Lorraine Caputo

Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 150 journals in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa; 12 chapbooks of poetry – including Caribbean Nights (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Notes from the Patagonia (dancing girl press, 2017) and the upcoming On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019). In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada chose her verse as poem of the month. Caputo has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia. She travels through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.

PALE FRAGRANCE

 

When the sun dips beyond

that western volcano

its rays whitening the sky

gathered  clouds changing

to gilded magenta

 

before fading in the dusk

 

swells the perfume of a lily

I found abandoned

on the stone steps

of an ancient church

one of its pale yellow

petals ripped away …

 

 

& one night

I awaken to this just

eclipsing moon peering

though my window

 

its light shining upon my bed

& whitening the sky, broken

clouds

 

before slipping beyond

that western volcano, eclipsing

eclipsing …

 

& the perfume of that yellow

lily of on torn petal

drifts in this room

 

 

 

CIVILIZED

 

 

(a poem for two voices)

1889—This building is 100 years old—1989

“The civilized peoples are those that show

  respect for the symbols of their past.”

—White marble plaque on the building

at Calle Chacabuco No. 917,

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

 

& these “civilized” people

celebrated Roca’s campaigns of

the Conquest of the Desert

They celebrated your

extermination

 

Now they must come

face to

your face

Emerging

 

From the polychrome stone

of Humahuaca Canyon

from the burning Chaco

& from the wind-beaten plains

icy bays, snowy mountains

of Patagonia, of Tierra del Fuego

 

Where your peoples

Kolla, Chiriguano, Tapieta, Chano

are arising

Wichi, Toba, Mocori

celebrating the survival

Mapuche & Tehuelche

of your civilization

Ona & Yanamá