Following the mountains
the journey turns south,
Washes over roads
and between arroyos,
it is written in the sky above.
Scratched into the tire marks of transport,
the temporary shelter,
from out of the elements
under a motionless roof,
a sodden rug, a couch no less elegant,
a place to hang a hammock
between the pillars
in the cloister garden courtyard
for just one night.
Summer shows cracks of autumn.
Leaves to cold stone,
the frost is coming
to leave scars on windows
in villages so high up
they seem perched precariously
in ravines of these passing scenes.
Cold wind through the chimes
precipitates the search for warmer climes
where the jungle falls into the sea
eventually he will reach Mismaloya.
Climbing hills at twilight
to gather a bucket of stars,
to empty into alleys after the rain,
serene streams moving over cobbles
bringing with it the scent of soil
it sets alight
the quiverring of leaves
falling like embers
into the aroma of open fires
and fresh baked tortillas.
This strange lodger,
disheveled, wrapped in a poncho.
With no recognizable features,
is somehow illuminated
by a light now gleaming in the narrows,
like the swallows streaming
from out of cracks in the armor.
Their dance is arresting for a moment,
like a beautiful language
from out of shuttered windows.
Listen for their voices
like the ragged hymns of a chorus
awash in folklore.
Tonight the village lights candles
on the family cemetary floor.
On makeshift alters
they offer food and drink,
sugar skulls to sweeten the loss
of loved ones that passed
solemnly in procession
with glowing hands
they cup the santeria.
Dia de los muertos
Under the volcano
Draped in clouds of darkened shawls,
widowed in the shifting sky
of the eye that watches it all
from an attic window.
Above the white-washed balconies,
beyond the vines and terraced gardens
deep in the south,
you see him there in the distance
of fields and fallen walls.
Randy moving languidly
between the sounding of the bells
on ocher pathways
of terra-cotta and broken shells.
Seeming to climb behind the clouds,
he swallows golden light
to shoot out in prisms,
fractured, all his prisons
fall away with illuminated wings
to fly freely.
Perhaps the swallows he kept seeing
were angels all along.
Trapped in his chest
but hemmed in no longer,
they now circle the sky with every breath.