SageGreenJournal.org voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...

Lito Tejada-Flores

Crestone, Colorado &

Lago Chelenko, Chilean Patagonia

 

Publisher, poet, designer & all-around  mountain guy. Electronic versions of several books that Lito has created in collaboration with  his wife, landscape phtographer, Linde Waidhofer,  can be downloaded from www.WesternEyePress.com

Photos of Lago Chelenko, a.k.s. Lago General Carrera, in the Aysén Región of Chilean Patagonia, by Linde Waidhofer

The Once and Only West

 

1

The once and only West stretches its sunburned arms

clear out to the horizon & beyond, & back again,

stretches its memories out into myths

that eventually turn back into memories,

stretches its winterwhite cloud blankets, snow sheets

tight across thousandmilewide beds of rock,

redrock, rimrock, hardrock, bedrock,

stretches its green and gaudy grasslands out

past fences & more fences & memories of fences

where the only line riders left are ghosts of line riders lost.

 

2

This dappled sky

pinto-pony clouds

this leopard spotted land

sagebrush dotted bands

of low red hills

this polychrome West

waking from a sunbaked

sleep of centuries,

pretty soon

falling back into a sleep

of centuries....

 

3

This land’s as big &

bad as any I ever thumbed across,

each saguaro’s a thorny cross

bare cactus bones nailed up

on the bare bones of the land.

This land’s as bad &

dry as any I've ever seen

& getting drier, ain't it?

all the time, and what's time

out here? who's counting?

Who cares?

 

Feb 1, 2014

L I K E   W I N D ,   L I K E   W A T E R

 

Like wind

 like water

 

To be in nature like wind

whipped over ridges

spun through narrow passes

orographic caresses

of changing weather

migrating birds blown

hundred miles off course

reading landforms

landlanguage

in the braile of storm

 

Like wind

 like water

 

To work in nature like water

subtracting sand

adding sand

subracting land

adding land

scouring     scrubbing

snow   rain   ice

freezing    thawing

mudslide landslip

translating landmass

into landscape

 

Like wind

 like water

 

We are not  strong enough

we are not long enough

patient enough

powerful enough

to build a real landscape

why try?

let the wind work

watch the wind work

dream of water

working the land

in different time

 

What is the wind’s vision

if wind has vision?

what is our vision

of the wind’s vision?

what does the flash flood see

if flash floods see?

we are not wind

we are not water

we cannot bend trees

carve canyons

we only imagine

the carving of canyons

shaping of spires

sandgrain by sandgrain

wind & water

wearing the planet

down into poetry

turning land into landscape

 

Our minds wander

through four

unstable dimensions

like wind

like water

April 1, 2014

Arrebol Sureño

 

Este cielo colorado, una combustión lenta

Tras el horizonte, las últimas brasas del día

Calentando las primeras estrellas, aunque

Todavía no se atrevan a mostrarse—a las once!

 

Luz de medianoche, luz sureña, medio oscura.

Tardes que no se terminan, que atesoran su luz.

¿Qué hacer con estas horas adicionales? Acaso

No sirven de nada—un regalo ni pedido ni merecido.

 

Queremos compartir esos colores, esos rojos,

Sangre de un cielo sangriento, horas no sumadas

Al total de esta vida, horas enteramente libres.

 

No sabemos en que dirección mirar, cada rincón

Del cielo se llena de reflejos, no solo al poniente—

Aquí estamos, inmóviles, rodeados de rojos, de belleza . . .

 

Red Evening Sky of the South

 

This ruddy sky, a slow-burning stove

Behind the horizon, the day’s last coals

Warming the first stars, although they still

Don’t dare show themselves—at 11 o’clock!

 

Midnight light, southern light, half-dark.

Evenings that never finish, that hoard their light.

How to spend these extra hours? Maybe

They don’t matter. A gift unearned, unasked for.

 

We want to share these colors, these reds,

Blood of a bloody sky, hours that aren’t added

 To a lifetime’s total, hours completely free.

 

 We don’t know which way to look, each corner

 Of the sky is filled with reflections, not just the West—

 Here we are, motionless, surrounded by reds, by beauty. . .

2 poemas de la Patagonia

                                              with translations

Cielos Patagónicos

 

Cielos patagónicos.

Cielos inquietos,

Lucha sin tregua

Entre nubes y sol.

 

Vientos voraces

Devoran esas nubes

Que se disuelven

En lagrimas de lluvia.

 

Rangos de olas blancas

Escriben sus mensajes

Sobre el lienzo del lago.

 

Hasta que, por fin,

los arco iris anuncian

Un pacto de paz.

Patagonian Skies

 

 Patagonian skies,

 Unsettled skies,

Unending struggle

Of cloud & sun.

 

Hungry winds

Devour these clouds

 As they dissolve

 In tears of rain.

 

Ranks of white waves

Write their messages

On the lake’s canvas.

 

 Until rainbows

At last announce

A peace treaty.

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