1. After Hokusai’s Thirty Six Views

    Above the tree line, a cloud bank edged in indigo.

    Once, a woman unrobed to show the scars she bore as she ran down a road long ago, a child with her mouth open, ash falling from the sky.

    Water thunders in every ditch. A freight train wails.

    Ships have disappeared into the sea, tugboats, frailer craft. An airport
    is submerged in water.

    So still, as if the world were tensing for another blow.

    The ground is mostly bare again. The wind is salted with fine flakes.

    And if time is the enemy, what is the name of the wind that blows
    fine sand into my eyes?

    Poised in the hollow of the wave, the fishermen huddle. You could count their heads, smooth like beads on an abacus or a prayer chain.

    And after the blows, the softening.

    The gnarled parts often contain water, hardened through the years.

    So you say you know the Chinese character for “squander”– but I want to know first what there is to spend.

    A hand raised in greeting is a cup, a well, an oasis.

    And yes, every poem is about love.

    Scientists tell us there are fine tremors in the earth every day that we do not even feel.

    Think of so many of these in any given moment, especially the ones that feel completely still.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    03 11 2011

  2. When A Mother Remembers Her Daughter

    When there is pain in every birth
    how can all poems be love poems?
    The pink in the hibiscus bled
    the year the killer wave visited my coast.
    A daughter went to pick shells
    at the beach,
    she never came to tell the tale
    of the water that thundered in every ditch.

    The sky was a tranquil peach,
    a leaf lazily sailed on the tumultuous water
    being there – not being there;
    an emerald glow at the centre
    where Krishna lay sucking his toe. Still
    birth is painful, then what to say of death?
    Do not tell me
    all poems are love poems.

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