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Now that the warm weather is upon us, the daily spectacle in front of our house is ever changing from morning to night. This particular poem reflects daily life and aspirations in Mexico.

The Parade

The parade of daily life in Mexico

Begins even before sunrise,

As fishermen head towards their boats

Anticipating a great catch, please God,

Nets teeming with mero, robalo, etc.

While some may walk,

Others pedal along in front of my window,

On those ever-present ‘tricicletos’,

Transporting other fishermen – Pescadores,

Motors, bait buckets, lines and bamboo poles

To the water’s edge.

That parade is followed by another,

Heading away from the water

To the tiendas, pastelerías and the mercado,

As housewives, clerks and business people

Make their way

To their respective destinations.

Still another parade,

Sees mothers, sometimes fathers, or ‘abuelas’

Taking small children in crisp uniforms,

Firmly by the hand

To the ‘kinders’, ‘escuelas’ – schools,

Where they will be nurtured,

Educated, prepared for the future.

Those who succeed,

And are privileged, or know wealth,

Will receive a higher education –

Leading to careers, high paying jobs –

Still others may leave Mexico,

The country of their birth,

Leaving the parade forever.

Unfortunately, perhaps,

Many will remain

Where they were born –

In low paying jobs, if any,

Watching the parade of northern tourists

Come and go as the seasons change.

Many, following in their father’s footsteps,

Will join the predawn parade of fishermen,

Waiting for the illusive big catch,

That will change their humble lives.

This parade is never-ending.

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This poem is dedicated to all of our friends who have left or are about to leave the Yucatan and to those still in the north. Hey, it works for those of us who are here longer…at least until it warms up a little more. Safe journeys today, wherever you are…

 

The Quilt

In the tapestry of each of our lives

Is woven many people, many places,

Many events and experiences

Which like a patchwork quilt,

Warms us on a cold Canadian winter night –

Snow falling quietly, effortlessly,

Outside our window.

 

This invisible quilt,

Virtually indestructible,

While it may show signs of wear and tear,

From time to time,

Is always with us,

Keeping us warm

And keeping us secure,

When we feel most vulnerable.

 

It never weighs us down,

But rather, lifts us up

Warming us – not from the outside –

But from the inside, our core being,

Our soul.

 

While it may sometimes be misplaced,

It is never truly lost,

Despite the feelings of loneliness

We may experience at a given moment.

We need only reach deep down inside,

And wrap ourselves in its many folds,

And we will once again be warmed

By the quilt of friendship.

This poem could have been written on the shore of any lake anywhere in the world, but actually it was written near Orlando, Florida. I was visiting our friend Al at his home there en route to Canada one year when Larry had already gone ahead. His home overlooks a wonderful lake with lots of wildlife, much the same as our friends. Marcel and Ethel in Tobermory. Sitting in a docked dinghy, I felt a real peace. This poem is the result…

The Lake

There is certain peacefulness

Found only at the water’s edge,

Seagulls soaring overhead,

Ducks gliding effortlessly

Across the rippling surface,

Frogs croaking in the marshiness

Of the shoreline.

 

Alone –

One can contemplate the world

Without distraction,

Far from the noises of the city,

As the sun begins to set,

Lights beginning to appear on the distant horizon.

 

Somewhere else,

On another lake,

In a distant part of the world,

Sits another lone human being,

Pondering his world, his future,

Wandering and wondering

What is on the other side of that lake?

Is it really worth crossing?

Will there be someone there who understands

How difficult it was,

To make that journey across,

Leaving the known world,

Behind?