Friday, August 24, 2012

The Snake and the Mouse ((Double Haiku) (English and Spanish))

English Version

The Snake and the
Mouse (Double Haiku)

The Snake won’t eat
the mouse—, because of great fear
and because of that…

He allows himself
to starve to death in the cage
and hence, dies in fear!

No: 3011 ((8-9-2011) (7:35 p.m.)) Midnight Poems IV

Versión en Español

La Serpiente y el
Ratón (doble Haiku)

La serpiente no comería al ratón
—debido a un gran temor—
Y debido a esto…

Ella misma se dejaría
morir de hambre en la jaula
Y así pues, ¡moriría de temor!

No: 3011 ((9-Agosto-2011) (7:35 p.m.)) Poemas de Medianoche  IV

The Candy Jar

The candy jar was stuffed so full that it could no longer clatter, and that is the most solid point of which any candy jar can reach, it is perfection, the ultimate it can attain. It stood on an upper shelf as you descended into the cellar, high and lofty looking down upon everyone who walked down those stairs. It knew very well what it had within its framed glass, and if I may use the term, stomach, would have brought all the joy and pleasure in the world to a little eight year old boy.
       That little boy of eight looked at it daily, stretching his legs and arms, measuring the distance from the top stair to the jar, hoping to grow taller, or tall enough to reach it, hoping it would not take another year or two, and if his neck grew along with his arms and legs all the better.
       Then all of a sudden, one Sunday afternoon, there was an uncommon racket, a clash and bang in the house, and the wooden frame, the board, and the candy jar that it rested on, not strong enough to hold the little boy who was now dangling from it, cracked and broke into two pieces. He did not do it to protest against where it stood, where his mother proposed it should be, it was a game between the jar and him, and I suppose all kids cannot be little noblemen, he leaped a little too far this time, in his stretch, and down he fell with the jar and all, it broke, rolled down a few steps right onto his lap, on the stairway. As the saying goes, “We all cannot be little noblemen.”

Written 8-12-2012 (Lima, Peru) #950

Last Fight (?)

 (Buenos Aires, 2007)

In all my twenty-three fights throughout my life, there was never a crowd that rose roaring, I was never a professional fighter, although I took two years of karate, and got in my share of fights. Can you believe this: my last fight was in 2007, five years ago, in Buenos Aires, at the age of fifty-nine years old? It was against three young punks, robbers, in hopes that they would gain treasures beyond reason—seeing us as tourists with a big stash of dollars. 
       I knew how to carry a wicked punch and kick, I was with my wife walking down a deserted street from a park in Buenos Aires—kind of throwing caution to the wind as they say. Not a smart thing to do. When three young adults: one my size and weight, the other a little smaller, the third, like the hawk.  Guess who gets the hawk, it’s always that way. Well there is no since of brooding over this, I got him, as we walked down the sidewalk, my wife and I, they got in front of us, stopped, the Hawk gave me a bear hug from behind me as the other two went after my wife, cornered her, trying to take her purse.  I gave the Hawk a hard right to the head; I call it: the back punch. There was no way for him to duck, it was a venomous right and it crashed into his jaw. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a back punch, I’ve used it twice, very effective, and then the instinct to fight harder came to me—as he loosened his grip around me, a right  elbow to his ribs, and a crushing blow with my heel to his toes, and he let go: he had suffered enough, then I leaped out blasting full into the center of his ghostly face with a mocked look, he was still waking from the nightmare, all three blows came simultaneously, within a few seconds of the leap, and he limped from his position—

       In the interim, the two fellows were trying to snatch the purse from my wife, having a hell of a time; she gave the purse a bear hug,  I suppose they thought her and I were going to say:
       —Now here’s your money, you want it— but it wasn’t that easy.

       Back to my situation: the Hawk, was brooding even staggered a bit, he was stung out of his apathy, and tried to rebound, but he was simply a wavering shadow in front of me, I pulled out a pen, and held it as a knife and was going to stab him with it, he pulled back taking no chances, my wife cried:
       —Help me, they’re getting the purse! So I ran towards the two fellows and one of the two fellows came at me, and the Hawk came from behind, both circled me, one pushed me, and I fell halfway down onto one knee, and the Hawk saw the pen again, and stepped back, and the other fellow already went to help his fellow assailant concerning the purse. But this time I stepped forward—at the Hawk.  He felt no fatigue whatever, I had though, and this time, as I thrust at him with the pen, someone from behind grabbed my arm and throw me to the ground—the pen was now smashed. They had at this point discarded their former intention of winning treasures from both my wife and I: nil and void, and went savagely for the purse.
       —I have to let go, cried my wife.
       —Obey, I yelled back.  Let go! And she did and the three ran to a high fence to escape and I clamored after them, they had an enormous lead,  and I was out of breath, how I lasted that long eight minute fight, I’ll never know, I was cut, bruised, and with blood-stained features from the two falls. They never come back!  And that roaring crowd I was talking about, was a lady on the corner who saw it all, her and her husband had stopped the car so she could get out and watch the show, he sat like a coward in his car, missed the vicious fight.
       Oh, incidentally, what they got was: an old camera, that cost $105-dollars, five years previously, and about fifty-dollar cash from the purse. What they didn’t get was, whatever was in my pockets, which I had $300-dollars cash, and a $1500-dollar wedding ring on, the second pinky ring worth $600-dollars, and a gold chain with trinkets worth another $2000-dollars around my neck, a gold watch worth $2000-dollars, my wife’s rings worth, $3000-dollars, and so forth: they missed the jackpot.
       Later that afternoon, I bought my wife a new purse, that evening we went to see a live stage musical—ate pizza, and took the rest of our trip in Buenos Aires, with caution: which I suggest you do likewise.

 #931 (6-21-2012)

Hunters of the Turtle ((or, ‘the Turtle Poem’) (in poetic prose))

Part One
Thank God for the Angels

No matter which way the old turtle goes, sooner or later he will end up under or over the waterfalls—(or splattered on the highway)
       Swept to his doom— this he knows.
He looks for a good death—but realizes good or bad—the henchman’s melody doesn’t differ (he has lived like a lion, to the fullest, on the edge, not like a dog, and that has made all the difference to his way of thinking).
       He has learned never to swallow the hook completely (to walk the edge of the highway).
       He’s discovered the sounds of trains, and rain, rivers and the swift wisp of the wind—dipped in the sun—that man with all this, remains discontent, at the end of the day…lost in his existence.    
       What does all this mean to the old turtle? Perhaps that the world is lost, odd, or insane—worse than hiding in his shell for the hunters (but time heals his suspicions, worries and doubts, and he goes on….).

Part Two
The aging old turtle

The aging old turtle has discovered something peculiar about humankind—that their tongues bend more than their kneecaps—how strange.
       The old turtle hides in his shell, looks out as if he is behind a curtain…looking for the hunters of turtles, and the world goes by moving around the heat within the sun, as everyone grabs sparkles of its sunshine, hunters and turtles alike (he’s tired of it all, ‘Nothing new under the sun,’ he brings to mind, ‘… just old hunters with new faces.’)
       He doesn’t feel time passing—likened to rain drops falling, although he does discover a few new little wrinkles here and there—now and then: he calls them: ‘Fine groves in the sand, on my forehead’ —looking in the water—; he even notices some new wrinkles like fishing lines driven deep into his shell, but what the hell, it’s just time passing.
       His legs feel cold and cramped— He knows (because things keep slipping) time is short.

Part Three
The turtle keeps talking

The old turtle has been talking—more like whispering—into my ear; he has much to say, he’s trying to stir my emotions, in this new descending season.
       I don’t mind all of that, but he complains about my hairy ears. Grumbles like an un-tuned guitar.
       It’s not comfortable. I guess it’s the way of old aging turtles. If it is not me he bothers, it’ll just be someone else, so I tell myself. Sometimes I want to tell him to just be quiet—but I nevertheless bend my neck to his level to listen: “Happiness is doing a service to others,” I tell myself, that’s God’s rule, like it or not. This rule of thumb has been going on for thousands of years, it will not change.
       I’m sure it will happen to me, perhaps sooner than later, and the listener will say: “Listen to this old man crackle, like an old aging turtle,” as I try explaining my life, or parts of it.

       It’s time now to push the old turtle’s head back into his shell.
       Drag the dock in—as they say, pile the wood up, for the coming winter, and enjoy the silence in a warm bed.

       ((The old Turtle, his bones appear eager to be laid away in the grave) (he doesn’t wish to be permanent, in his impermanent kingdom—like us; he doesn’t even know.))

Part Four
The Turtle Poem

Some poems have their own skins, like bananas and oranges, not all of course are sweet, and some are bitterer than others, the poet knows words are abundant like fruit — he or she can be selective as in this poem.
       The dear old turtle, abandoned his turtlish-life (to a certain degree; as often animals do, or are force to do), to live and hide among mankind—sometimes among skyscrapers and highways, and sometimes deep within the swamps. This old turtle, He’s even learned the human language to a certain degree—not really so uncommon, certainly his gestures, or body language.
Well, I must say, before that took place, perhaps deep in the woods he may have lived a scandalous life, perchance an extravagant one, by choice alone maybe—who’s to say?

       I don’t want to alarm you, but so many old turtles have been lost in the bog. This old turtle—screwed to have lived so long—evidently slipped through the bushes, that is why he is in this poem.

       In closing, let me simply say: things move slowly in the woods. I don’t want to try and cheer you up, it’s all right that the turtle is now long gone, people like animals stroll about, some come to meet and greet you; while on the other hand, human or animal (sometimes more alike than not), come to eat you, walking over your footprints century after century—shortening your days, all trying to make a home—all trusting that the world will not end, before their time—while scholars cobble together to product it, while others try to preserve it—it’s simply the way it is, odd and mysterious as it may look.

The Author with his turtle hat on, sitting in the Plaza de
Arms, in Huancayo, Peru, 7-13-2011 (afternoon)

Note: “Hunters of the Turtle”, parts one and two written 7-7-2011; part three and four written 7-8-2011 (No: 2965 thru 2968); illustration by the author,
Photo by Rosa Peñaloza        


[A Cup of Witticism]

1— There’s an old saying that’s quite true:
‘If there’s a will, there’s a way’; alas,
make sure you make room for a way


2— People don’t choose their fears—;
their jealousies, envies and hates.

3— For every effect there is a basis,
A front, a beginning—and to find
Its end, you must first find its opening.

4— For every outcome, there is created an outlay, or
Expenditure—and profit; and those who will kill
To keep it, guarding it as if it was a lover.

5— Faith believes, it also trusts—,
and it also tests.

6— Evil breeds evil—thus, the initiator has something
to look forward to…unless he gets lost
in its dark tunnel…

7— There are things more powerful than Hell
and its demons: it’s called: self-interest.

8— Sometimes we’re in the mouth of the whale—
and still, other times we are running from the lions;
seldom are we in the jungle undisturbed; thus,
evolution is correct in this manner, the strongest
will survive…but praying won’t hurt.

9— When there is pain, there is a reason for it
And sometimes we don’t care to seek it out and that
Is when you get more pain, and sometimes, that is
What we need, to correct what is wrong.

1/25/2006 [#1105]

10— I hasten to say—statements into man’s character
also refers to his soul!...

11— Character is often molded more by
self-interest; thus, leaving man chained to a clock
that is already cracked.

12— Imagery in poetry, is the phoenix in the poem,
lest you clip its wings and lose its rise from its own

#1122 1/29/06

13— Poets always seem to be looking for a lost
shoe— save, they don’t jump out of
windows first…!

14— Was God a boy scout? No one
thinks so but Americans.

#1136 1/06

15— Being unhappy is the norm for some people;
to point it out, is simply throwing gun-powder
into a fire.

[#1157] 2/2/2006

16— We kill a million Christmas Trees to
celebrate one Man’s birthday each year,
he is special of course, and is worthy of this ritual.
And some folks have complained;
but to be quite honest, the IRS, cuts more down for

#1162 2/2/2006

17— Before you get too old and can’t remember,
it might be wise to figure out how you want to
live, and live it. There is nothing worse than a sad poem
about dreaming of doing it.

#1203 2/12/2006

Hopeful poets die hopeful,
standing around waiting to
give poetry readings when
they could be living—getting
high off of life.

#1199 2/11/06


Emptiness in Kyoto

God created man from emptiness,
Who created form from the emptiness—
       God used—and the ‘form’ had eyes,
Like the sea had islands; and it was good.

#1200 2/10/2006


Delightful Rebellion

…many youths are drunk
       with rebellion—
as if welded into it. My
advice is: get off the drunken
stage, before you fall off.

#1204 2/12/2006


Cold Eyes

The Devil wiz’s along
The edge of earth,
With cold eyes.

#1206 2/13/2006 [Haiku]

The Legend of: Yurinaqui Falls, and the Ghost-fish (in the Jungles of Satipo)

The customs of the many, who tell of the legends in Peru, follow with some truth and some dreams to every talk, always with some history, I do believe. I was not there with my friend of many years Chusty, a well known painter in Miraflores, Lima, Peru—I was not there when he told me this story in August of 2012, that took place a year earlier, in the township of Yurinaqui, at a nearby privately own acreage with a beautiful falls on it, but truth be told, legend would verify a mermaid has been seen in those waters under the falls, sitting on the rocks thereabout, swims in the deep waters, where there are sounds of bells, with a most pleasant chime that rings throughout the waters, but it was on this one day—a year now past, this one hot and sunny day, that Crusty visited the falls, unknowing of the legend. But now could, and did attest to me, its authenticity, as I bear out to you:
       Be that as it may, let me tell you of his horrific experience, in the only way I can, somewhat candidly: he was swimming in the deep waters he stopped to fish up a bottle he found, wowed down in the water like a fish again, and came up with another bottle, two now in total; but now his leg was caught in the sucking mud, water up to his waist. He thought for a moment he’d be sucked under, and accordingly it was permitted for him to escape, but not before he saw the huge eye of a gallant fish of some sort—likened to a ghost approaching him. And the noble creature seemed to swell in size as it neared him, as large as he if not larger. And this phantom fish, swam faster and more impatiently as the mud had sucked him nearly under, and it curved round in a circle, as if to devour him—but as I said, he had now freed himself, within those mini-seconds of seeing this phantom fish of sorts.
       Prior to this he had no suspicions he could be a prey of some sort to this female water creature, so legend says it is of that gender.  He had no knowledge of the legend, and now he faced it, seeing but one large eye, as here he thought the end to his merry, active life of painting was over. He could not bear this any further and raging a battle within the dark waters, he thrust with some hidden and tremendous strength, thrust himself out of the ghostly waters complete onto the gradation of some nearby rocks holding on for dear life—and it must be said, he heard those legendary bells, those chimes, those whistles that chant one to a everlasting death, the closer the legendary phantom neared him.

Inspired by Chusty; written 8-11-2012 (Lima, Peru) #948. Yurinaki falls is located in the Region of Junin, Peru, in the city of Pichanaki, in the way to Satipo.

Old Man in an Arm-chair

Did you ever hear the story of the Old Man in an Arm-chair?  It is not very remarkable, but it may be a read for a slow passing afternoon.
       He was a very honest old man who now was pensioned off. He was in no great fear of the morrow—people said often as they passed his window, said perhaps too often:
       “Look! At the window, there leans the old man again!”
       “What is the old man thinking?” says another voice.
       “Perhaps,” said an answering voice, “His whole life drama is in that gaze”.
       And perchance it was. And thus, the years roll by, scarcely had the old man moved forward, so it would seem to an onlooker, from that old cushioned and wooden arm-chair: looking out his window at the many children at play, now grown to adulthood, this being his older years life’s drama, where the children with their red cheeks are no longer red, nor are they shoeless, but they still pass the old man’s window, history renewed, in a different way.

       The old man now glances down, if you were nearby him, you could hear his breathing, he is old and tired. All around him is quieter and more quiet…there are old photographs placed on his lap, for he wished it so! He had been sitting in his arm-chair—long this day, telling his mind, his second self, as it is often referred to, some of the stories behind the photographs. He has leaned his head back to sleep awhile.
       He has some wrinkles; his hair is a little whiter, thinner, this year than last year. And to be frank, he can tell you some good stories, if indeed you have time to listen.  He has books all about him, books older than he. He knows soon he’ll just be dust in a grave, he wishes it.
       Today he thought about all the brothers in the world, how more often than not, they try to cheat one another—family members waiting for their loved ones to die for want of things that will rot and perish in time, like him, like they.  He’s thinking of the deceivers the tyrants. 
       “Everyone thinks they’re going to heaven,” he chuckles.
       And now he’s thinking about right and truth. And his thoughts have lifted and brought him to wish it—gazing in that arm-chair a long while, gazing out the window, gazing at his photographs, and he wishes it; the old man has gotten aroused, an arrow struck his heart and it stretched from earth to heaven, to the point they both seemed so very close to him: in other words, perhaps, what is far to man or most men, was close for him.
       And his mother knew him, and his grandmother knew him—all heavenly bodies to each other. Then the walls in his home sank and crumbled in front of his eyes, even the arm-chair rotted to dust in front of his eyes, but his kindness in those old eyes never died in those old photographs: not even when they laid him on his back, in that dark cedar coffin—their remembrance lived on, and on and on.

Written 8-12-2012 (Lima, Peru)

Every Month is a Poem

The Olympic Games in London are coming to an end…
Michael Phelps, collected his 19th Medal; Hope Solo didn’t do so
       well for the U.S. Soccer Team.
Phelps, a man of will and skill that is amazing…with:
Ability, courage, devotion—
At one point of his life, invoking destruction on his body and soul,
       now seemingly, somehow, he’s rescued.

Here today in Lima, Peru, it is near noon my wife will soon bring
       me lunch—rice, chicken, pork, I thank God I can eat so well!
Last night we had a slight rain; a black sleek dog, was laying by
       our door this morning, someone poisoned him,
His owner disowned him, and a few folks are afraid he may bite
       their children, a few have tried—

Mitt Romney’s running for president, against Obama, both losers, Romney, may lose Virginia I hear— how in heaven’s name do we    
       pick these pea brains?
Gore Vidal died a few weeks ago, a homosexual writer, and another
       one for Sheol, I never did like his writings much anyhow.
Meteorologists say the U.S.A., is in a drought, with hurricanes and
       tornadoes all about—yet we’re making gasoline out of corn.

This morning I have somewhat been amusing myself: two blackish-
       brown sparrows, that normally come around came around  and Are here right now, eating, constantly eating: they eat from dawn to
       sundown: from a saucer my wife leaves out in the Garden, half Filled with seeds—you’d think their stomachs would explode.

Well, each month is a novelty, to say the least, but always bleak, a
       poem with too many stories, such as: more trouble at Wounded Knee, and  the Oglala are in an uproar again, not like back in 1975,
       which I remember, confronting the FBI, nor like in 1876, with
There great defeat by the Yankee…just more complaining, saying: The Great White Father is unfair, in this case, the Great Black
       Father, none-the-less, they want the Black Hills back I bet, it’s All too unremarkable. Thus, they hold the flag upside-down, as if in

The pests, the black sparrows left and came back again, with two
       gray doves, they don’t know when enough is enough.

Syria is at war with itself—Iran wants to help, you know how that
       goes: one thief to a thief, one bully against a bully.
Somalia is coming out of one, twenty-one year old self inflicted
       war; where 250,000-thousand people live in egg-shaped pods of Brushwood tied with strings; and the enslavers live in woodened
      roof houses and solid framed homes.

Painful is the human condition today, this month and seemingly
       every month.
Barbaric is the human soul, so it seems, this month, and every
Well, that is the August poem for 2012.

#3391 (8-15-2012)

Syria’s Bowl of Blood

((Civil War continues in Syria) (August, 2012))

In Syria’s civil war today continues on its way, the blood on the
       sand has blackened—
Melted into the sand, mixed with the rain; black lies the blood every
       evening, throughout Syria’s native soil…
This war is an evil thing, too dark to understand.
Self-inflicted with hollow and cold spirits, that appear in need of a
Who wears the cloak for the mighty nation?
Look, he comes out from the inflexible owl-light—
His face is famous, —
Lucifer, what brings you here?
He does not answer, thus, we must guess!
Perhaps he wants Syria to be the field-headquarters for the ongoing
       bleak, Middle East plight: to make everyone a Muslim, or die Trying?
Perhaps he wants a bowl of blood from each and everyone in Syria?
This heavy corpse-laden corpse-cold land, with violent and
       prowling life, is just his beginning, or perhaps a side attraction!
And the world is watching, watching, watching… as appears:
All biting devils, released from Hell’s abyss, nears!...

#3393 (1-15-2012)

The Tale of, the: Pecan Watchman of Miraflores

(More truth than fiction…!)

“What have you there?” asked the Pecan Watchman of Miraflores, Lima, Peru: who loved Pecans, Poetry and the Andean Cultures; perhaps that was the best thing about him, other than his craft and trade.
    “Yes,” said the poet, “my gold watch, can you fix it?”
        “Oh, but it is not so easy to find out if one does not know.”
        And thus, the pecan watchman, who had no name, chewing on a pecan—thinking in his brain, took an exacting look through a magnifying glass…
       ‘Oh,’ thought the poet, ‘what a great factory reflected in there, in which all the people were hiding.’
       It was most interesting to think that those entire wheels being pulled down, to and fro,  and those at the other end were struggling upwards…around, around, around, like windmills catching in grooves, each helping the other to make its face tick and move, all because of orchards of wheels with: ruts, grooves, all harmonizing.
       “Bah!” says the Poet, and away it went into the hands of the Pecan Watchman, nibbling on a pecan—and away he hacked away and pulled at them, while cracking open shelled pecans. And he held the watch as still as any little maiden and put a new spring in it, and pulled out the old: which looked like a labyrinth loosely unwound, open-ended.
       “Yes,” said the Pecan Watchman, “one can see easy enough it was the spring,” and now everything was working: no longer like a dead factory, but rather like some great city, as: Paris, Lima—London, or even New York City: ticking away, making the face on the watch smile once again.

#3389 (8-14-2012) Poetic Prose (Written in Lima, Peru)
For:  Fernando Nakamoto I.