belled spur;
I laughed with joy as I looked at her!
Little knew she of books or of creeds;
An Ave Maria sufficed her needs;
Little she cared, save to be by my side,
To ride with me, and ever to ride,
From San Saba’s shore to LaVaca’s tide.
She was as bold as the billows that beat,
She was as wild as the breezes that blow;
From her little head to her little feet
She was swayed in her suppleness to and fro
By each gust of passion; a sapling pine
That grows on the edge of a Kansas bluff
And wars with the wind when the weather is rough
Is like this Lasca, this love of mine.She would hunger that I might eat,
Would take the bitter and leave me the sweet;
But once, when I made her jealous for fun,
At something I’d whispered, or looked, or done,
One Sunday, in San Antonio,
To a glorious girl in the Alamo,
She drew from her garter a dear little dagger,
And — sting of a wasp! — it made me stagger!
An inch to the left, or an inch to the right,
And I shouldn’t be maundering here tonight;
But she sobbed, and, sobbing, so swiftly bound
Her torn reboso about the wound,
That I quite forgave her. Scratches don’t count
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande.Her eye was brown — a deep, deep brown;
Her hair was darker than her eye;
And something in her smile and frown,
Curled crimson lip and instep high,
Showed that there ran in each blue vein,
Mixed with the milder Aztec strain,
The vigorous vintage of Old Spain.
She was alive in every limb
With feeling to the finger tips;
And when the sun is like a fire,
And sky one shining, soft sapphire,
One does not drink in little sips.

The air was heavy, and the night was hot,
I sat by her side, and forgot – forgot;
Forgot the herd that were taking their rest,
Forgot that the air was close opprest,
That the Texas norther comes sudden and soon,
In the dead of night or the blaze of noon;
That, once let the herd at its breath take fright,
Nothing on earth can stop the flight;
And woe to the rider, and woe to the steed,
Who falls in front of their mad stampede!

Was that thunder? I grasped the cord
Of my swift mustang without a word.
I sprang to the saddle, and she clung behind.
Away! On a hot chase down the wind!
But never was fox hunt half so hard,
And never was steed so little spared,
For we rode for our lives, You shall hear how we fared
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande.

The mustang flew, and we urged him on;
There was one chance left, and you have but one;
Halt, jump to ground, and shoot your horse;
Crouch under his carcass and take your chance;
And, if the steers in their frantic course
Don’t batter you both to pieces at once,
You may thank your star; if not, goodby
To the quickening kiss and the long-drawn sigh,
And the open air and the open sky,
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande.

The cattle gained on us, and just as I felt
For my old six-shooter behind in my belt,
Down came the mustang, and down came we,
Clinging together — and, what was the rest?
A body that spread itself on my brest,
Two arms that shielded my dizzy head,
Two lips that hard on my lips were prest;
Then came thunder in my ears,
As over us surged the sea of steers,
Blows that beat blood into my eyes,
And when I could rise—
Lasca was dead!

I gouged out a grave a few feet deep,
And there in Earth’s arms I laid her to sleep;
And there she is lying, and no one knows;
And the summer shines and the winter snows;
For many a day the flowers have spread
A pall of petals over her head;
And the little gray hawk hangs aloft in the air,
And the sly coyote trots here and there,
And the black snake glides and glitters and slides
Into a rift in a cottonwood tree;
And the buzzard sails on,
And comes and is gone,
Stately and still like a ship at sea.
And I wonder why I do not care
For the things that are like the things that were.
Does half my heart lie buried there
In Texas, down by the Rio Grande?

 

Apache Wedding Vows

“Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.”

“Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives — remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.”