Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Stray Yellow Cat

There’s a pestering cat that lives around our house—
Gets on my wife’s nerves, mine too—
This stray yellow cat eats our birds, those nestled
In our garden; this disturbs my wife to no end!
I tell her: “If not the birds, then what?”
I mean, the cat has to eat, does he not?
I’ve given the yellow cat, yellow as a dandelion:
Milk twice!
And now the cat cries for more milk every night!
When he’s not bothering us, he’s over at Jenny’s
House, our neighbor, bothering her…
To no end!  Crying, crying, like a banshee.
I know cats are loners, but this one makes me think:
As I watch people shake their brooms at the cat,
And the dogs in the neighborhood chase her like
A lost rat! And even other cats chase this cat:
She, if indeed the cat is a she, has no friends.
Actually as I write this, she’s crying—
And its 8:30 p.m. and my mind’s eye tells me:
“Is there not one spot in all of Lima, Peru for a
Yellow stray cat? Shunned by the world? Is she not
Part of our world?” And believe me, I’m not a
Cat lover—
But what can I say, if indeed the Cat could talk,
What would she say, thus I shall speak on her
Behalf: “Dear Sir, you are a Christian, and I am like
Christ, I have no home, I’m all alone, and I roam from
House top to house top, for milk, fish and bones…”
So what should I do? I ask myself: my conclusion:
Give her a little milk, let her roam our roof top,
And if worse gets to worse, take her down to
Kennedy Park, where all the cats in Lima roam.

No: 4688/ 1-23-2015

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pauper, the Neighborhood Mutt

Pauper, eating his Steak! 11-18-2014

The dog, I have nicknamed, Pauper, whom is a stray dog in the neighborhood: a half-pint size German Shepard Mutt!
My wife and I, more wife than I, have grown to care for him,
Perhaps even grown to love him in a mutt kind of way!
My wife has taken him on one occasion to the veterinarians because of wounded foot, thereafter for a shampoo, —save, he needed it long before he got it: No longer smelling like a mutt, rather more like Lysol.
And thereafter again, given the mutt those expensive shots…hopefully, cleaning out his system of any disease, and so forth…
We tried to restore him to civilization, bring him into our home and treating him near like an equal, but he cried and whimpered…
Can you picture a German Police Mutt, crying and whimpering?
It’s hard being a Vietnam Veteran watching that, so I set him free to go back and roam his old turf.
Well, what can one say—to each his own, even a dog has the right to choose—so I feel—his destiny!
Anyhow, the essence of this poem is this:
We’ve fed him per near daily, for more than a few months now,
A few times a day!
Hamburger for lunch, and a steak for dinner, water for his thirst, and some hard-bread-crackers, mixing the dog food with hamburger sometimes…
Had I not mixed it with the hamburger, he’d not have eaten dog food, he’s highbrow, believe it or not—
Yes, even a mutt, a stiff-nicked mutt, can be costly, and this Peruvian Mutt, is high maintenance… 
“I will not eat anything else at your house, without protein in it!” his eyes have told me, time and again, and my wife seems to identify with him; or is it with me and him?
As if he is on a kosher diet.
But he does put on quite the show, and watching him eat is a treat!
He approaches so dandy like: cool as a ripe and chilled cucumber.
Wiggling that long mutt tail, not tramp style, but kingly, as if somewhere along the line, he was descended from King Arthur’s court (as they say: elitist).
I call him, the roustabout, he has three neighborhoods he searches out I do believe;
And that look on his face says:  if you don’t serve me, I got plan B, and C, already in place (sounds like my son-in-law!)
Anyhow, suddenly the dog sees the steak in my hand, for him surely the choicest slab of protein in the neighborhood—
In all three neighborhoods!
With a swift dart of his perturbing—dog face, and strong four-year old saber teeth, he dives at the steak, grabs hold of the steak, clutching it, as if it might grow legs and run away;
I have to watch my fingers and his teeth closely, lest I lose them:
My reflexes are not as good as they used to be, nor my eyesight! 
The steak, now in his mouth, his head raised, ere, before he devours it:
Exultantly he throws the stack every-which-way but loose,
As if to tenderize it before the big moment!
Then snap, it is in two pieces, one hanging out of his mouth, the other on the floor, of our den—
This is not the end!
He gives no more attention to my wife and I, he is in a LSD, kind of zone … happy as three cockroaches, on top of a hill of sugar!
He chews madly, as if someone might come along and take it away; there is a bigger dog next door, who likes steaks also…
My steaks that I give to Pauper that is the main reason he comes into our den, to eat the steak in secret, lest he lose it to Moro— the beast!
And until the first of the halves disappears down his long slippery throat, he is not content—
Eaten with such relish and determination, he now goes for the second portion, a little less hurried: yet a little worried
Crack-head, the Priest’s dog, across the street might appear,
He likes Pauper’s hamburger:
I’ve nicknamed the Priest’s dog Crack-Head, because he keeps falling off the Preacher’s rooftop, and he’s bitter, and I have learned from experience, to only refer to him as Crack-head when he’s not looking...
He can read my lips, and brother when I call him that name, he gives me the: I’ll eat you look!
He too, is similar to Moro the Beast!
Does Pauper, have a concept of what he is eating (surely not what it costs)?
He does!
How do I know?
He continues in his way in the matter of establishing long term contact with this house, especially marinating my wife with his droopy sad eyes, knowing I’m perhaps a war veteran, he is cautious with his peas and cues…
Once he is full, he tramps off to Cockroach Villa, wherever that is!
But since that last shampoo he got, he has returned to smelling like the old Mutt of the neighborhood once again
And every time I feed him, I got to take a shower thereafter!
I told my wife this is getting to be too time consuming!
If not costly, for a dog that won’t even watch the perimeter of our house, or for that matter, keep us company at night!

Written 11-18-2014 (No: 4609)  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Penguin Yarn ((Magdalena Island) (October, 2010))

Well I never saw a penguin dig a long deep hole before, that is, before I went to Magdalena Island, off the coast of Chile, and a mighty remarkable hole to boot, it was; it is how the male makes his home, while the female watches. I had learned by watching: now and then he stops, and his mate, she looks, examines the hole, taking perhaps half a minute, then he says, something like “Well, do you or do you not approve,” something of that nature, hence, awaiting for the approval and some appreciation, and then not getting any, starts digging again.
       So here he is, he’s started to dig the hole out some more, and he keeps this up, if it takes an hour or two, until his mate is satisfied. You`ve never seen a creature dive into his work like this penguin, perhaps like all penguins, like a robot turned on full blast, so since I was born. And the way he hooved dirt every-which-way, perhaps one of the most exciting and astonishing sights I ever come into contact with, concerning animal behavior. He seldom stopped, if ever, to look at me looking at him, and when he did stop it was for his mate to glorify him—and when she didn’t he began thereafter just tossing the dirt out alongside, the hole’s sides, like a bird  flopping his wings, and I was so tuckered out just watching him.
       Finally, he comes a drooping out of the hole, head down, like he’s got a broken spine, sweating if ever penguins sweat, so it looked—in any case, his black and white tux was shining, with drops of sweat, dripping off him, like little chucks of hail.  So now he bends upward, for a look of satisfaction on his mate’s face. If you’ll believe me, when his eyes met hers, droopy, pale and tired, I said: it looks deep enough and wide enough for them both to me, to keep the family snug like a bug, and then I was looking for a sign of satisfaction on his mate’s face, but it looked like she had a belly full of acorns, a flat effect on her face, and then she nodded, “O.K!”  As he seemingly had just enough strength to crawl back down into the hole, and lean his back against one side, awaiting his bride, and you could see in a second or two, kind impressions emerge on her face, an abrupt change, and this I believe freed his mind.

No: 1027 (2-8-2014)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Gray Billed Bird

Garden birds; one is lost in the garden shack—driving his short dark-gray beak into the window intensely. Twilight is right around the corner, and the bird senses it. He is striding the windowpane, behind the curtain in a near frantic walk, with jerking wings—integrates motions of concentration, fixed on this one escape route:  as I hear a yanking of feathers in the shack I go to investigate, see all this—, he lifts his head, hears me, then drives his gray to dark bill beak onto the window pecking at it as if this is his only way out. The whole body shakes; he doesn’t have sense enough to turnabout, and go back the way he came in—
       Calm, alert, keeping watch—my breath pauses as I reach to grab him, his legs kicking, wings flapping, with a swift motion, perfectly in rhythm I turnabout to face the ajar door, I let loose of my fingers, he hops out of my hand, flying out the door, the same way he had come in. I see him perched on top of the garden wall now, proud and triumphed (as twilight falls).

#3872 (4-23-2013)

Losing Sight (The Little Bird)

This week I felt like weeping when a big bird snatched up a Baby bird, for whatever purpose, out of my garden.

It’s natural I suppose, like the cry of an infant. There was no
Call from other birds, of danger—hidden in the Garden.

In life I can praise so many things. The loss of the baby bird
Didn’t feel right to me—I could have saved him, or perhaps she.

Why didn’t I? I was too busy taking a movie: in my delight, I lost sight, of a predator nearby.

Note: Inspired by the writings of Rumi, with a little influence on stanza structure.  The author would like to express, one can easily lose in his or her daily life, sight of their relationship with Christ, just as easily as taking your eyes off the bird.  #3993 (3-29-2013)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Every Bird in the Garden

English Version

Every Bird in the Garden

The Author’s wife Rosa

Every sparrow, every bird in our Patio Garden,
To include the doves and ravines (and there are many),
And those birds with the red tops, that look like Mohawks,
My wife observes—she says: “God is amazing;
Each and every one has their own mannerisms, and Characteristics, their Own looks: Some sleep on branches overnight— quiet as a mouse;
       like those doves wobble when they run, fight among
Each other, as if this or that part of the garden was theirs to run, to own,
       territorial like;
Still, the yellow sparrow sucks the juice out of the flowers, like the
       hummingbird does…!
And the yellow, black and brown sparrows and now even the Doves and Ravines, and even the Mohawks too, and some bird
       with long thin stick like legs, too thin to even carry its Own body Weight, like the others:
       they all swim and bath in the birdbaths—these are quick
Learning birds—I’ll have you know.

Each one eats like a starving horse, a galloping ghost, an elephant,
Even some perhaps as much as a whale, they just never stop, fly from
Branch to branch, then go back down to the seed dish and munch…
Then they lay on branches in the garden, while basting under the sun, as
       if they were Queen Bees—each and
       and my wife, she just keeps on feeding them wanting their love— and to be frank, they all seem to be hissing, or is it whistling,
       fancy tune!
Perhaps they are saying in their own way: because of her giving,
every day is:

#3465 (Written 11-15-2012/reedited 11-24-2012) Drawing by the author, 2008
This poem is for my wife Rosa

Spanish Version

Cada Ave en el Jardín

A cada gorrión, a cada ave en nuestro jardín,
Incluyendo a las tortolitas y cuervos (y hay muchos),
Y a aquellos pájaros con el moño rojo, que parecen como los Mohawks,
Mi esposa los observa—ella dice: “¡Dios es asombroso!”;
Cada uno tiene sus propias características, actitudes, su propio aspecto: 
Algunos duermen en las ramas por la noche— tranquilos como un ratón;
       como aquellas tortolitas se tambalean cuando corren, pelean entre ellos,
como si ésta o aquella parte del jardín fuera de ellos para correr, para poseer, 
como si fueran territoriales;
       Todavía, el gorrión amarillo, se alimenta del jugo de las flores, ¡como lo 
hace el colibrí…!
Y los gorriones amarillos, los negros y los marrones e incluso ahora las tortolitas 
y los cuervos, también los que se parecen a los Mohawks,
y algunos pájaros que tienen sus piernas tan delgadas como palitos, 
tan delgadas para incluso cargar su propio peso, como los otros:
       todos ellos nadan en la tinita de agua—estos son pájaros
que aprenden rápido—te lo haré saber.

Cada uno come como un caballo hambriento, un fantasma galopante, un elefante,
Incluso algunos tal vez tanto como una ballena, ellos no paran de comer, vuelan de rama a rama, luego vuelven al plato de alpiste y comen…
Luego ellos descansan en las ramas en el jardín, mientras se tuestan bajo el sol, como si fueran las reinas abejas—uno y todos:
       y mi esposa, ella solo continúa alimentándolos queriendo su cariño— y para ser sincero, todos ellos parecen estar cantando, o es silbando,
       tiene un tono sofisticado
tal vez ellos están diciendo en su propia forma: por su generosidad,
cada día es:
        ‘¡Día de Acción de Gracias!’

#3465 (Escrito 15-Noviembre-2012/corregido 24-Noviembre 2012) Dibujo hecho por el autor el 2008/Este poema está dedicado a mi esposa Rosa.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Peruvian Birds and Elephants (In English and Spanish)

Versión en Inglés

Peruvian Birds and   Elephants
(San Juan Miraflores, Lima, Peru)

The sparrows stand in the middle of the dish
       two of them,
As if wondering when the food is going to arrive.
They’re walking around it,
Always glancing back at me –
Pondering perhaps when I’ll feed them;
Then they fly off, friendly, but sadly:
But they’ll be back in a moment.
Now two gray doves arrive,
More footprints across the dish
I suppose wondering the same! …
They hover long enough to stare
Here and there, fumbling about,
They eat twice as much as the sparrows!
I’m looking out our garden door window as they
       are looking in—
Ensnared in the mist, wondering how to get me
       to move… to feed them,
Over: again and again and again.
No more than fifteen minutes ago my wife feed
       them!  But, believe it or not,
Peruvian birds, eat like elephants!

#3388 (8-12-2012)/ For Rosa

Versión en Español

Aves Peruanas y Elefantes
(San Juan Miraflores, Lima, Peru)
Los gorriones se paran en medio del plato,
       dos de ellos,
Como si preguntándose cuándo la comida va a llegar.
Ellos están caminando alrededor de éste,
Siempre echándome una ojeada,
Talvez pensando cuándo los voy a alimentar;
Luego ellos se van volando, afable, pero tristemente,
Pero ellos volverán en un momento.
Ahora dos tortolitas llegan,
Más huellas encima del plato
¡Preguntándose lo mismo…me imagino!
Ellos permanecen lo suficientemente para mirar
Aquí y allá, circulando alrededor
¡Ellos comen el doble que los gorriones!
Estoy mirando afuera de la mampara de vidrio de nuestro jardín
       mientras ellos están mirando adentro—
Atrapados en la bruma, preguntándose cómo hacerme
       mover…para alimentarlos,
Una y otra vez, una y otra vez.
¡No hace ni quince minutos atrás mi esposa los alimentó!
       Pero, para creer o no,
¡Las aves peruanas, comen como elefantes!

#3388 (8-12-2012)/Dedicado a Rosa