Poetry from Lorraine Caputo


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


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

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