Friday, February 03, 2006

El Yunque

we walk through layers of green light
upward along the muddy trail
rivulets run among rounded brown stones
and red dirt under boots
from leaves, from the air
small frogs sing
vines entwine the tree trunks
that tower over us
in an enclosure of softly glowing
sudden splashes of red blooms
like bursting stars
hang suspended,
leaning out,
wanton and unrestrained,
among the myriad green leaves

reaching the ridgeline we suddenly
break out into open sky, bright
above stunted and gnarled trunks
pressed back against the earth
as if by seasons of great wind,
aware that we now
tower over a diminutive
fairy forest of tiny, bent trees,
huddling undergrowth

and looking out into that precipitous vastness—
the wall of trees that held us missing—
a panic of vertigo overtakes me
I press back into the roughness
and solidity of stone outcropping
frightened by my desire
to walk out upon the sea of fog
that laps the steep slope of forest
and lines the valley between ridgelines,
so gunmetal and opaque
it invites a step

like the slow heave
of a soft grey ocean,
under bright and limitless sky,
the dense fog shifts
revealing across the gap
an improbable periscope,
a stone tower
thrusting up through the
grey and the
endless green

a simple gesture that restores
my bearing, my feet planted
under me again on soft red earth
and again I hear
the rustle of countless shining leaves
the frogs singing
patter of lizards
my breath

Photo by RiffRaff


Blogger Lhombre said...

Oh, I'm really into this one azulejo! As you know "Yunque" is also spanish for anvil and the movement across the terrain in this poem is very reminiscent of the pace that takes place in my poem "El Sonida de su Luz"as it is measured against the anvil of Carravagio; a poem where you left some very insightful comments.

And color, so much color in this one. No...not the blue as in "Sonida" but the incredible green and temperature of the voice. Ole! And...stanza three, line seven "to walk out upon the sea of fog" is right where my heart is tied up in the Friedrich "Diptych" that you...hmmm, say you will get back to comment on.

The introduction of the "stone tower" is marvelously surreal! It is also quite erotic. I guess the one word that would best describe this poem for me is "fecund!"

Enhorabuena chica!

I'm off to Chicago for two days. I'll try to get a look at "Finding Home" while on the road.

2/03/2006 1:10 PM  
Blogger mermaid said...

Vivid imagery here. It's a gift: Nature, being with Her, your writing.

2/03/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Henri Rousseu would have loved this! Ole! Otra vez!

2/03/2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Lhombre, muchas gracias mi amigo, you got it all. All. Even down to Friedrich and to the eroticism. (Now tell me what all that means!) El Yunque, as you may know, is the name of a rainforest in Puerto Rico. Si, te contestare sobre Friedrich...soon... no olvide! Meanwhile, safe travels, amigo.

2/03/2006 1:23 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Mermaid, being in nature is one of the times I feel whole. There are other times, too, including when I'm with loved ones, when writing, when making music... The sense of completeness I get is a gift, indeed. And so are your words, a gift gladly received. Thank you.

2/03/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger MB said...

On this page there is a photograph (scroll down) of a stone tower in the fog on the hill... I wasn't making this stuff up! It's truly stunning.

2/03/2006 2:22 PM  
Blogger Brenda Clews said...

El Yunque looks like eden on earth, and your poem reads like eden on earth, ah, without poetry, the tender vision, where would we be? I come back to read this poem and breathe. Thank you.

2/04/2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Thank you! It is memorable place.

2/04/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger alan said...

I've read this a dozen times now, afraid to comment for fear it will have been a dream...

A beautiful dream!


2/05/2006 11:47 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Alan, I'm delighted you enjoyed this. The experience is there and yes, it was dreamlike and wonderful. Did you go see the picture I linked in my comment above?

2/06/2006 7:48 AM  

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