SIGHS OF THE SALVADORAN COFFEE FARMER

About: A collection of four related poems reflect upon both the wilds of everyday life around the crater-lake region of Lago de Coatepeque, El Salvador, and the relationship between its coffee farmers and Mother Nature. Structure: Four related trilune poems (three stanzas, each of three lines, each of three by three (nine) syllables), stitched together by a rhyme scheme.

  • LA MADRE
  • (Mother)
  • Wind churns Her understory ... and trash,
  • Tumbling on grounds of coveted freight
  • Which both unearthed and birthed the obscene.
  • Labored with hands torn, they groom their born
  • As gazing eyes retreat to the dance
  • And flight of fanciful figurines.
  • Piles of lamb's wool bundle upon blue,
  • While brow with spade under shade furrow –
  • Nature sullied by finger-machines.
  • Without end they unfold;
  • The red cherry — "Behold!"
  • Such work only forgiven by Mother.
  • ENSUEÑOS
  • (Daydreams)
  • Bark-dark skin of warm hearts uphold Her.
  • Children in gardens with arms stretched, catch
  • A breath – both theirs and from far away.
  • Cherubs wash away struggle, grant a
  • Life without trouble; landscapes double;
  • Yet blisters of light lead dreams astray.
  • You, too, can allow sunshine to soak
  • Upon skin, my friend, where treasures hide,
  • And mist falls, holding worries at bay.
  • For verdant She stands;

  • She serves without demands,

  • Each load feeds the dreams of my brother.

  • CALDERA
  • (Cauldron)

  • ‘Gloria a Díos!’ souls proclaim,

  • Where an earthly pothole's tangled hands

  • Pull labors ripe of birth and flavor.

  • Adoration emanates from pains,

  • Yet while harvesting broken-backed beans,

  • A breeze lifts and drifts for their savor.

  • Dear Lago de Coatepeque;

  • Grand disc of azul; garnished catchment;

  • Sleeping caldron of the divine Savior:

  • Why offer bounty and vista,

  • When from crop to barista,

  • One covey shall never greet the other?

  • Campesinos
  • (Farmers)
  • Long walks callus under heavy loads,
  • Inclined through fumes, by feel, and in rhyme,
  • ‘Til whistles cushion in fantasy.
  • Producers, burden upon burden;
  • Providers with hand upon their head —
  • My, oh my, they toil in ecstasy!
  • How they harvest with machete as
  • Appendage, binder, and reminder,
  • That as others they shall never be.
  • My friend, yes, they ache;
  • They give, and they take,
  • All for another.

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