A Day on the Coast   Wednesday, August 27, 2014




My photos this week are from a day-trip two weeks ago to Corpus Christ where I  lived  for some years and still visit now and then. A couple of my poems also relate to my trip.

My anthology for the week is Risk, Courage and Women, a selection of contemporary prose and poetry by women. The book was published in 2007 by the University of North Texas Press.

Everything else is what it usually is.


Here's the crew at the oars.


Me
rain on the bay

Janice H. Brazil
grandma

Me
whispers 

Robert Pinsky
Akhmatova's "Secret Garden"

Me
sighting the neighborhood chupacabra

Joan Loveride-Sanbonmastu 
garden of Isabel
en-route from Japan

Me
morning song

Philip Levine
The Poem Circling Hamtramck, Michigan All Night In Search of You

Me
...and I think

Bonnie Lyons
walking out

Me
at last

Cleatus Rattan
Longevity
First Light

Me
you can go home again...but...

Naomi Shihab Nye
her way

Me
a memory of a dream
lover's lament
a gift of love

Susan Holohan
The Park at Texas Falls

Me
i think i understand

Valerie Bridgeman Davis
when I am asked

Me
premonitions

Sally Van Doren
Gephyrophotia
Proposition

Me
atop the rock

Barbara Lovenheim
two aisles

Me
Chinaski

Tu Fu/Du Fu

Rain Clears
New Moon
Impromptu
Full Moon
Midnight

Me
an excellent place to be leaving 



 




                                                                            

Stopped just across the causeway between Corpus Christi and Portland to take some pictures at Bob Hall Pier. I got there just in time for the beginning of rain that followed me for the next 20 miles. The photo above of offshore drilling platforms  being constructed on the other side of the bay, between Aransas  Pass and Port Aransas,  and several others that  follow later are from the few minutes I stopped before moving  on under heavy rain.










rain on the bay


the rain came first
as a soft curtain, drifting slowly across the bay,
the giant platforms being built across the water
in Aransas Pass,  like shadow monsters
rising
in the mist

two women fishing
hip deep  in the surf beneath Bob Hall Pier
continued casting their lines,
unconcerned, good fishing weather, they say,
as darkened skies and light rain
bring fish to the surface to enjoy
the dark and the rain
along
with the rest of us

but as I turn to leave,
to continue my journey up the coast
then across, back to San Antonio,
the weather spins on its axis
like a wobbly top,  the wind, gentle at  first,
picks up to a roar  that makes it hard to stand
without leaning against it, raises whitecaps as it  pushes
against the weak tide...

and the rain starts for real, pebble-sized drops
beating hard against my windshield
and  the roof of my car,  drowning out the radio
lightning strikes,  not horizontal flashes across the sky
but straight-down bolts of intense white fire,
slashing the dark  morning like  jagged arrows,
sending the fishers scurrying from the water
and from the pier and from the jetty's
string  of pile upon pile mossed-green boulders...

the rain follows me as I drive across the coastal plain,
fields white with cotton, defoliated and ready
to pick, wind turbines  slowly turning
against the wind, splashing streams of water
from  their long blades, follows me until I drive
into tiny Bayside and stop along Compano Bay
to watch the dark clouds roil behind me,
and drive on,  wipers no longer pumping on high,
but intermittent as fewer and fewer drops
fall, until the wipers screech on dry
glass...

the drive now  two lanes through
heavy brush, the reason vaqueros, those first
cowboys, invented leather chaps,
some off the brush,like the old days,
too  thick for a horse to
pass

~~~

and then I came to the dead end I expected
and turned left for a short drive to Refugio,
except I wasn't expecting Refugio,
having confused my back roads and
finding myself about 75 miles off course...

recovery -
as I find a road that crosses west
to the road
I expected to  find an  hour back...

stopping in Pettus, a not-very-wide spot on the road,
at a Dairy Queen for a DQ Dude,
remembering I had a meeting in this,
the only restaurant in the village, more than ten years ago,
the place where I had eaten my first DQ Dude,
finding it delicious as we talked about how to get  teachers
to little Pettus - population 356 -
when there was no place for them to live,
the restaurant deserted but for me, no interesting talk
this time, and, as is so often the case
with so many things,  the Dude
not nearly as good as the first time...


and back on the road, heading northwest on Hwy 181,
a road I've traveled often, but not in a long  time,
brush, mesquite, huisache, cactus, and white line
on tar-patterned asphalt all the same as before,
all aging, even the road, much better than
me...

~~~

the good news -
75 miles isn't really so far
in Texas miles, home by seven-thirty,
down in my back for a day mostly driving,
a little late but supper's waiting by the microwave,
a lot better  than the Dude I mostly threw
away








                                                         
 

The first poet from this week's anthology is Janice H. Brazil, one of the editors of the book. Her biography is limited, though I did learn she was the middle child of a career military officer, living around the world, including seven years in Germany. She has both a Bachelor and Masters degree from San Jose State University. I couldn't find a photo, so I used an image of the book cover instead.











grandma

The old woman
face lined,
hair thin and wispy,
fingers gnarled, bent by arthritis.
back stooped ever so slightly,
looks up from her  plate and asks,
Care for another piece of pie?

Holding my stomach with my hands,
I chuckle, You still make the best pies.

She laughs and I see
not a 95-year-old woman,
but an image in an old photo.
Wearing the gown she wore
to a West Point military ball,
a beautiful seventeen year old
smiled into the camera,
ready to drink in life.

Can't make good crust anymore though,
she says, rubbing her crooked fingers together.

What were your dreams then, Grandma?
Dancing that night did you know you were holding
a ghost whose memory would be captured
in the name of another man's son?
Swirling, your cadet dies in France
in a war to end all wars.
Who could predict
fifty years later you lose
another soldier in a country you know  nothing about?
Would that seventeen-year-old
have danced long into the night
if she had known  war would be so jealous
as to strikeout twice against her?

It's been downhill ever since I turned 90.
She laughs at her own joke.

The image fades and the face
of a frail old lady stares across
the table at me.
It is still beautiful.
Life is good, Janice,
she says and loses herself
in memories for a moment.

My voice cracking,  I answer,
Maybe one more small piece.








                                                                       





I rewrote this poem  in August, 2007, the first  version in 1969-1970. It's based on experiences while serving in the military in Peshawar, on the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan.













whispers

shepherds
graze their  sheep
in the afternoon  sun
as men in the village
rest
in the shade
of a large banyan  tree,
the murmur of their voices
drifting  through the silence
of the dusty street, whispers
on the weak desert breeze








                                                                     



The first piece this week from my library is this tribute to Russian poet Anna Akhmatova by Robert Pinsky,  US Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000. The poem is from his book, Gulf Music, published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus and  Giroux.










Akhmatova's "Secret Garden"

I want to return to that unique garden walled
By the most magnificent ironwork in the world

Where the statues remember me young and I remember
Them the year they were underwater

And in fragrant silence
Under a royal colonnade of lindens

I imagine the creaking of ships' masts and the swan
Floats across the centuries admiring its flawless twin.

Asleep there like the dead are hundreds of thousands
Of footfalls of friends and enemies, enemies and friends

The procession of those shades is endless
From the granite urn to the doorway of the palace

Where my white nights of those years whisper
About some love grand and mysterious

And everything glows like mother-of-pearl and jasper
Through the source of that light also is mysterious.








                                                                    





Skunk poems two  weeks in a row. Who would have thought it.












sighting the neighborhood chupacabra

a shadow
moving between the trees
among other, darker shadows

that's all I've seen
of our neighborhood chupacabra
until this week...

three days during the week,
it crossed our front yard
as Bella and I came out for our

morning walk...

a strange creature
hard to see in the dim light,
but moving fast, tiny little steps

on delicate little feet,
bushy tail sticking straight up in the air
like a bottle bush...

perhaps related
to the troll who lives under
the Apache Creek footbridge

never seen,
but heard, a series of click-click-clicks
from the dark  under the bridge

if you get too close...

truth is,
from my only real  sighting,
little Chupa  is not so fearsome as advertised

looking a lot like  a skunk
as it runs  across  the yard
in the dim morning

light,
but doesn't smell at all  like
a skunk is supposed to  smell...

maybe that's the answer
to  the mystery
of the chupacabra,

not some angry survivor
from an ancient past
lurking in the high chaparral

but just a skunk
who  has lost its stink,
defenseless

now,
able only to run away
from danger

with hurried little steps
on delicate little feet,
bushy tail turned high in the air







                                                   




The next anthology poet is Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu. Again,  the biographical information I could find was sparse, beyond a note that she is Poet Laureate for the Red Cross Overseas Association. I did, at least,  find a  photo.











garden of isabel

A tiny bird, brilliant green,
perches on the branch of a fig tree.
In Cuernavaca, Mexico, where it is always
spring, always spring.
She sits among the blossoms,
white, fuchsia and rose,
and lemon trees laden with fruit.

A different vista draws this
small green bird away for a moment.
But the beauty of the garden beckons her;
come back, come back, you are the jewel,
the emerald, among the flowers.

For Isabel Munoz Escobar, Cuernavaca, Mexico 1999
(Reprinted from the poet's book, "Winged Odyssey")


en-route from japan

Touching down in the U.S.
my husband sighed, "Now it's back
to being a minority again."









                                                                 





Here's another of the poems I wrote in 1969-70 about memories of the year in spent on the Northwest Frontier. These were among the last poems I wrote until I returned to writing 30 years later.













morning song

a path wound its way
along the brick wall
that separated
our oasis
from the desolate
desert
all around

from the other side
of the wall
I heard a soldier
in the sentry camp
outside the wall
begin a song,
a plaintive
morning song
in his language,
strange to my ears
but soul-stretching

as natural as the sun rising
another of the soldiers
joined in with a flute,
it's high clear whistling
and the deep-voiced
soldier singing
pierced the early hour,
reaching, in my mind,
through the cool morning air
to the mountains beyond
the desert badlands,
than then even further
to  breach the walls
and move me








                                                               
Next from my library, this poem by Philip Levine from his book, 1933, published by Atheneum in 1981.

Pulitzer Prize winner Levine,was born in 1928 and taught for more than 30  years at California State University - Fresno. He was US Poet Laureate 2011-2012.










The Poem Circling Hamtramck, Michigan All Night  In Search of You

He hasn't gone to work,
he'll never go back to work,
the wife has come home, mad,
with the baby on one arm.
Swaying on his good leg,
he calls out to the bare bulb
a nae and opens his arms.
The old woman,
the beer gone from her glass,
turns back to the bar.
She's seen the before
with hard, knotted bellies,
with the bare white breasts of boys.
How many times has she stared
into those eyes glistening
with love or pain
and seen nothing
but love or pain.
Deep at night, when she
was coldest, he would always
rise and dress so as not
to miss the first streetcar
burning homeward, and she
would rock  alone toward dawn.

If someone would enter now
and take  these lovers - for they
are lovers - in his arms
and rock them together
like a mother with a child
in each arm, this man
with so much desire, this woman
with none then it would not be
Hamtramck, ti would not be
the night. They know it
and wait, he staring
into the light, she into
the empty  glass. In the darkness
of this world men
pull on heavy canvas gloves,
dip into rubber coats
and enter the fires. The rats
frozen under the conveyors
turn to let their eyes
fill with dawn. A strange star
is born one more time.









                                                           





An observational that leads to another association.












 ...and I think

it's hard to describe
the man
without being cruel

a nose
long and sharp,
stretched-thin lets
and a  laugh like
from a Bedlam  cell
ripping
from his skinny
chest, ribs
like an old pink
bird cage,
a high desperate
wail
of a laugh
bursting from 
his wide-open mouth
rippling down
his long thin
apple-bobbing
Adam's apple  bobbing
neck.
the very image
of that long thin schoolmaster
Ichabod Crane
and I think,
oh, hell,
not that dream again









                                                   



Here's another poem from this week's anthology. The poet is Bonnie Lyons.

Born in 1944 in Brooklyn, she moved to Miami with her family when she was five years old and grew up there. She received her undergraduate degree and her Ph.D. at Tulane University and is currently a full professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.








walking out

I  know what you think:
weak and disobedient
vulnerable - duped
by the wily serpent.
Think again.

Our life in Eden was an idyll -
no work, no struggle,
an unbroken expanse
of pleasure,
a garden
of perpetual plenty.
We were protected children,
and I was bored.

When the serpent told me
eating the fruit of that tree
would make me wise
I hesitated
like any child
about to walk out
of her parent's domain.

Had I foreseen
that my first son
would kill his brother -
but who knows the future?

Biting into the sweet fruit
meant entering the world
of time and death

adventure, change,, possibility
including the possibility
of murder.

I chose life.
Do you wish
you were never born?
Do you wish to be
a child forever?

Then celebrate my wisdom.

(Reprinted from the poet's book, "Other Works")









                                                      






It's not here yet, but I await the day.













at last

Autumn snuck
in over
the weekend

shhhh...

don't scare her
away

mid-seventies
high
mid-forties
low

blue skies
blue
skies blue
blueblueblue
skies

leaves me
smiling
ape shit
in love
with the morning

Summer,
that
lowlife
sweatdripping
stinksmelling
son  of a
bitch
is gone

tossed
out
on his ass
for a couple
of months
at least...

at last...








                                                            



Here are two short poems by Cleatus Rattan, Texas poet, rancher, former Marine and retired professor from the English Department of Cisco Community College.

The poems are from his book The Border, winner of the 2002 Texas Review Poetry Prize published by Texas Review Press.











Longevity

Uncle Emmit died of a mad dog bite
at age nineteen. Fifty-year-old Uncle Fred
from a horse who fell backward and drove
a saddle horn through his chest. Uncle
Bob from a heart  attack at age forty-two.
Uncle Wade was attacked by his heart
unto death at age fifty-nine.  Cousin Ralph
lasted until he was forty-five - heart too.
I'm ahead of the game and feel like a winner,
but cousin Ike, who finished high  school,
said he thought there was no point
in my having earned a doctorate if I had to die
too. I nodded  slowly and sipped cautiously
another glass of Cousin Ralph 's homemade wine.


First Light

Saddling my horse in the early morning
dark. I  try to remember how many high-headed
colts have become heavy, resigned old horses
under my saddles. How many times have I
stood at the gate feeling for he latch
fearing a snake might be near? Have I
known where danger lay? Trotting
out further in the black, I wonder
if my father had such thoughts
on this road. How many times will my sons
wait for the amber glow of morning on this way?
When I see the outline of cow and calf
in the beginning light, I put aside
those thoughts one more time
  







                                                                           
 I lived in Corpus Christi in the middle area of the Texas gulf coast for ten years before moving to San Antonio in 1993 for a bigger job and more money. It was the best ten years of my life, personally, professionally, intellectually, and in terms of life accomplishment. Twenty years later, I still go back with a kind of sad nostalgia, knowing those years are gone and can never come back and that I see  nothing ahead that will match  them.

I was a quasi-celebrity, known and usually recognized by anyone who watched, read, or listened to local news. I was accustomed to that level of recognition back then and it seems strange to walk the same streets now, to go to the same places and be unknown.







you can go home again...but...

you can go home again
but none of the stuff you remember
will be there
and you won't  know any of the people
you see
and none of the people you see
are going to know you
so it seems kind of
pointless
when you try...

forget closure...

what you'll  find
instead
is the truth
you don't want to hear...

twenty years,
gone,
didn't seem so long
while I was
living
it








                                                                         




Next, here's a piece from the anthology by Naomi Shihab Nye of San Antonio, one of my favorites both as a poet and as an editor.














her way

He only listened to his own secret bell, ringing,
and saw another winter come.
                                                 Mahmoud Darwish

What water she poured on the floor
was more than was needed. Someone suggested
she mop in strips as they did
on the television, yet her buckets were full,
the great buckets of field and orchard,
she was dragging them room to room
in a house that already looked clean.

The tune she hummed was nobody's tongue.
 Already she had seen the brothers go off
in airplanes, she did not like the sound.
Skies opened and took people in.
The tune was long and had one line.

And the soldiers flipping ID cards,
the me who editorialized blood
till it was pale and not worth spilling,
meant nothing to her.
She was a woman shopping for fabric.
She was walking with her neck straight,
her eyes placed ahead.
What oil she rubbed on her scalp was pure.
The children she spoke to were news,
were listening, had names
and a scraped place on the elbow.
She could place a child in a bucket
and bathe it, could stretch the mouth
in the red shirt closed.

(Reprinted from the poet's book,  "19 Varieties of Gazelle, Poems of the Middle East)










                                                  





Here are three poems from 2007. I guess you could call them love poems.















a memory of a dream

I have a
memory
of a dream
that through
constant dreaming
has become a memory
of another life
that with constant
remembering
seems as real
as the life
I might have
with you tonight


lover's lament

I saw
the lie
right through
and now
must decide

acknowledge
with all the bitter
consequences
or
suppress the knowing

let it flow right past
like the others never forced
into the open air

I so much prefer the
innocence
lost,
the days I believed
and never doubted


a gift of love

beautiful
flower
in a tall glass vase
dying








                                                                             



Next,  a poem by Susan Holahan from her book, Sister Betty Reads the Whole You. The book was published by Gibbs-Smith Publisher in 1998. Holahan writes poet and fiction in Rochester, New York.










The Park at Texas Falls

on  both sides of the dirt road, water
roils  among the boulders  the way words run in your head all night

steep into forest under ochre haze that lies on clearings
you're inclined to say "beauty" roars

a darkness under old trees
you at a loss           the falling -

passages of sculpted rock so strait the water
squeezes through to mingle bottle-green and white

-  fills your skull as though you'd  left the porch light on
past three a.m. a nimbus filled the hall

there's a "memory" and there's seeing it again
like finding late in the history the very book you learned to read in









                                                               





This damn  drought wouldn't be nearly so bad if it didn't look every morning that it was going to rain like hell before noon.












i think i understand

overcast

black clouds
glowering
tossing
turning in swirly
waves

rain all around
but where i am or where i've been
or  where i'm going

it this is what they mean
by a personal
relationship with
God
i think i understand...

he never did like me
so  much












The next piece from the anthology is by Valerie Bridgeman Davis. The poet teaches at a seminary where she also directs the arts and theology institute.










 when I am asked

for my sons

When I am asked, "What did you do for the revolution?"
I will answer that I was suckling the seeds
Of the next rebellion at my breast,
Raising black men whose first response
To every request will be "Why?"

I will answer  that I was instructing the saplings
Of the next revolution in the school of my experiences,
Raising black men whose first response
To every adversity will be a straight back
and a stiffened will.

I will say that I used my time wisely,
Making forays into enemy territory
To reclaim the stolen esteem
And broken spirit of my offspring,
That I rocked them back to health
Time and again in the lap of my resolve.

When I am asked, "What did you do for the revolution?"
I will introduce to the world
my sons.

(Reprinted from "Austin International Poetry Festival Anthology")








                                                                          





This is another of the 1969-1970 poems, this one remembering several days military leave in Kabul, Afghanistan, Easter,  1969, shortly before the military assignment in Pakistan was complete and I was able to return to the United States, my enlistment completed.












premonitions

from  the brown mountain slopes
all around us
rows of mud houses
hang over the rickety city below,
their shadows like a thousand black eyes
watching...

from the forlorn club room
atop  the Spirazan  Hotel
we drink cheap Russian vodka
and watch the dark mountain
watching  us...

premonitions
of  blood and despair
follow  me to restless  sleep








                                                             


Now two short poems by Sally Van Doren. The poem is from her book, Sex at Noon Taxes, a title I would think I would remember if I had used the book before, but I don't. It was published in 2008 by Louisiana State University. The poet's first book, it was awarded the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets.










Gephyrophobia

If there is a bridge,
I cannot see it,
but I know  I want
to cross it,  to walk
from one isthmus
of the self's fragment
to a peninsula,
a tear leaking
honey milk, sweet
libation from
the other side.
I am slack-mouthed
and breathing
through my nose.



Proposition

Let's say your left breast
Is much larger than your right,
And you are not a fine-tuned
Distortion of a woman as
John Currin makes you out to be,
But you sag as you age.
Why wear the lambswool
sweater anymore?
                               The aureole
Puckers under lip's breath like
A sea anemone's spores open.
You can still be wet paint.
Your canvas is the ocean.
Sprout gills and watch your nipples
Float like masts in the salted air








                                                                   



This piece  is about a natural formation in the  hill country called "Enchanted Rock," the name based on a legend about an Indian princess left to die in a cave on the top. The moan of the wind crossing the cave entrance is said to be her crying. If you have any interest in more information, check it out on Wikipedia.











atop the rock

solid rock dome
covering more than 600 acres,
rising more than 400 feet
above the surrounding countryside

pink granite,
smooth on top
like a bald man's head
untouched by the
sun

smooth
at the rounded crest
but for a few shallow channels
in the  rock,
formed by millennia
of wind and rain, filled always
with clear rain water
rippling in tiny wavelets
blown by wind that never
stops...

in one of the channels,
a flower
floats on a pad of rock
ground by the wind and rain
into sand...

a tiny white flower,
delicate,
a flourish
on the pink stone...

life
declares victory
in even this high, hard
place








                                                                    



The next poet from this week's anthology is Barbara Lovenheim. Widely published, including non-fiction, the poet is founding editor of on-line magazine, NYCitywoman.com.











two aisles

We are late: running across a grassy meadow
my Bruno Magli sandals are distinctly out of place
for a hundred-yard dash
to an eighteenth-century church
that has been brought piece by piece to the country village
and restored to its former spirituality.

Yellow walls with cracks, fine lines of aging
where now a baby cries
softening the solemn joy of celebration.

We sit conversationally in pews that have small doors
to receive guests and keep them safely
within a straight-backed embrace.

The bride is late; an accident:
She has swerved off the road to avoid a deer.
Her white dress and veil buy her an escort to the church
where fifty people delight in a sunny, summer day
wondering if perhaps she had other plans.

The wedding party, carefully rehearsed,
moves  in a sea of azure to the front of the church.
There are two aisles: estuaries for the flow of blue dresses;
this is the final moment when life
can be so clearly orchestrated.








                                                           







I wrote this in 2007 to celebrate one of my favorite poets, Charles Bukowski.












Chinaski

if you live
to  a reasonably
decent age
you'll  look back
and discover that
99.5 to 99.9 percent
of your span was boring
as cold dishwater

so what is one
to write
about

consider
Bukowski
who turned his  life
into  books and  poems
that never mentioned the name
Bukowski

instead
we're left to wonder
about
Hank Chinaski








                                                                            


Finishing off the library selections for the week with the Tang dynasty poet Tu Fu, sometimes referred to as Du Fu. There has been much read of him here lately. Tu (or Du) is recognized as one of the three or four of the greatest Chinese poet.

The poems are from the book, The Selected Poems of Tu Fu, a New Directions book published in 1988. The poems in the book were translated by David Hinton.










Rain Clears

At the edge  if heaven, tatters of autumn
Cloud. After ten thousand miles of clear
Lovely morning, the west wind arrives. Here,
Long rains haven't slowed farmers. Frontier

Willows air thin kingfisher colors, and
Red fruit flecks mountain pears. As a flute's
Mongol song drifts from a tower, one
Goose climbs clear through vacant skies.


The New Moon

Slice of ascending light, arc tipped
Aside its bellied darkness - the new moon
Appears and, scarcely risen beyond ancient
Frontiers, edges behind clouds. Silver

Changeless - Heaven's River spreads across
Empty peaks scoured with cold. White
Dew dusts the courtyard, chrysanthemum
Blossoms clotting there with swollen dark.


Impromptu

A river moon cast only feet away, storm-lanterns
Alight late in the second watch. . . . Serene

Flock of fists on sand - egrets asleep when
A fish leaps in the boat's wake, shivering, cry.


Full Moon

Above the tower -  a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless old across waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.

Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden . . . . All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light!


Midnight

A thousand feet up, along sheer silk
Windows, I pace West Tower. Falling stars
Flare on the river. A setting moon's
Clarity wavers on sand. Solitary

Birds are known by the woods they choose,
Great fish by their hermit deeps. Here,
Heaven and earth full of those I love,
Shield and sword makes even a letter rare.







                                                                           




A new poem from old memories that tie into the older poems about many of the same memories.












an excellent  place to be leaving

1968,
the middle of another of the periodic
mid-east  wars
and threats of war...

embassy flight, South Carolina
to Karachi, Pakistan...

one stop to refuel in Madrid, overnight
at a hotel in the city, then
an unscheduled stop in Dehahran,
Saudi Arabia because
of a problem with
the plane...

and we are stuck,  140 degrees, easily,,
on the tarmac so we were taken
off the  plane,  marched single-
file across the airport terminal
between a double column of  Saudi soldiers,
backs to us, weapons at the
ready, hours sitting  in a transient lounge
in the terminal, then taken to dinner
in a bus,  windows covered
even though it was already dark,
didn't know where we were going,
didn't know where we were
when we got there, no memory
at all of what we ate...

but when done,
back to the airport
for a short wait before the plane
was ready to go again...

it was only later
I  realized
the soldiers weren't guarding us
from the people at the airport, but
the people at the airport
from us...

it was an excellent  place
to be leaving,
though the place I left  to,
far out on a desert
frontier,
wasn't  much
better...

but at least
they were mostly pointing their guns
at each other and not
at me








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´╗┐Poetry

New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces
 



Always to the Light






Goes Around Comes Around




Pushing Clouds Against the Wind





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Seven Beats a Second






Short Stories


Sonyador - The Dreamer



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