Gringo : Poemas :




Ojos Negros

(a valley near Ensenada)

El aspecto de la California es, generalmente hablando, desagradable y hórrido, y... es hasta los 32 grados muy árida y estéril. En este último paralelo muda el aspecto de la naturaleza, y se ven campiñas con abundantes aguas y más adornadas de vegetales.
--Francisco Xavier Clavijero, 1789.
     The aspect of California is, generally speaking, disagreeable and horrid, and... it is, up to 32 degrees north, very arid and sterile. In this parallel the aspect of nature changes, and one sees countryside with abundant water and more adorned with vegetation.





Titans have struggled here and

still sleep

un - easy

ripping the earthquake

finger

Baja

California

from

its bleeding

continental

hand

mountain shoulders rumbling

against each other

ranges

opening the deserts

of hell to the

salt sea

and all

its weird

twisted

boojum plants . . . .

Until these uplifted valleys

claim California oak trees,

grassy hills, ancient Indian

petroglyphs

rock art

and

white & black sage

sacred

herb

who begins to whisper

springtime streams

where this peninsula

still clings

to its

mainland roots, and

summer drought

with

winter rains

shall create a cattle pasture

with all

its dusty promise

of the distant, lingering north .




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Copyright 2002 Daniel Charles Thomas