Master of the Night

Stairs at Escondido

This morning I walked to Playa Econdido, as I do most mornings. But today I hoped to see the turtles hatch and make their way into the sea. I sat on the stairs watching the tide, it was higher than I’d ever seen it. It almost slurped its way into the nests. I thought of the eggs and the tiny creature’s ancient instincts responding to the ocean’s pulse as I waited for the rangers.

When they arrived we made our way to the two nests due to hatch. They dug first with a shovel and then cupped hands, deep into the sand. The ranger pulled out something that looked like leaves.

La  cascara? I asked.

Si, se fue, he replied. They are gone.

I was thrilled to hear this. He thought my excitement odd. I explained that it made me happy they had done it on their own, and that the were probably stronger because they had dug themselves out.

Hatched

Hatched

Para es mas peligrosa, he said, waving to the seagulls.

Si, es verdad, I admitted it was true.

I thought of the duckling I lost to an eagle, I was three meters away when the bird caught my charge in its talons and flew away— the heartbreak and wonder of that moment.

Coincidently, I memorized this poem this week. I dedicate this recitation to the tortugitas, those that swam away…and the ones that flew.

 

 

Seemingly Made of Light

image courtesy of iwastesomuchtme.com

image courtesy of iwastesomuchtme.com

This week’s been spent remembering what it means to have a job: live by a schedule, learn MANY names, new systems and most challenging for me—being social.

I prepared this video before I left home, though I knew I’d be in Nicaragua soon, it didn’t occur to me I would actually be standing on the beach, watching it behave abdominally when I posted it.

I continue to memorize poems, and will post them on my Ytube channel, which I now refer to as my “random recitations” project.

This is my latest video, Undertow, by Dean Young.

If I were somewhere I could go to a bookstore and buy one his books, I would.  Immediately.

I Say Possible

La Tigra Gothic
La Tigra Gothic

I want to be a believer. I used to be. I was one of those people that said things like, “everything happens for a reason ,” “there are no coincidences we create our own reality”. But what I learned after moving to Mexico was that it’s much easier to believe such things when life falls into place, for the most part.

But when things fall apart…for years , well, one wonders how there can be reason behind cruelty and deceit , illness, poverty and suffering. Perhaps I was naive to assume that everything happening for a reason meant a “good” reason.

Still, I have an eternally optimistic side, I cultivate a cache of hope —that there is meaning—that life is not a random series of insignificant events.

Sometimes life rewards my tenacity.

Several months ago, I set out for the U.S. in search of a few months of work. I hoped to make enough to publish my book, buy Felipe a chainsaw, and make some much needed repairs to the house. Though I had very nice visit with my mother, and landed my first paid writing gig, I didn’t make any money. Still, because of my battered but prevailing belief system, I felt it was as it should be.

I came home and like a good citizen, I set my resolutions for the New Year: publish my book, finally learn to speak Spanish well, and keep the house from crumbling to rubble. I had no idea how I’d achieve these objectives. I’ve been in Mexico nine years and still have the annoying habit of saying, “en el pasado”, or “en la futura”, rather than learning the eight gazillion verb tenses of Espanol. I couldn’t imagine what might finally cajole me out of my laziness. The other goals required money I didn’t foresee making, and I had a debt to pay and a ticket to the U.S. the buy before May.

Then I received a message from an old friend, Brian Block.

“What would you think about coming down to Nicaragua to do some service and wine training with my staff for a couple of months?”

I replied, “Possible.”

It’s is not exactly what I imagined doing in the U.S.  It’s MUCH better. Better money, in a fabulous location doing the most fun restaurant job there is. Obviously, I’ll be required to upgrade my Spanish, and there will be money embark on our projects.

Of course all this amazingness reminded me of a poem.  It is how I feel now.

BELIEF IN MAGIC, click here, you’ll be glad you did

By Dean Young

Conclusions

My Morning Walk

Recently, I read an article about interpreting poetry. The author scrutinized and explained a poem line by line. I felt like was in 7th grade biology, a poor little frog, dead and spread eagled with pins before me.  I thought, do people really do this? I prayed, please don’t tell me this is how poetry is taught. If so, it’s no wonder so few people read and honor it.

There’s a lot of poetry that isn’t immediately accessible, but during this last year I learned, by walking with poems, that the body will teach you. Thinking will not gift you a great understanding of poetry, the language is not a dead thing to be dissected. Reading and then going for a walk, letting the words roll around, saying them loud, imbuing them with breathe — gives them life. Then let yourself be distracted by the trees, or a fly or your life for a while, the poem will settle and you will not understand, you will know it, in the way that you should, not the way someone else thinks you should. I don’t think there was ever a poet who hoped their poem meant only one thing to all people.

It wasn’t coincidental that I choose to walk to memorize, the literary tradition of walking is long and well acquainted with poets. I was vaguely aware of this, but I didn’t start walking and memorizing because of it. It was a natural inclination .

When I went for my first couple of walks after my project was completed, I felt liberated. I didn’t have anything I had to do —just walk, enjoy the scenery, and let my mind ramble. But then I started to feel a little naked heading out on the path without a poem in my pocket. So I wrote one down, and I’m carrying it around, living with it and it with me, as I imagine I will, as long as I can write and walk.

I took on the project to memorize and recite 52 in a year , because somewhere along the line I got it in my head that a “real” poet “knows” poems. A real poet reads poetry — A LOT of poetry. I wasn’t doing either. I was writing poems, but my commitment was facile.

I was correct in my assumptions about memorizing and reading.  I am not the novice I was a year ago. I don’t know that my own poetry has seen the benefits yet, but I now know where to go, and how to get there.

I hope you all had as much fun as I did 🙂

 

These were my favorites.

Saint Francis and the Sow, by Galway Kinnell

The Envoy, by Jane Hirschfield

Happy Ideas, by Mary Szybist

Often I Imagine the Earth, by Dan Gerber

Let Us Gather In a Flourishing Way, by Juan Felipe Herrera