Something about running naked in the rain
recalls some lost decades withered now in
a fading trail hallooing with surprised laughter
tickled out of our backs by sudden pellets of rain.
The river! The river! Chanted my little lass
skipping to the tempo of scampering rain:
Let’s swim there, abuelo! Let’s dance in the river!
Brown and slithering over scraped-clean rocks,
the river meanders sans snails, eels, or crayfish,
emptied now of carp, catfish, small-mouth bass...
O, how we could have raucously scared the wren
with catcalls while mounting a wading caribou,
but those were noises of our lost years when
naked lads swam with dung and water buffalo.
We can’t swim here, hija mia, City Hall says clean
rivers are for clean table fish. We do have our rain.
A BALLERINA ON THE WINDOW
“Adios, adios, abuelo. Te Amo. Je T'aime! Mahal Kita! Luv ya!” ---- Chloe speaking in tongues.
A glimmer of a sylph on the gossamer bay,
She pirouettes and is gone into her chrysalis
Not unlike the sylvan truants that waylay
The wary wanderer among the trees,
Or the papillon flitting from blossom to bramble,
Hidden but always there, some surprise grace,
A magical fairy light to dispel the creeping pall
Coiled on the winter ennui of fallen days ---
O, she dandles dearly with her ragged ragdoll,
Caressingly delicate in a wistful pas de deux
Of her shadow Fonteyn caught in a sudden fall
By a prancing Baryshnikov vaulting off the shadow.
Was that his pas de chat to snatch her from disaster?
Quickly now, urgently now, hold the hapless Dame
As would a cat curl on the legs of its Master,
Dream now of a demure pas de bourree of fame,
While dreams still enthrall, while the dancing
Is still your language of love, of boundless courage,
While the arguments of your young body moving
To the beats of passion are still the true language
Of the good, the honest, and the beautiful:
Until then, mon amour, these decrepit hands cannot
Stop the deluge of fear, of hurt, and of the frightful
That would drown us all, before our windows are shut.
Even now, as you wave from your window,
I know you will be brave.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA