Rootlets


 

I’ve been digging for a while

A stubborn weed that won’t let go

fingers prying stones

nails packed with soil

subcutaneous levels of time

digging deep

tiny tendrils seeking dark

Purple, gold, red, black

And the transparency of white

Not knowing the strength of grief

Or the nakedness of light.

 

Have we grown strong, then?

Barefoot children,

Pressed clothes and slicked back hair,

“Just because we’re poor,

doesn’t mean we have to be dirty”

Cereal boxes and fish hooks,

rail road tracks, and chandelier gems

from a plastic factory across the tracks,

Pacific Islanders in a Mexican barrio

in a foreign land without “birthsands”.

 

Oh those young roots holding strong in desperation

A generation of mixed breeds pulled apart,

Separated, dispossessed from birthlands

What was there to hold onto then, But each other?

 

I cried in the dark, afraid,

Of being alone

Of being born

And dying

A bastard

Without a name

To my skin

But you were there. Then.

Clinging rootlets without soil.

Never letting go.

 

Are we not now resilient weeds digging deep

Ferns turning stones in an Ahu of our own creation

Distant lives in our own image, still holding on.

Life Stage


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I hope I’m not a “pantaloon” in my middle-age

Clowning around in my own self-importance.

with paunchy sides and drooping eyes

Silver–lined hair wanting repair,

Laughing at my own self-imposed despair.

 

I want to be elegant in my carriage

With eyes bright like morning’s light,

And poetic tongue—quick and lithe

to praise the soft petals of delight

And sing my urgent heart’s desire.

 

Who wants to be a doddering fool

With slack mind flowing with repetition

Of unsung dreams, and hopeless monologues

Of how things aren’t what they used to be.

 

Instead, take me to your snow-clad mountains

To drink, to taste, to breathe such majesty

And let my blood run wild like maple syrup

Such sweet infusion of sun and scent and

Spring me, pour me, take my every starlight fervor

For if “All the world is a stage”, I’ll be alive

til’ my last bow, when petals fall, my day is done

without so much of a second childhood.

 

April 1, 2015

*Note: Shakespeare writes of the seven stages of mankind, the 6th being the Pantaloon.

Born Barefoot


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I was born barefoot

And learned to walk on rocks,

And hot pavement,

Stubbed my toes a lot,

And packed them with red soil

To heal in soft earth.

Tough Samoan feet

That felt hot in shoes

And didn’t fit the narrow, prissy,

Slender girl look.

“Wide!”

I said with pride,

“With rubber tips” that could

Scuffle and kick

Like the best of boys,

My feet took a beating.

But in summer,

They found the shapes of trees

With toes that gripped

The coconut, papaya, mango, guava trunks,

I was the mastermind of gathering fruit

With bulging shirt in teeth

Climbing over fences,

Pedaling bikes,

A solid, fast get-away.

 

I was told,

“Stay outside, your feet are dirty”

And I did.

Who wants lacy white socks that itch,

Or ugly pointed shoes that pinch?

I was born barefoot,

And was proud of it.

March 28, 2015

Poetry

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© Karen K.L.Espaniola and hinarising.com. 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen K.L. Espaniola and hinarising.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.