Monday, June 10, 2013

How To Say Hello

Ballet Folklorico, Sacramento County Fair
—Photo by Michelle Kunert, Sacramento

—David Iribarne, Sacramento
In the beginning,
we often danced,
just not together.
We often would
sidestep each other
avoid each other
avoid comfortable
avoid calm,
replace with shadows of rage.

Times changed.
The dance became less tense.
We saw that our fights
were similar, we needed
each other’s shelter.

This way there was something
more to look for.

Now when we are
in the same room,
we dance together
and many times
we are not aware of the “dance.”

It felt as though
slowly you were dropping
the stones of your life—
letting in shades of light.

No more would your face
turn “tomato” red
when coffee would spill.
No more would “eggs” crack
when people did something
that set your oven running.

Now your spirit overshadowed
your rage—you let that dance.

Anger seems not to rear
his ugly head as often.
Happiness, tenderness, caring
rule the muse.
You have thrown away your stones,
no more will they travel with you.

Now you have taken your last step.
Danced the dance.
As always you keep dancing,
and all I can say is— 
“Dance on, dance on!”


—David Iribarne

I harrowed through storms
where the people revolved
through doors quite often
I apologized for everything
I often didn’t want to open my eyes
they would be clenched shut
peer through to see people
I hated, I detested, I was afraid
I felt like I was five
and I had several monsters
in my room constantly.

One time it was close quarters
metal bunk beds
sandwiches were slid through
green mayonnaise with bologna
four days spent in hell
only to be released
but not be.

Let out, no home
cut my skin
infection began,
but didn’t care, paid no mind
just like everything else.
Another storm ensued
legs and feet swelled.

Walking through inferno
oblivious, someone dared not to be
called in saviors
sent to hospital
found out that I almost could’ve lost my feet
I didn’t much care for I had already lost my mind.

There I laid my apprehensions to rest
took heed of what people had been saying
no more did I play loose
rather I tightened my grip
and began to take action.

I immersed myself in everything that came my way.
Took responsibility for my actions
and took steps to my ultimate salvation.

I went through doors that
had many locks
took a while to find right keys.
I shared rooms with
so many different people
sometimes they changed daily.

Sometimes I felt good
sometimes not, and
sometimes I would have
to pray to get through the day.

Never knowing what to expect
I periled through
taking it all in
sometimes inhaling more than I wanted.

In the end,
I was inspired by many
taught a great deal
I came to inspire many and teach many
something I thought would never happen.
I learned that I actually mattered,
that I was valued but only only if I valued myself.

—Photo by David Iribarne

—David Iribarne

“This is a place where people
come to say goodbye— 
we don’t get a lot of hello’s,”

Woman said to me as I left.
Her voice, tired and monotone.
She surely didn’t think
I was listening.

I was, though, hauntingly.
Why had she said that?
Did she say it to everyone?
Did she not think
I would “hear” her
and say goodbye to my consciousness.

She left me searching.
Do people spend too much time
saying goodbye and not hello?
Are we not connected?

I thought about people I met
through the years,
my mind went blank.
Could it be she was right?

Then, unexpectedly, a calming,
colorful, compassionate person
came to mind.

A fresh, friendly, vivacious woman
who brimmed with smiles.

Found myself smiling, remembering
not too long ago
how we would play Frisbee.
I would throw hard
she would run with intensity
to catch it—little did she know
she was not just catching a Frisbee
but catching memories as well.

Now I was at ease.

I knew that we know how to say “hello.”

This woman graced my path,
truly touched me and everyone else.
So much that she left
a piece of her with everyone
because she took a piece too.

She just did not follow that path.
she knew how important
it was to say “hello.”  

She is why I had to search.
She is why I knew
I couldn’t believe that woman
lived in her gray world.

I had made it home, not knowing how.
Walked in the door, went right to bed.
I was comfortable.
I know there are those
that catch Frisbees, catch people
and those who let them go
right through their fingers.


—David Iribarne

Stay close enough
so I can feel the warmth of your breath
stay within reach
I want to be able to touch your soft skin
I want to tattoo my kisses
all over your body.

You weave your head
up my body like a snake.
Starting at my leg
I can feel your wet lips
as you kiss my calves
your black hair graces my torso
as you make your way up to my face
your hot breath graces my cheek
as you whisper into my ear
and etch your feelings
your compassion, and your passion upon me.

Pour your essence into the core
watering my soul
making our love blossom
thrive and flourish.

Don’t let me go
keep me warm
comfort me
keep me at ease.

Don’t tread too far
make sure to stay close
that we never break
our fibers never come loose.

We are so strong
intertwined so tight
that you cannot untie us.


Today's LittleNip:

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.

—A Chinese Proverb

—Medusa, with thanks to today's contributors, including Pat Pashby for the proverb!

David Iribarne, reading at last Monday's 
Hot Poetry in the Park
—Photo by Michelle Kunert
[Be sure to check Medusa's Facebook page
for more photos from last Monday's SPC reading!]