The Silence of the Birds 


Tenochtitlan rises

From the great lake of life

Shines like a jewel

Shines the natural light


The causeway is lined

With the birds of their world

With their colors so vivid

With their songs so pure


Symbols of beauty

Symbols of grace

Hernan has seen them

He knows their power


Now the silence has come

He has burned the birds

There is a new order of power

Of power without grace


The illness of the heart

That is only cured by gold

Is Hernan’s  obsession

Is Hernan’s shame

A Dare?


 A tiny Inca Dove, Tortolita Colilarga, flew into the casita where I was writing today

He landed on an interior windowsill and we studied each other for a moment

I see this bird and his mate side-by-side in the jardin every day

I glanced outside and there she was—his companion—waiting on the stonewall

I moved toward the dove and cupped my hands around—no resistance

The dove turned his head back and forth eyeing me—first from his left eye, then the right

At the doorway—openhanded—I watched him fly the short distance to the wall

The couple touched bodies then flew away

A Dream of Moon and Salt Water


I dream of the full moon in November

Sunset and moonrise coincide

The surging tide ignores its limits

I seek the extreme point of beach left exposed

A careful look for that place where fish will surely be

I cast my line far out into the surf

Then wait

My old friends find me

First a fat Striped Bass

There are more

Each, save one I will eat, is returned to its element with love

I flop down—breathless on the still warm sand

The moonlight charges me like a crystal

And I return to the phosphorescent night waters

For another test

A test of what

I ask myself

No test at all

Just here to feel the wildness—that remains

I am seduced by seashells


I walk along a beach spread with seashells

Long streaks parallel to the surf line

The display surprises me

There are punctuations in depressions holding large masses of shells like trays of jewels

I know Olive, Angel Wing, Baby’s Ear, Periwinkle, Bear’s Claw, Boat Shell and Scotch Bonnet

When the shells are unbroken, they are smooth, crinkled, fluted, spiraled and shapes for which I know no words

Their colors vary widely

Some are shades of brown, others deep purple

Some are pearl white and some shimmer with iridescence

Each one I hold possesses its own beauty

Each is unique and finds its place for me to view

After the fallen tide