Tuesday, April 10, 2018

South of here

“Where I kneel, a rock stands.”

                                             Cid Corman

Santiago, Chile 

to Valparaiso, through the central valley, 
through bulked, abundant foothills 
and fog-cloaked richness

to this singular coastal port 

which relieves its streets
of graffiti

by adopting their artists
as its own.


Happenings occur 
in hotel dining rooms

as surely as any other air—
sounds move, people

shift, things lift,
cups and saucers clink.


Puerto Varas, Chile

I wonder if they, the two
fishing the point at lake’s edge,

if they too take note of the volcano 
on the opposite edge, 

take note of low skimming gulls, 
of morning constellations—

do they name stars, speak aloud 
the time sun breaks mists,

do they too see
this we ?


Lake Llanquihue

Reaching across the lake, 
the scrap-sculpted goddess 

leans into breezes
lapping feathered bellies

of quick-diving ducks

the uncertain shores
at her feet.


Tell me how to say,
      in Chilean-brushed Spanish,
                    “breeze-brushed lake.”


After Cid Corman…

to sing    

the heart    


to sing    



forever the work unending
repairs itself, the whole regained,
renewing forever unending
of words

just for that…


Visente Rosales Park—Osorbo Volcano

into the Andes foothills of pastures and farms, of green 
into evergreen, to forests misting rains, shadowed mounds, 
rounded clouds and water rounded volcanos—Chile 

three thousand miles of shoreline, two-thousand volcanos, yet 
but a single slice of the global arc of the “ring of fire”—and yet, too, 
situs of witness, this click of moment, this cracked unfoldment

of conscious place as is, allows words to work 
the pour of voice 
into presence 


Peula, Chile—Pop. 96

Nearby peaks pocket summer snow,
guide waist-high trails of clouds, gather
valley bottoms with grass.


Crossing into Argentina, the lakes
are home to English spoken fish—rainbows 
and browns, to name two. 


Lago Nahuel Huapi, Argentina

Last night’s rain drops
from fan-like needles
to roots still drinking.



One more day till the youngest turns
another year; the oldest turns the next.
One day each year, last is first.


Receiving is only part—witness the flower.


haiku—sharing clues of truth


through the part in the curtains
where the windows meet.


The coffee stirrer
The napkin


Jungles speak water’s tongue, 
even at their edge—generators stutter
to regain—humans suck and spend their breath
with talk and song—and long is the light that sustains.


Puerto Iguazu, Argentina 3-1-18

for Elson Snow

February moves 
that much faster, Elson—moving friends 
remind us how close we are.

Grey and white feathers flash.
Jungle trees drip. Grey skies hold 

Nineties of years, too short. How many 
the times to have written your name,
not enough.

Palms together, good friend. 

No need for prayers of safe passage.


In Rio

the scholar came to explain
the principle structures of language,

he said. We ordered coffee,
talked—ordered more.


Santa Teresa Barrio

After fussing with switches, 
the outlets work, as do the lamps.

Replacement lodgings. Making due.
Not complaining.


The beach

Multiples of people
track through gull-scratched sands.

Mist-filtered light
makes no new demands.



Old friends, we wander together
the botanical gardens, speaking aloud 
our teacher’s names.


is self-fulfilling 

each utterance, whatever 
the tongue, affirms 
that life 

within the greater life 
there for the sake 
of that utterance.


Children’s footsteps overhead
remind me of home—winged voices.


Flip-flops, t-shirts, no shirts.
Bare bellies, fat bellies, skin and smiles.
Bongia, Rio. 


heating water for coffee

children upstairs readying for school

rain drops


Barking dogs fill voids
we can’t feel—stars too
place sky beyond reach.


Music rises.
The valley beneath the window
feeds all that’s open.


Three bare light bulbs light
the studio like day light,
outside darkness held there.


The wife snores gently.
Through the open window, 
sounds of passing planes.


One calf, one foot,
one-half of the other—skin
from under the sheet.


Ask of your senses today
what else they’ll bring you 
you’ve not yet missed.


Morning meds. 

A sheet of paper.

Three pills, one curled edge.


Passing breezes unfurl
sheer curtain silence
into sunlight.


Security asks my name,
doesn’t listen—I write it
as he looks away.


At the airport…

runway puddles glisten
in surrounding spot lights—
inside chairs face out


if existence is transition,
to want something else

is as natural as it gets

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