NaPoWriMo Day 1: How to Honor the Visible and the Invisible

You may know her by her dazzling, infectious smile
Or breasts to die for, “the best money can buy”
(she’d quip)
In reality, this is only how you might recognize her
Her carefree brazenness masked depression inside.

Her kind, compassionate words; heartfelt, honest talks
A lifetime of experiences that made her hard, yet soft
Her volunteer work was far and above
Whether giving advice from a barstool or art from her loft.

Her imaginative paintings reflected her vibrant soul
Whimsical, off-kilter landscapes that seem exactly right
For those among us who’ve traveled a winding path
The colors of Puerto Vallarta are not as bright tonight.

Far too many brilliant stars are seen and not heard
Lest you think painting in the buff is obscene
(she often painted in the nude)
Know she’s in the heavens now, naked and unafraid
Paint the sky any color you want, my dear Francine!

~ Just L (NaPoWriMo, April 1, 2019)

Read Francine’s story here.

NaPoWriMo 2019, Day 1 Prompt: write a poem that provides the reader with instructions on how to do something.

Author’s Note: In loving memory of Francine Peters who lost her battle with depression on the eve of International Transgender Day of Visibility 2019.

A sunset celebration of Francine Peters life is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, 2019, 6:30pm at Langostinos on Playa Los Muertos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. All are welcome.

“Do not assume that [s]he who seeks to comfort you now, lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. [Her] life may also have much sadness and difficulty, that remains far beyond yours. Were it otherwise, [s]he would never have been able to find these words.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

I Didn’t Even Suck In My Stomach

I saw you on the street
In passing, We embraced
“Hi Sweetheart”…
You introduced me to your “friend”
Beautiful like a tiny painting
With a limp dishrag handshake.

I greeted you full, squarely on
With my usual over-the-top energy
“So great to see you; and meet you”
I didn’t even suck in my stomach
I don’t need your approval,
Or heartache.

~ Just L (February 5, 2019)

Where Two Rivers Meet the Sea

Tropical flowers are red,
The sky is blue,
The sun is hot,
And so are you.

Water taxis are white,
Yachts are rare,
The water is shiny
And so is your hair.

Roosters crow,
Chickens lay eggs,
Force is strong,
And so are your legs.

Mountains reach,
Up to the skies,
The sand is sparkly,
And so are your eyes.

Iguanas in hedges,
Mean no harm,
Arrival is safe,
And so are your arms.

Locals are pretty,
Guests have style,
My party is winning,
And so is your smile.

Two rivers meet the sea
In southern Jalisco
The Bay is beautiful,
Just like you.

~ Just L (November 29, 2018)

yelapa 2

Author’s Note: Yelapa, Mexico. Yelapa means where two rivers meet the sea.

Jamaican Dreams – Reprise

There is a place by the westward sea — salty sweet. Reggae jazz floods the sidewalk. One Rasta man and an empress — eyes meet. Where the darkest night met the light. And, a new day began.

-Just L (February 25, 2017)

via Jamaican Dreams

A selection from sweeter days with my dark chocolate….

Awash In A Wave (May 26 2018)

Lost in You (May 24, 2018)

The Poetry Between Us (May 22, 2018)

My Distant Love Appears Unannounced (April 18, 2018)

Voices In Our Heads (April 2, 2018)

Unconvinced (July 23, 2018)

September Heat (September 19, 2017)

“All will be fine love” (September 12, 2017)

I Keep The Time (May 9, 2017)

Oh Gloria (April 16, 2017)

There Is A Woman Who Lights Up The Whole Earth (April 13, 2017)

He Speaks Four Languages. We Share One. (April 1, 2017)

Is this what love is made of or does this seem absurd? (March 2, 2017)

World At Her Feet (February 27, 2017)

Thank you for enjoying my 390 poems on love and loss published here since 2015. See the “About Just L” section for my poetry published elsewhere since 1997.

Willa

The windows rattled but I was not shook;
Your strong arms, my protection.
Reminded of your house’s strong foundation;
I settled in to the kiss of rain’s affection.

As the waves crashed in this Cabo Corrientes cove,
We found our own native rhythm.
Skin to skin we crackled;
Was it the lightning or him?

You drug the boat back into the southernmost (of Bahía de Banderas)
In the calm of the morning light.
We headed toward the rainbow;
God’s blessing, our delight.

~ Just L (October 26, 2018)

Yelapa, Mexico, as we were alerted of Willa’s approach. Video courtesy of Romeo Tovar Chavarin.

Author’s Note: My great niece, Willa, turned 1 this month. Coincidence?

NAPOWRIMO Day 26: Tile Park PV: A Celebration of Puerto Vallarta’s 100th Birthday

NAPOWRIMO Day 26: Tile Park PV: A Celebration of Puerto Vallarta’s 100th Birthday 

At first I feel a little nervous and sweaty
It’s 83 degrees in April and the morning air is perspiring, too
I take a gulp of latte with my pineapple pastry
Common props for this not morning girl
Wishing now I had asked for an iced coffee
Already much of the plaza has been transformed by color
Themed mosaics cover the once gray concrete pillars
I’m excited to be participating in this art installation – Tile Park PV
Today we are working on the four elements, fire, water, air…
Two friends and a stranger are assigned earth, our team of three
Sifting through the tiles and beads before me
Conchas Chinas Beach comes to mind
When I first visited  I thought of Yachats, Oregon, immediately!
Lava rocks encircle tide pools surrounded by soft sand
Small agates appear where the waves break
Enveloped by a great expanse of a cheese-cloth covered sky
The only difference here is the water is warm
It invites you to kick off your shoes and wade
The other teams are talking with their hands
As they plan how they’ll integrate their designs
I grasp my first tile; it feels cool to the touch
Dip my scraper in the mortar and begin to lose track of time

~Just L (April 26, 2018)

Author’s Note: NaPoWriMo Prompt – Write a poem that includes images that engage all five senses. Try to be as concrete and exact as possible with the “feel” of what the poem invites the reader to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.

I skipped the last three days of NaPoWriMo as I was in Lazaro Cardenas Park in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, making history. Find out more about the project here: https://www.parqueazulejospv.com/