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We look across the flat lands of New Mexico,

from a seat on the Sandilla Mountains.

It is near sunset and the whole scene looks red

and reminds me of a blazed clay shell

occasionally interrupted by the jutting of an

ancient cordillera spine. It is the backbone

of the native western earth; it is where the sun

was stored at night for safekeeping, away from

the Old World’s shores. We watch low clouds

cross below us, stoking the hard earth with

their shadows, and I imagine they must cool

whatever life there is down there. It is hard

to see anything but red, red earth. Hard to

imagine anything good growing here.

And she just sits next to me in silence, too.

Looking out and imagining who knows what.

She is quiet and unwilling to pose for a picture,

unwilling to participate in the pure illusion of a moment.

Instead she sits next to me looking out at the horizon,

like a person sitting at the bottom of the ocean

wanting air.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

* NOTE ABOUT THIS POEM: This poem was originally written in 1994 and is about one of my favorite personal pictures. The picture was taken by my friend, Camille Pansewicz, and it is of my future wife and I from behind, looking out across the horizon. There are too many reasons why this picture is one of my all time favorites to explain here. The poem is not one of my faves, but it is a reminder that writing is like taking a picture with words.

Plan B

(for my students & my sons)

…..

Be strong and dare to dream;

……….your life is more than what it seems.

Be good, be well, be nice;

……….these things you don’t consider twice.

Be calm, be fit, be smart;

……….take careful measure from where you start.

Be brave, be kind, be wise;

……….learn to tell the truth, even when disguised.

Be fair, be just, be true;

……….these things with time, get harder to do.

Be strange, unique and pure;

……….keep people guessing what else is in store.

Be bright, alive and … smile.

……….recall our lives, are but a while.

 ……….

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

By the third day of my vacation
I am nearing the end of reading my book*
(Unlike most others around me
mine is still printed and on paper).
I sit drinking black coffee, finishing a creole roll
and reapplying sunscreen to the top of my head,
where my thin grey matte is no better
against the sun than being completely bare.

.

The book is about numbers
and the mathematicians who have turned
into Madison Avenue alchemists,
promising their overlords that they
can turn you and me into symbols
and equations; that we can be sliced and
sorted into factors, primes, variables which can
then be adjusted, aligned, tweaked
all in the end really, to get to the gold.

.

It hurts me to think that I am
so easy to know; that even after so many years
of trying to create a self that could stand out
amongst angels, I could be so predictable.

.

A congregation of plovers drops in
again, just as I read the last page,
and I feed them the rest of my roll.

.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

* The Numerati, by Stephen Baker

everyyonedancing

hot air pairings

the greens and blues,

 

with mes and yous

 

these things are true …

 

the wheres, the whose,

 

the whats, left clues;

 

time can’t undo,

 

what’s laid, what grew.

 

the dusks, the dews,

 

the lights, the hues.

 

the sun, the moon,

 

with you seemed new.

 

the songs, the tunes,

 

the ocean’s bloom …

 

let’s both escape

 

on this balloon.

 

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

for Gabriel, who is fourteen

.

Wrestling with you, nowadays,

both in spirit and in form,

reminds me how much you’ve grown.

When I brace myself,

my arms around you,

trying to hold you,

I can feel you breaking free.

I don’t know how much is me,

getting older and what is you,

growing stronger;

but it makes me think of Jacob

and the angel, in the end,

wishing the night could

be just an hour longer.

animal squiggle (draft)

animal squiggle

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

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