1) An Old Adobe House in Acolla
(An forenoon in Acolla.)
What is so strange about an old adobe house in the middle of a city?
It is thick bricks of mud. I walk around and around them.
The mind is strangely torn, and cannot leave them.
At last I rest, lean back against one.
It is a small corner adobe house, across from the Plaza de Arms.
Its old windows and bricks surround me, enmesh me,
Brown bricks, with pale green chipped wooden doors and windows.
Only the sounds of brass horns from the church distract me.
The sun is chilled, trying to burn through an opening in the sky.
The plaza area, its surrounding streets are being renovated.
Why then do I care to watch…
The sun moving onto the chilled bricks of the adobe house?
The morning shall never end, I think:
I have eyes it seems only born for the daylight;
But at last, the quiet streets fill up with church people,
And my eyes see far off, as the Acolla bands ready themselves.
# 1943. When I visited Acolla, Peru, during an August Fiesta, my wife and I walked around the city, and ended up on the corner of an old adobe brick house, across from the Plaza de Arms. The morning sun was breaking in the day, and the poem I write reflects this morning, until the church lets out, and the bands take over the plaza area with their brass horns, and assortment of musical instruments. Written 8-20-2007
2) Ice, Ice, Ice
(A Minnesota, Mississippi Poem)
(Diary notes in Poetic Prose) In the late 1950s it was not uncommon to see the Mississippi freeze over with ice, ice, ice–along the banks of the city I lived in (St. Paul, Minnesota). During the spring thaw (or just prior to it), the sun breaking forth, winter to spring can be a marvelous thing, a dangerous sight; the water seems to drop a foot, as the ice, ice, ice–creates jams along the river. We have a few islands along the river’s center and on and around these and down the river around the bends, little ice mounds build up; everything melting, freezing and melting again. As it tries to warm up, the ice, ice, ice–floats down powered along by pushing ice, ice, ice–and hitting ice, ice, ice–barriers, thus creating ice, ice, ice–heavy days. The ice slows the movement of the river from a swift rush, that will develop soon, that will create a great water rush, in nearby waterfalls. The cakes of ice, on top of ice, ice, ice–will rub against the banks of the river (during this time it is best to stay at high ground). The banks and crust along the river becomes all sludge, muck a watery mess, thereafter it will mark the way downriver, around the many bends (to St. Louis and New Orleans). The levee (by the High Bridge)–with its houses–will be a foot in mud and water, the streets up to West Seventy (up a score, from the river) where the street cars are, will hear the cracking, the ice, upon ice, ice, ice–rattle, see the rising water frame the ice against the banks, until it looks like the thick walls of troy, and the jams will break and the flood will be created in its place, swift, swift, and swifter, at night this will take place (start), while the city snoozes, doses and sleeps, thus, the temperatures peaks.
# 1942 (8-18-2007) part of the story “No Road Back Home”
3) A Love Poem for Huancayo
When we love, really love
We love the old adobe homes
The rivers, mountain, the old folks
And the Plaza Fountain–
And the streetlights
That is abandoned all night!
And the dogs that sleep with one eye!
When we love, really love
We love the hovering pigeons:
In the Plaza de Arms (by the Cathedral)
The winds of July and August
And the chill at twilight
And the abandoned children–
Those walk the streets at night!
# 1944 (8-21-2007 Written El Tambo, Huancayo)
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