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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Forty-three Miles North of Soul for BigTent

Big Tent Poetry posts: Our guest maestro’s idea to write using a hidden code  – or any other inspiration from the week.

Forty-three Miles North of Soul

Shucked by his coyoté
he dares the desert
prickly pear and knife-edged grasses
ocotillo spines pinch pieces
from thinning khaki trousers.
He scratched for the trip
with a guide
greed and dreams high-fived
illegal entry, the last illusion.

Crinkled eyes burned by sun
branded by timeworn laughter
he wears optimism
a crown twice the size
of his ubiquitous cowboy hat.

On the promised side
he passes potters’ fields
planted in dust drowned rows
tidier than life, where death
is marked by a white rugged cross
no olvidado, not forgotten.

Watercolor image.
♥     ♥     ♥


Stan Ski said...

It reads so well, but doesn't give away its secret...

Leslie D. said...

What a great poem and image! Also love your "Z" post wiht the z word I won't attempt to spell. Love finding out things like that.

vivienne blake said...

This is just wonderful. To me, more solid than a watercolour image.

My favourite lines:
"Crinkled eyes burned by sun
branded by timeworn laughter
he wears optimism..."

Rallentanda said...

Something to do with North Korea?

mareymercy said...

Great phrases here "dust drowned rows"; "a guide/greed and dreams"; "pirckly pear and knife-edged grasses." Reads nicely.

lv2scpbk said...

I left you a Versatile award on my blog. Please check it out and pass it on. It's on my Everyday Life's Issues blog.

Gordon Mason said...

Enjoyed reading this aloud! Tongue twisters of 'spines pinch pieces' and 'dust drowned rows' amongst others.

Mory said...

This resembles a cow boy tale. what is the code? i love this poem, each line makes you wonder. I can't wait to decipher it.

brenda w said...

Sue, You had me at coyote. There are a few ways I interpreted your piece. The images it evokes are focused. There is sadness, but also the feeling of a life well lived. Well done!

barbara said...

I have Coyote in mine, too. The trickster, not the human cheat.

Cynthia Short said...

This is so beautifully written, and quite profound.
(I assume it is about a Mexican National crossing over into the US).

flaubert said...

Susan I love this poem!
Is it about the immigrants crossing the border?

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can think of is an illegal crossing of the border from Mexico, but failing to reach the final destination 43 miles to the North. Whatever the answer, I really like the poem, its imagery, the mention of the coyote (trickster), and the last line especially.


James said...

You paint such a vivid scene with this! I love that 2nd stanza--optimism bigger than his cowboy hat is great.

Unknown said...

This reads beautifully Sue. I could only think of Mexican immigrants crossing into the States!

Anonymous said...

I love the lines
he wears optimism
a crown twice the size
of his ubiquitous cowboy hat.

Linda Frances said...

Your poem reads beautifully. I love the line about daring the desert. It's so evocative.

ninotaziz said...

Dearest Tunblewords,

I have nominated you for the Pink Awards and would be thrilled if you accept it. Thanks!


Simply love your lyrical genius.

Cheers and have a great weekend.



evelyn.n.alfred said...

Your second stanza is pretty great. I love the idea of wearing optimisim.

aayanman said...

The choice of words in these verses are simply outstanding.
The deep sense of pain is so well entrenched that it leaves a mark even after one has finished reading it.

Brenda Clews said...

Beautiful and somewhat scary poem, it's all a risk, that walk, and we've all walked it at points in our lives, and will again- alone. As to what the stenographic hidden code might be, I have no idea -except what the other commenters have suggested, and 'Forty-three Miles North of Soul' can be read as an illegal border crossing (anywhere in the world).

Weasel said...

Very well written! I am also getting the illegal immigration story from this piece. A great take on the prompt!


Naquillity said...

there isn't a stanza i don't like in this poem. it's great. very visual and interesting.

sorry for my long absence. i've been busy with family, etc... hope all is well.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...


the deadline to vote for poets is Sunday...
one last chance,
you gain one vote for yourself when you vote 4 others,
simply reminder, ignore if you dislike it.

u r nominated.

Francis Scudellari said...

This is a timely piece, vividly written. I love the way you describe his optimism, and the tidy death he sees across the border in the "promised land". That hope of being "not forgotten" can be a desert illusion too.

Deb said...

Beautiful homage to a horrid trip. The last illusion, indeed.

Jingle said...

Welcome to Thursday Poets Rally week 25, which run July 22-July 28,, you are represented as fresh poets:

Sign in here as New participant:

Leave your poem link here and comment for 18 poets from participants list New 2 you:

Hope that you enjoy the fun!
Happy Thursday!

ignore if you want to stay out.

ChrisJ said...

That makes my skin tingle. It is so close to home in our area. Great hopes, too often a sad end. I wish there was a solution.