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Lorraine Caputo



Sandy soil      dense scrub brush

         palest sunrise

Across some inlet or a river

         swift currents flowing

                  to the Gulf of Venezuela

White froth washes

         against its shore


Wayuu women in long loose dresses

         strong wind & sun-etched faces

                  awaken to this other day


Herons fly towards the yellow-

         orange sun now crested

Long stretches of barren land

         lagunillas edged by brine

                  reeds bowing in the wind

& now& again

         that golfo


On the border a Wayuu, tall, erect

         quickly disappears into a thicket

                  her manta barely brushing the thorns



Street lamps &

starlight dapple

Swift waters shouting

through the night


Along the highway

on the other bank

buses pass, their

passengers asleep or

peering through

the darkness


A cat jumps

from the tin roof,

a meteorite shoots

‘cross the sky


Out front a garbage

can topples, dogs bark

& the bell rings

echoing through this inn,

a traveler

seeking peace



            A rumble of thunder

            rolls across the

            southwest mountains


The woman of the corner café

wipes the balcony table

before stowing it inside


            a rumble


A father hurries

up the street

toddler daughter in arms




Music echoes up

from the Theater Plaza, with an

affretando rhythm


            rumble of thunder



Clouds swirl around

these mountains & the

ancient ruins, through this

morning twilight


In the flickers

of the kitchen fire

       a mother scatters

yesterday’s rice

       to the chickens


Her young daughter

          arises, singing

                   holy hymns with a

          crystalline voice




is what wrinkles

say: worries or wonder

etched deep across my brow, or joy

in the crescent grooves on either side of

my mouth … & those around my eyes,

squinting to understand

puzzling questions




frazzled nerves, the mind

roaming, not focused,

anarchic … emotions

careening into depths,

teetering on the edge,

under my feet the abyss, the

ravine looming, beckoning

eagles to leave their aeries,

soaring to heights of peace …


Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 250 journals on six continents; and 18 collections of poetry – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Escape to the Sea (Origami Poems Project, 2021). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada honored her verse. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia. She journeys through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. 


Follow her travels at: or

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