From collection of over 130 poems being compiled and edited for publication.
Morning silence is deafening, awakening. Large, white balls of fluff spin dizzily in the early, calm dawn, the only motion stirring, falling heavily and wet to the ground, you can almost hear it if you strain.
A grey canvas is behind the houses, as if these red brick squares are painted directly onto it, tops slanted with clean and untouched sheets and white fences with holes and slats only seen because they are dirty.
Tall skinny pines and short, broad ones slump their shoulders, weighted with the hefty burden that they now carry, and didn’t before. Arms which typically are strong and sideways are tested, with white fingers flexed and pointed down to the ground and backbone curving ever so slightly, only the green underbelly of each branch color barely visible.
The white drops descending go through phases, first spinning, then angling, then calm and vertical, then diagonal to each other, criss-crossing. It is an air ballet, synchronized one moment, and independent at the next blink.
Clumps continue downward, but at the bottom they grow. One by one, one thousand by the next, on top of each other to form a covering. Only tips of brown stalks which have the strength through the winter poke out above it.
Spines of birches show, youthful trunks, and old, crooked oaks, wise and stable limbs reach out horizontally and corkscrewing in every which way, dancing in the air, receiving the small gentle dust pillows as another year’s gift.
Finally the birds are moving above, singing a calmer, contented winter song. Squirrels race across the new-formed hills, their prints and those of bunnies the only things creating paths and showing barely visible signs of wakened, walking life.
A small brown bird sits atop a wooden windchime hung by rusty chains, joining in its song and its gentle swaying in the cold air. A second and larger, speckled bird sits just beyond it, preening on a skinny branch, below it a fat one with a blue head, resting; behind it, the largest and highest flying of the black birds are excited to be about, disturbing the house roofs by jumping around and creating rifts with their wingtips as they fly from one side to the other.
The downward motions are slowing, becoming slighter, almost to none. Now small, soft and powdery cascades, weighty, or perhaps now, watery, drip slowly off the branches.
What activity came earlier and from some unseen openings in the grey canvas now happens at knee height.
What began as complete silence, but a veil of white noise, has finally woken up.
Summer in Cantabria
Riding swiftly through the rolling, green mountains, hues from darkest olive to sickly yellow, suntanned brown to the driest, winter grayish-white, silky-hair fine grasses and trees, practically touching the low-hanging mysterious clouds. Drizzle, and mist surrounds, roads are wet; yet you wonder if you are suspended in exalted skies or swerving ‘round in the lowest of valleys. Then you see the lazy, resting, gentle tan beasts, cattle scattered, and the babies sucking on their mother’s milk, and are humbled by raw, earthly simplicity.
In near pastures, goat herds, cling to each other and to the rocky and grassy hillsides, chewing enthusiastically, afraid of losing to miss out on the last bite.
Misty clouds dissipate to clear the air. Haze clears and skies of clear, light blue open, revealing the salty bay water to one side. Still, so it seems, and extending out endlessly. Nearer waters are restless and crest, froth, and lap at the grass-topped black-cliffed rugged shoreline. In the distance floating with fluffy presence over the water are layers of cottony white.
Passing villages of homes with rows of colored stone or hardened stucco, seemingly flat from a distance, bumpy and rigid up close, of pekid orange, tan, cream, and nearly-white, dirty and aged, with rust-colored wavy tiles curling in layers over the sea-licked blocks of composite, all with open windows bordered by colorful shutters, sills filled with bright flowers.
Each town with a church of brown stone erected in the center, and its single cross and old bell atop. An abandoned grey castle always nearby, With green-molded mortar between layers.
This is a place, neither only mountain nor just sea, and in time, not present nor past, but magic, it’s both, in-between.
Seaside Spanish Town
While farmers are planting quietly in the surrounding hilly backdrop and shepherding goats and cows to pasture, the fishing town-life is busy with activity.
The skyline, a mix between architecture modern and antiquated, full of arches and squares, and intricate dark iron or white wooden lattice work. Buildings, apartments, and homes topped with tight, curling, curving ochre-tinted roof tiles, some monotone, some speckled in different shades. Sides are adorned with blue and white floral plaques inscribed with Spanish and Basque names and address numbers. Brightly colored flowers hang in pots on balconies, and laundry flaps out of windows in sea breezes.
Streets are clamoring with cars and motorbikes, chatter and baby cries, and dogs walking owners are around every turn. Smells of fresh fish and bread and restaurants menus, alleys mildly reek of a mix of urine, wine, and cigarette butts. Crumbs from tapas are pecked at by pigeons.
Abuelas are strolling in high-style for their daily walk, sunglasses, make-up, dress or light-flowing pantsuits and high-heel wedged beach shoes. Abuelos, dapperly dressed, smoking and sitting on benches, talking and watching passersby, always a loud, lisping buzz on the patios and throughout the city.
Sights of flags and sails, sounds of bells tinkering, attached to colorful deep blue, friendly green, danger red, or tainted white sailing and fishing boats, anchored and rocking in the gentle winds over the course of the changing tides. At low tides, algae-laced dark rocks are exposed on the sandy, murky floor, evidence of the possible depths indicated by various water lines along the stone piers. In high tides, children are jumping into the harbor and beach areas, and cargo ships sit or move at a sea-snail pace out on the open waters.
Quick waters splash against the breakers and shoreline, cresting and crashing at the lines, wetting the walkways. Noisy seagulls squawk overhead looking for a place to land on the gray castle’s turrets, or high upon the lighthouse.
The church’s stone layers are melted away by centuries at sea, Napoleonic cannonballs stuck in its walls. Even older Paleolithic remains discovered nearby within its city limits.
At festival Virgen del Carmen, canons are sounded, the ancient bell tolls the announcement, both echoing through the streets, to the mountains and back, mirroring the ripples in the water. Music carried through speakers and then by a live band on foot through the streets, repeats the same three-quarter time anthem, leading the statue from church to a small boat, decorated in flowers on its masts. A parade of sailing and fishing boats displaying arrays of colored banners steer the procession out to sea.
The statue Ermita de la Virgen watches over the city from the highest point nearby, overlooking the town from a forest filled with tall, color-streaked eucalyptus and light-tinted, feather-weighted pines. An unsteady rock-strewn climb, and steps and passages dating back decades.
The town is painted with several generations walking the beat of ancient lands in modern times, stories untold, and small gems at every turn.
Castro-Urdiales, Spain July 2018
Beauty of the Landscape
The long ride here was a change of pace- a nice picture, the beauty of a landscape. Blue waters, lush leaves, cloudy skies with a shimmer of light, cool drizzle and the lonely road. God's country, they call it, and not far from the truth.
July 18, 2009
Endless Beauty Traveling over the Continental Divide by 7-passenger bus what a bumpy ride. Oxen, dogs, and carts the only traffic in our way. Roads six feet wide, mountain on our side valley underneath. What a long fall, into the cow pastures. Endless view into the cloudy mountain tops, where people live you never would have imagined there. Fresh mountain air, new birds and new people. New views and new mountains, endless. I could not imagine walking. But it would be worth it. April 9, 2008
Leaving On a plane I see her waving. Such a sweet friend. When will I see her again? Taking her cases out of my trunk. Hugging her so as not to break. Kissing her cheek for a safe flight home. I will miss the girl, who taught me a lot. Looking in the rearview mirror, I see her go onto the terminal steps. In my moon roof, I see her plane take off because she is leaving to go back home. May 26, 2005
Importance of Friendship My friends will leave, but friendship won't cleave. I'll miss them so, but will see them go. So I wish to visit such nice people in their natural place. They are my friends but them, I will not lose. May 12, 2005
Country Fresh, sweet hay drowns the air as well as clover and goldenrod. Corn stalks, tall as the oak tree’s tops, flutter carefree in the light, hay scented breeze. Cattle munch lazily on the delicious growth, while the horses gallop in the fields. Almost magically, the butterflies twist and turn in the buttercups, daffodils, and tulips, bright under the soft, warm sunrays. Calf manure, the unpleasant aroma, elegantly floats by the pigs, lying down on their sides, lethargic.
Through Space Time is magic. It floats through only space. It passes you by ever so secretly. It will never let you see it sweeping across your eyes. Time will only let you feel it when it is up. When it is finished with years and months, weeks and days. That's when you feel it. Time sifts through your hands like white powdered sands. It leaves you empty-handed. It leaves you only to blink at nothing. June 5, 2003
Untitled Golden crystals filter through my warm toes as I walk towards the wet blue. I step onto round, weathered pebbles, rolling softly under the waves like feathers. The blue and white curls fold over and over in turns, shimmering under the sun, gold. Grey white clouds hover and reflect on the large pond, cooling the burning sand. Looking at the sea further out I spot silver bodies splashing and dancing about. Ripples from out so far send swirls back to me through the busy water. My feet are soaked to my heel with granules of gold in between. God, I love the way this feels. June 1, 2003
Where is the Sun Today? Where is the sun today I wish it hung over my heart to warm it up from the cold and dark. Where did the golden sun go? Where is the sun today? Did it leave forever? Forever is such a short word for what it means. I guess the sun is gone. Where is the sun today? I miss its bright, cheery smile something to look forward to in the morn. It has disappeared. Where is the sun today? Could it be hiding behind those grey skies, where all life and love's secrets lie? Where is the sun today? Can I cry out the cloud's tears? Then will the sun shine out its heart? Where did the sun go? Where is the sun today? For days on end it would follow me round. Its warmth would gather me in so tight. Where is the sun today? I hope all is not lost, that it will shine again this year. I miss it so. Where did the sun go? May 31, 2003