EVENING’S TIDE The broad beach has disappeared beneath the rising tide Faint rose tints the scattering clouds of this sunset & as blackness settles with the song of some night bird, frogs & a gecko the fiercer waves climb the steps of the long-gone promenade leaping, splashing against that rubble white rip currents pulling into the high ocean & the lights of distant villages speckle the far horizon LEAVING BEHIND I leave behind mothers bathing their naked daughters in a growing tidal pool & follow a narrowing path through mangrove brambles escaping far from people I sit on this deserted beach the porpoise-colored sea rolling its rising tide against the black rock … shaking off troubling thoughts to be captured by this surf, washed far, far away & my Spirit takes wing like that piquero soaring over the waters swooping & diving … to be like that sea lion pup, playfully plunging beneath, bobbing with each roll of this sea TOWARDS THE RIVER PLATE (Montevideo) Paper & leaves scuttle down cavernous Saturday streets, few souls out in these depths. A woman holds the reins of a horse-drawn cart, her children staring into the closing morn. Limp bags of cardboard & bottles hang off the sides. Along Sarandi Street, artisan stalls of puppets, stones & carved gourds, honey & fruit preserves in the cool shade of worn buildings. A silver-haired man plays violin, his sightless eyes closed. Case open at his feet, scattered with coins. Suddenly the rhythm of drums echoes up this way from the Plaza Constitución. Three boys with blue & yellow tambores, a friend with hat in hand, followed by a policeman herding them away from the antique sellers beneath trees, away from the couples dancing folklore, gaucho & tango in front of the cabildo, away from the diners in sidewalk cafés. Up the calle along the Central Market & Mundo Afro, beats of a comparsa resonate resonate. Dark hands caress the skins while the other grips a stick rapping rapping, painted stars bobbing on the red & black drums. Beyond, the River Plate flows, bands of muddy brown, dull green, tarnished blue in the past-noon sun. Down along the Rambla, men sit sipping mate, thermos tucked under arm. Families swim along the sparse-sand beach, bask upon wave-smooth rocks. Up on the Cubo del Sur, children pose upon a rusted cannon for papá's photo. A man slits the silvered belly of a fish. Long black rod in hand, white cap shading his eyes & balding head, he baits his line. & far on the horizon, in the haze of sun & sea, slow ships steam to other ports.
Lorraine Caputo is a wandering troubadour whose writings appear in over 400 journals on six continents, and 23 collections – including In the Jaguar Valley (dancing girl press, 2023) and Caribbean Interludes (Origami Poems Project, 2022). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. Her writing has been honored by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada (2011) and thrice nominated for the Best of the Net. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia. She journeys through Latin America with her faithful knapsack Rocinante, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. Follow her adventures at www.facebook.com/lorrainecaputo.wanderer or http://latinamericawanderer.wordpress.com.