Friday, July 11, 2008

POEM: On The Road From Ollytamba

Light rubs its dusty fingerprints on Ollytamba.
It leaves a tarnished copper shade of red, a fatigued light, slender.
Ollytamba kneels before the mountain gods who stand around
Snowpeaked, white like bearded prophets, protectors
Of this resting place for warriors.

The mischievous winds find their way in, they chase
Their tails round and round like a dog at play,
Circling the plaza, dizzying the children who play tag

I watch the mountain gods recline
And the fog stretch her white legs and milky arms.
Intertwined, arms and legs cover the lustful mountain,
she places herself on top, filling the
open space that he has made for her curvy form.

Dusk has announced its presence like a shy child
who will not make eye contact.
The mountain and the fog rest, breathing in unison
Beneath a moon smile that points like a finger to the Southern Cross.

Tomorrow, light will be born of this union,
The sun god will be reborn – Ollytamba
will become a child of the fresh squeeze morning.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

POEM: Alive (Siento, Que Vivo)


(For My Brothers and Sisters at St. Martin, Villa El Salvador, Peru)
July 2008

Once our hearts beat separately
Like the millions of stars that fill the Peru night sky.
I could not dream of you
And you did not dream of me.
But now, brothers and sisters,
You are alive to me
And I am flesh and bone to you.

Together we are resurrected,
Each of us in the other,
And all of us in Christ.

If I could tear open my chest and expose my heart to you,
The heart – that most dangerous place
Where only important things live –
If you could see inside my heart
You would see your faces,
You would see your own smiles
As large as the Andes.

I have learned not to look for the sun up in the sky in Lima
For the sun lives in your eyes,
In your working hands,
In your solidarity with each other,
In your warm arms and free kisses,
In your beautiful children.

Your songs are as insistent as the Pacific,
Your goodness, as plentiful as the sand
Upon which Villa El Salvador sits.

Words, embarrassed by your goodness,
Refuse to leave my pen,
So I am a poet without words,
Just a heart full of the grace of you.

Once, I did not know you,
And you – you did not know me.
But now, everything has changed.

Siento, Que Vivo

(Para Mis Hermanos y hermanas de la capilla San Martin de Villa El Salvador, Peru)
July 2008

Antes nuestros corazones palpitaban separados,
Como las milliones de estrellas que brillan en la noche del cielo peruano,
No los soῇaban conmigo,
Pero ahora, hermanos y hermanas,
Son una razon de vida para mi,
Y yo soy como cuerpo y alma para ustedes,

Juntos, hemos resucitado,
Cada uno de nosotros en Cristo.

Si yo pudiera abrir mi pecho y mostrarles mi corazon a ustedes,
El corazon, el lugar mas sencible
Donde solo las cosas mas maliosas viven,
Si pudieran ver dentro de mi vorazon,
Ustedes verian sus caras,
Sus propias sonrisas, tan inmenso como los Andes.

He aprendido a no ver el sol en el cielo de Lima,
Porque el sol vive en sus ojos,
En sus manos laboriosas,
En su solidaridad con cada uno de ustedes,
En sus calidos brazos y en sus generosos besos,
En sus preciosos niῇos.

Sus canciones son tan infinitas, como el Pacifico,
Sus bondades son tan infinitas como la arena donde esta Villa El Salvador.

Mis palabras se rehusan a salir de mi lapicero,
Avergonzadas de tanta bondad que no puedo escribir
Y yo tambien como poeta me quedo sin palabras
Y solo con mi corazon lleno del la gracia de ustedes.

Yo no los conocia,
Y ustedes –
Ustedes no me conocian;
Pero ahora, todo ha cambiado.