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Los Ecos

Reverberations of place: poems, journal entries, observations.

Entry 1: Paso Verde

Un pasito verde,
A green step,
Is a step taken
Into the brush, the bush,
The desert, the woods.
It’s a step taken
Toward our origins
And into
The life and rhythms
Joining and
Guiding us all

Entry 2: Casita I

Feet of ash, cracked walls.


I thought you’d fall,

Yet here we stand 

Through many falls and blazing summers —


Here’s to the phoenix that hid inside you;

Here’s to the phoenix hiding in us all

Entry 3: Casita II

Emptied you out,

Patched you up,

Put a roof over your head. 


Wired you up


To keep a patch of cold air —

Like an ember alone in the dark 

—turning upon the rocks and thorns of

Our scorching land.


Yes, we dressed you up

Casita del Paso Verde,

Our ‘Liza Doolittle ready to meet the world.


Be proud of what you’ve become,

But please


Don’t embarrass us. 

Entry 4: Mantis

Mantis, mantis

Upon the door,

What secrets

Do you store? 


When walking stick

Does implore,

Do you share your wisdom

Or knock him to the floor?

Entry 5: Mesquite

Boy: “Mesquite, how old are you?”

Mesquite: “Does it make sense to ask this of one who’s both alive and dead? My roots remain unborn to the light but half of my many arms
are ancient or rotten and the others are as green and wet as a nursery of baby nopales. Do you understand?”

Boy: Stares perplexed 

Entry 6: Nopalitas

Young nopalitas 

Await their chance 

To become pageant queens 

Crowned in green, yellow, pink, and purple.


They crowd and multiply,

The volume and variety of their chisme

Building along

Yet never diminishing 

Their tender prickly beauty 

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