December 2018-February 2019

Two previously posted poems in three by 3, “Origins on Galapagos”  (December 2014-February 2015) and ” Watch Closely, Listen Carefully”  (June-August 2018) were accepted for publication in the April 2019 online edition of Waterways. Their website is http://www.tenpennyplayers.org.  An encouraging start for 2019…

My first international position was sales representative for the McGraw-Hill Book Company. Our office for the Caribbean territory was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Casals residence was not far from where I lived. On occasion I passed by, but never had the pleasure of a chance encounter!

Origins on Galapagos

Lucky ducks, though they’re terns,
that can always bank on
a cornucopia surfacing around them?
marooned onshore pools
with kelp, eelgrass, crabs
clinging to the bottom…

Their ancestors also fared well,
as per my post mortem memory.
Enough to establish a flock of birds
with blood lines tied to flowing tides.

My kind died out long ago,
overcome by an unstable volcano.
Had our wings been bigger
we’d have flown off the island;
or swam away if we’d known how.

Likewise, I can recall when
the first newcomber was spotted
poking around one sunrise.
He appeared alone, but as the sky shined
others showed up, mouthing sounds
like “right here” and “Dr. Darwin.”
Each day they arrived early, left
after hovering over scores of nests.

Naturally, they never saw a feather
nor heard us chirping.
We were no more than a body of ashes
left behind like lava? the darkest part
of the sand they stepped on
while doing their legwork
up and down dunes.
They came close, though,
those curious creatures
that ran around stalking terns.

 

Watch Closely, Listen Carefully

 

The sounds an owl mouths
            while stalking earmark
                       whether –he’s on a limb
                                    holding tight, or airborne,
                                                above the trees, biding time
                                                            for a swoop…

Ground shadows—mice and the like—
after a field day tracking down seeds,
appear in a hurry to hole up,
ahead of what stirs at dusk…

Blink by blink an owl awakes.
Night finds him wide eyed—
on high alert, aiming
to catch sight of stragglers.

Sly minded, he mulls them
            over—who, who, who?—
                           before making a choice.
                                    Those within close range
                                                  can hear him coming,
                                                              hoot upon hoot.

 

El Maestro At Home-Puerto Rico 1971

 

While sitting on his balcony
Sr. Casals becomes an audience of one
looking towards the horizon…

As far as he can see—the sky
and sea mirror shades of indigo
native to the Caribbean, hardly
any clouds, the sun at its brightest;
within hearing distance—breezes
tugging on palm fronds, a beach
combed by wave upon wave,
gulls squawking over flotsam…

Via sights and sounds his virtuosity
comes into play—con mucho gusto
he’ll perform a suite for cello
to the tempo of a meringue.

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