What is Poetry

 Poetry is a very unusual form of writing. It falls into little pigeon holes. It has rhythm, flow, meter and sometimes rhyme. It also is filled with emotion and comes from the heart. It has often occurred to me that I do not exactly understand why people like John Donne who felt the need to pour his heart out put these tremendous artificial limits on himself by forcing himself to do so within the constraints of poetry. Why didnt he just write it in prose? It would have been so much easier. But for many who are poets, there is only one way that they can allow that grief and emotion to come out and that is within poetic restraints. For that reason, poetry is a singular anomaly. Pax - C.

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My Grandfather's Pacemaker

Bright constellations shimmering against the ocean floor. My grandfather was born for the sea, or maybe it was the sea that had been brought upon him. He stared down to the blue and looked up at the twinkling stars and couldn’t ever imagine a world without these peppering kisses of droplets sprinkling against his freckled face.


Everything needs an engine. Even a mighty boat.


February night, cold air sneaking its way through the door that was ajar. Sneaking its way through his veins and all the way to his heart. Rhythm suddenly stopped, the beats were uncertain. A nurse walked in, called the doctor and made sure to close the curtain. It was under attack, his heart that is. The mother organ. Only physically though, his love and kindness still open. And that was it for a while, that’s what kept him alive for so long. Not very long but still longer than most.


Who would’ve thought that the young sailorman, the scuba diving king, would be depending on a machine to keep his heart beating and the summer air clean. But there It was and here we were and even though he couldn’t form many words, I still know if he could he’d be joking everywhere and finding a way, in his mind, to still crack a joke.


A pacemaker. Artificial life. But nothing artificial about it said my grandmother, his wife, because after all he was still here and that will was what mattered. Little did we know that his biggest dreams had been shattered. Yes, he loved us, and he loved being with us and his family visiting did help him recover but what is it that happens when your major interest is over? Would it feel like everything was out of order? My dad said he wasn’t sure, but oh boy I knew it. How could I put in doubt his love for the sea and fishing and doing? A hardworking man he was, you can’t just expect him to be okay and resting. Not when he’d rather be put in action and fighting and testing.  


A pacemaker, they call them. Those little machines that send electric shocks so your heart’s valves stay open. A pace, a rhythm, a beat. Could really help you live but, apparently, not to stay on your feet. That’s when I understood and that’s when I saw it; my grandpa’s heart didn’t beat to pump blood, it beat to imitate oceans.


We took him to the beach, to see it for one last time. The pacemaker seemed to smile, his eyes seemed to shine and everything was okay, at least for a while, at least for some time. Every heart beats to its own rhythm and that’s completely okay, you just have to find what is yours and what makes you brave.


September afternoon, the old man passed away, the pacemaker stopped. It was bound to happen sometime anyway but I still cried. It’s not easy to see someone you love die. My father sniffed and showed me his closed hand, I looked at it and he opened it to see what it had. The small object, that thing that kept my grandfather alive for so long. It wasn’t so away from him just hours ago. I sighed and closed his hand again, told him maybe it would be useful to donate the thing to some friend. A man so alive once, had depended on a machine and oh, so naïve I was to think it was only the sea that gave breath to his lungs and helped him feel free. But everything was okay now, it was time for him to rest. When someone is alive so much and has given his best it’s okay…it’s okay for them to just stay…and sleep and snore so deep. So deep as the ocean and the deep blue sea, dreaming to the beat of a pacemaker and to heaven to flee.

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My Grandfather Boots

My grandfather’s boots, the most memorable pair of boots my family will always remember. Before he passed away, my grandfather had the most beautiful and amazing pair of cherry oak colored Lucchese boots ever. Every night he shined and cleaned them before going to bed. Whether he was tired or busy, whether he was sick or at a dinner. Every single morning he woke up at 5 am, slipped on his boots and went to work with his cows, it is safe to say the cows in the ranches saw more of my grandfather than we did. The kids in our family did not get to see him much, but one thing is sure, every afternoon my grandfather would come back from the ranch and leave the boots as dirty as they could get. The boots being in the same place every afternoon was the only thing constant in my grandfather house. He would change the house, buy new things, but one thing remained true, the boots would always be on the entrance of the house. Clean or dirty, as kids we used to play with them. We would put them on and play being a cattleman, just like in the Dallas show. We would play piggyback riding each other, chasing cows, and shooting coyotes.  My grandfather realized we loved the boots so much that one day for Christmas he got each of his grandsons a pair of Lucchesse boots. Each pair he bought was chosen with special care and specifically though for each grandson to match his likes. We would wear them every day to the ranch, most of us work on our parents ranch now so we wear them every day. My grandfather boots where so iconic of him that every time I put my own pair on I say to myself “Wow, now I can be like my grandpa.” When my granpa passed away, I remember nobody cared for the money nor the material goods, the only thing his children and grandchildren where fighting about where his boots. In the end nobody kept his boots, my family decided to commemorate his life by keeping them safe in the one placed he loved. Nowadays the boots are always on display in the LALA offices. They are meant to represent hard work, and that even though it is a big company nowadays the building blocks are in the ranch. My grandfather boots represent hard work and dedication. Oh how I love my grandfather boots.  Although we now each have our own pair of Lucchesse boots one thing remains sure, our favorite pair is the old and smelly Cherry Oak colored boots my grandfather used to wear.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I hope you really like it, i wrote it from the bottom of my heart!

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My Aunt's Piano

I always wondered how to play it. The old fashioned grand piano just stood there, in the living room. Nobody would play it, nobody would acknowledge it. Was it special? Did it even work? Every month, since I was 7 years old, I would attend a family reunion in my Aunt’s house, and I would think about the polished piano that seemed as if it were just another piece of furniture in the spacious living room. It seemed insignificant to everybody, it seemed as if I was the only one who recognized the charm in this instrument. Until one day, I finally asked my aunt, “Does anybody play the piano?”. She laughed, and told me that it was merely an ornament for them, they had bought it 10 years ago and nobody ever even took piano classes. Yes, the $5,000 piano was simply, just, there. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t stop thinking about this piano that seemed so elegant, fancy, and even stylish. As I got home, I told my mom that I needed to learn how to play the piano. I fell in love with the gentle, emotional and mellow sounds it made. As I started taking clases, I realized that I really did enjoy playing. It became my only hobby that was not related to sports, which was incredibly strange and awkward to me. Until this day, I have no other hobbies (besides reading and playing the piano) that are not sports related. I grew up, the years passed and my 13th birthday came, the greatest gift of them all was from my aunt. Yes, she gave me her piano. She said that it would make her more happy if someone actually played it. I stared in amusement, not understanding the fact that she had just began to realize that. I thought about saying: “You don’t say?”, but my parents taught me that sarcasm is bad. Yes, really really bad. So I actually said: “Thanks!”. My aunt’s piano, which is now my piano, now sits below the stairs in my house, and finally, has someone to play with. It now feels satisfied, complete and seems even more joyful than before. Now, thanks to my aunt, I have a piano that I would never thought I would have. I take care of it more than I take care of any of my belongings. And my aunt, as weird as she can be, and as weird as she may think, will forever be the aunt who gave me her grand piano.

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The Arrival

The arrival

I see him laying there, roaring sound coming out of him, black smoke covering all of him, just like it was predicted by the priests in our tribe. He is bigger than I ever imagined he would be. His wings reflected the sun and blinded us all. His figure reflects light and blinds us all. However, I’m wondering why he decided to come down. Has he been listening to our prayers? Has our time on this world reached an end? What do the tattoos that spell “American Airlines” on his sides mean? It’s all so confusing, but there is no doubt: a God has landed on our sacred grounds.

The day the tribe had been waiting for is finally here. I thought he was smaller, but now that I can see him next to me, our God is bigger than anyone or anything here at the village. He seemed hurt, his wings seemed like they’ve been cut in half. Maybe he needs us to help him, I believe that after all he has done for us, this is our chance to do something for him. As our tribe leader, Rajiv approaches him and looks inside through the holes on his side. He says he saw dead people laying on his stomach. Maybe they were from other tribes, but they seemed too different and strange from all of us.

Rajiv continued trying to make contact with the God, but as he shouted and tried to talk to him, he responded with more black smoke and roaring metallic sounds coming from his wings. We think we might have angered our god. We begin to pray, but our chants seem futile and He does not respond. Rajiv is desperate, he send all of us women to dance and try to peace his anger, but nightfall is coming and our God has yet to respond. We hear another screeching sound. Rajiv interprets this as hunger from our God.

We don’t know what God’s are supposed to eat up amongst the clouds, so we first bring forth our best crops. We offer life from the ground, fruits, medicinal herbs and all kinds of crops. He remains unimpressed. Maybe what he needs is meat to take his strength back. So we fetch our best meat, we bring chicken, boars and even a goat. We offer them in his honor and proceed to cook our more delicious dishes. A feast worthy of a God. Nonetheless, we seem to bore him, and the fire that had once lived inside of our God is slowly dying. Finally, we realize it’s time for the ultimate gift.

Rajiv brings forth our strongest warrior. He, who volunteered himself in order to become a sacrifice for our divine being. The highest honor and biggest display of faith that a mortal can gain can only be received through voluntary sacrifice. We begin to paint all over his body, writing ancient passages and trying to copy the “American Airlines” tattoo from our god. At the same time, men prepare a wood statue to tie up the sacrifice. The time comes and Rajiv ties up the warrior. He chants a few passages, and finally set it all on fire. His death is slow and painful to watch, it takes until dawn for the fire to die.


In spite of our efforts the mighty God refused to respond. Some of his body was slowly being washed into the sea, back to a place we will never know. What else could we have done to please our God? Or maybe this was all just a test. We’ll keep trying to please him, but as humans nothing we can do that can compare to his grace. But day after day, we will wait for him to come back and respond. We can always try tomorrow. What a torment it is to live a mortal life, full of the unknown and at the mercy of others.

Time and Memories

My grandfather is a man who is grateful for what he has and takes good care of all the things that life has given to him. If you ask me what I remember the most from my grandparents’ house I would most likely say the old clock in their living room. It has been on the wall since I have memory and I like to think that it is still working because of the care that my grandfather gives to his belongings. The minute he notices something is not working he always tries to fix whatever it is and he cannot be bothered until he is finished, specially if we are talking about the living room clock. If you talk to him while he is fixing something you will be ignored and if you keep insisting you will get yelled no matter who you are, that is how much he cares about his stuff. Like any other grandparent, my grandfather always tells us stories about his life as a young man when we visit him, but you know that the story is going to be good when he goes to his room to look for a photo or an object from the time that the story took place, and it is even more interesting when he takes out a clock or a watch. If it is a clock, then the story is about his father who also collected clocks, and if it is a watch, then the story will be either about his friends or his brothers. I always liked the friends’ stories more because I could relate to them better and they would remind me about my friends from high school. When he finishes telling the story he gives me the watch that he took out and, even though I don’t wear them because they are very old fashioned, I always keep them in my room as a reminder to enjoy life and look at the bright side of things. It is interesting to think of clocks as time machines, for my grandfather they are a reminder of the good times that he had with his family and friends, even he remembers the bad times very clearly. He is a serious person but when he tells a story he smiles every time and I respect him so much because he made from his life something memorable and that is what true happiness is about. (405 words)

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My Grandfathers Golf Cart


A quiet hum and a steady pace. The clack clack clack of the ice cubes in my grandfather's beverage in unison with the clack clack clack of the clubs in the rear compartment. The old, worn out leather of the seat grows a streak after being used; each streak holding a memory. The laughter after the inappropriate jokes my grandfather would tell his golfing buddies; the words of a caddy only as wise as the next bad shot; the desperation from my father after missing the puts whilst being taught and of course the cries of excitement from his first hole in one followed by the traditional round of steaks at the clubhouse. For EZ-GO, the company that manufactured his golf cart, it was the product of the labor from a random tuesdays afternoon shift. But blindly, what they had built that day would become the family's most treasured relic. After my grandfather's mournful death in June 2005 everyone was left with a missing piece. It was maybe his advice, no-bullshit attitude, his snarky comments or encouragement to succeed what people were left without after the funeral. By this point both my aunts, cousins, father and finally myself came to add more streaks to the worn out leather seat. After 15 years of devoted service the doubt emerged of what was the next step. A new golf cart was on order, in the same color and specifications as my grandfather's. As each family member declared they would take charge in selling the old EZ-GO they immediately regretted it and passed the task to the next family member. My father's turn came and one afternoon we both inspected the cart in the same spot that my grandfather had parked it for the last fifteen years. The dark green paintwork, the key still holding my grandfather's chosen keychain and all the experiences that carried the sturdy beige roof. We took it out for a drive with only 2 feet and the turn of the wheel being enough for my father and I to give ourselves that look. We both knew at that moment, this cart wasn't going anywhere. A weekly wash, monthly polish and once a year drive is what keeps the cart in the same pristine condition my grandfather had left it in. A pointless waste of money for anyone outside the family circle but the absolute right thing to do in the eyes of every person who came in contact with my grandfather. My father and I know deep within that we made the right choice. In that sunny afternoon we went to inspect the cart, after the half hour drive we had left yet another streak in the leather seat.








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My grandmother’s garden”

Every year when spring arrives, it reminds me of my grandmother, I can swear that I smell her garden, full of flowers, full of life, full of daisies and tulips that filled the atmosphere with color, joy and happiness. I had the best moments of my life there, lying down in the grass, as time didn’t pass, as anything else in the world didn’t matter as if it was only the two of us in that magnificent kingdom. I don’t usually believe in magic, but there was something magical in that place, it was the cure for every problem you had, all you needed was to spend a few minutes there, breath deeply and after a few seconds you will feel happy again. Spring and summer were the best seasons of the year, you could spend the whole day sitting in the wood bench and never feel bored as every hour you had a different view, a different feeling, in the morning the breeze falling into your skin, in the noon all the hummingbirds and butterflies flying around the flowers, in the night you had the perfect view of the stars shining in the sky and if you were lucky you could also watch the moon. It was really impressive to watch my grandma take care of her flowers, she always played music in her garden as she believed that music improved their growing process, she treated every petal as an individual rather than as a flower and threated every flower differently as every one had its own care instructions. She liked flowers so much that one day she decided to cut a small flower from her garden to put it in a necklace, at first I thought she was mad, but after watching the result I learned that she always knew what she is doing. She took the flower to a store in which they put it inside some liquid plastic and after that into a golden medal, it was beautiful. I thought that she was going to wear it, but instead to my surprise she gave it to me on my 16th birthday. Now every time I wear that necklace I can still feel that magical vibe that her garden had, I can still smell every single flower, I can feel the breeze falling into my skin and remember every single day we spent in that garden.

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At A Closer Glance

I saw a bunch of poets 
on a line 
at the Avalon 
in San Francisco 

They looked so tired 
So, I approached them 
then stated 
"you guys look beat" 

but, at a closer glance 
they were just stoned 

Allen was there 
with Corso and Ferlinghetti 
Bukowski was around the corner 
trading his wife for cigarettes 


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