5/1/99

Perhaps looking back
At something like this is harder
To do, the energy spent on observation, where I usually find
The time to stack words and images like
Cord wood and save it to burn when the pen
Meets paper
These things seem permanent, inflammable
So I suppose that building something that
Will last will be more work than lighting
An inky match…

Foreign experience in a foreign land
Vacation: maybe there’s a how-to book
Somewhere, how could I make difficult
Blue skies and bluer waters, the fine, fine
Sand that still clings to my sandals
The heat and sweat versus the amount of sun screen it takes
To coat my Casper-like body
Sharing it all with the woman I love
Struggling to let go, relax, be “on vacation”
With all the time I’ve spent not working
It’s still a shifting of gears, I’m clutching
The clutch, rather than following the traffic pattern

The warmth draws sweat through the layers of
Protection, the beach chairs heavy, shallow waters
Hold us both, passion and laughter still find us here,
Love lingers…

Half asleep, following the coast south
The promise of history’s remains call
Tulum, the walled city where the fort protected
The rich from the poor, the layers of stone
Added per lifetime, creating a monument that
Nature did harm but did not completely destroy
Three sides closed, one open to the sea,
A magic cove used by movies where the sun
Shines all the time, somewhere for it to be
While the ancients waited for it to align
With windows near and far, the math is
Remarkable, the view even more so…

Hot, we find an inlet just north
Another magical place, this one called Xel-Ha
Where the sea and the rivers meet and mingle together
We descend to another world, liquid and full of life,
Delicate and fierce,
Feeling so much the interloper, yet enchanted to look
Behind every rock, into caves and eddies,
The tide threatening to whack our heads against the shore
But not terribly insistent today.

I don’t have the time or words
To share the colors below the water
I remember the deepest blues and yellows
Gingham fish following the flow
Thousands of slivers of moonbeam
Shooting away from my hands like electric tears
And the guardian of the water, larger than the rest,
His colors awe inspiring, his path mine.

On land, the guardians are Iguanas
Pulling the sun into their skin
Bobbing their heads, sending messages out
And scurrying across the path to cover.

Dry, we head north to cooler rooms and dreams
Our bodies tan and tired
At home in each others arms
Legs tangled, sheets crisp

Viva Mexico
Your colorful clothes and music
The dances of balance, bottles, trays, candles
The missing link between Brazil and New Orleans
Exclamation points jump from boots
And angels appear from cloth
Feathered heads and machetes spin
Viva Mexico

Harp and flute, accordion and violin
Drum and guitar all speak Spanish here
The culture being held by the artists
Let the politicians and businessmen build away
Hold the old songs and the old ways
Not as attractions at the next Disneyland
But as the voices of the regions
Don’t lose the pride because of the dollar
They can both co-enside

Out of a snakepit can come a little piece of paradise
Out of a swamp can come some magic
Out of this trip can come a memory
That we can both share as long as we can.