Saturday, December 9, 2023
Friday, December 1, 2023
Saturday, November 25, 2023
an ekphrastic haibun
August Renoir, Gabrielle, Arising, c. 1909
Early morning and a woman arises from her bed. She is not a wealthy woman. No one attends her. No morning coffee placed on a bedside table to ease her into the day. No warm bath, perfumed with rose water.
She rises quickly, slips off her night dress. Naked, she reaches for her skirt
She is a healthy woman with ample hips and a slight bulge in her stomach, perhaps from having a child. What cares she for cellulite, firm abs or slender thighs and small hips? She knows nothing about fitness training or jogging or dieting.
She has her husband and her child. She has her place.
the silver dawn
rising with the cock
the babe’s cry
Chrysanthemum October 2023
Friday, November 17, 2023
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
January 28, our anniversary and our first trip to the Caribbean. Quiet is what we want. Sea, sand, rain forest, the absence of a heavy tourist trade. Dominica is the choice.
flying into the black sky,
A stop at Guadeloupe, then onto Dominica. A rainbow straddles the airfield. Zig-zagging through muddy puddles we reach the terminal. The building- old and run down, no more than a shed. Heat and humidity like an envelope sealing us inside.
The island, named by Columbus who discovered it on a Sunday, is 24 miles of lush tropics, dotted with waterfalls and crisscrossed with rivers and rutted roads, only a car and a half wide with ditches on either side. With one hand on the horn and the other out the window, our taxi driver plays chicken with oncoming traffic.
wheels hugging a ditch–
now within reach
The Anchorage Hotel, unpretentious, but serviceable. Lounge and dining room open to the sea view and breezes, tall drinks at the bar and a room with a balcony ten feet from the waves–the only amenities that count.
The town, Roseau, the island's capitol. Balconied buildings once colorfully painted in pastel shades, now mostly peeling. We change money at the bank, staffed with courteous women, all young and dressed alike in pink dresses with gingham trim. Other working women in the shops and offices wearing similarly styled dresses in different pale shades of blue or green. All speak English with a British accent or a French patois among themselves.
Wonderfully refreshing grapefruit juice for breakfast, or at cocktail time with the addition of pineapple juice and a shot of rum. There are grapefruit groves all over the island. Coconut groves as well. Men often working in them, heard but unseen. Not unusual to have young men suddenly appear on the road wearing dread locks and carrying a machete. A bit frightening at first, until they smile and wave.
with one whack,
splitting the coconut–
gleaming white teeth
We drive into the blue-green mountains. Mists rising below; rain showers ahead. We trek upward toward Trefalgar Falls, following the increasing roar, ignoring the unknown snap and swish of the thick brush. A sudden clearing of the clouds and we arrive
speechless at the falls–
rainbows splash into
the Emerald Pool
That night, a Mardi Gras party at the hotel next to ours: barbeque, a beauty contest and dancing well into the late hours. The next day–our last– rain showers again. Sleep late in the morning, then in the afternoon
on the balcony,
waiting out the showers
with a cold beer