• Robert L. Giron

Issue 34 — Don Berger, David Dorantes

Don Berger


To Haiti


This poem was read at the We Love Haiti fundraiser at Montgomery College on February 15, 2010.



Haiti you’re the poorest but you are not the poorest

The amazing blue stripe on your flag I can’t name the color

And the remarkable red one that goes along with it

You are the first black republic

Founded in 1804

And you know this of course but I have to say it

Haiti, you’ve got your 27,750 square miles and some of the trees

are still up

Your French and your Creole are

I think about your coffee your sugar your sisal, mangoes, rice

Corn sorghum

Your improving literacy rate

Your total area

Your schools were there in place and will be

What’s that in your flag in the middle I’ll have to look it looks like

And is a tree with things under it

O I know and the words Union Makes Force

Your cement and textiles

166 years ago people started you

On the map you look like an open mouth

Or the tails of a comet

And you share an island

And the island’s name’s the beautiful Hispaniola

Like it was yesterday the girl who came out of the rubble after

twelve days

Golfe de la Gonave

In Saturday’s Post you’re only already on page 19

But there are two articles about you

And two maps as well

It says the chaos has dissipated

And something about your people getting along

There’s a table of pills and ointments

Beside the Grand Rue

Someone is trying to sell

Claudy Esperance

Will find food for his wife and three kids

World-wide they’ve pledged $2 billion dollars

About 200,000 killed and 300,000 injured

A day of mourning in front of the collapsed National Palace

O but tent cities with enough shelter by May 1

A man’s asked if his people are starving and can’t get food

As shown by the news media and he says No that’s not true

Your first big rain fell Thursday

But the trucks and buses moved along the street the Grand Rue

A small pile of batteries and electrical sockets

Joseph Villanord

Who was on the second floor of his building

But you rode down with the crumbling walls

And found yourself settling on top of the rubble

A silent but eloquent unfocussed gaze

As Frantzo you are bundling together concrete reinforcement rods

With the hope of using them to replace your family’s home

You’re a young man on a rooftop

Pushing chunks of concrete off a ledge

The Boulangerie Sant Marc 1929

Where your merchants used to discuss business over a piece of

cake and a cup of coffee

And your name’s pronounced three ways

I know you know this too

In the Greater Antilean archipelago

Land of high mountains as your name goes

From the Taino or Amerindian

On top of this

French as the only country with French

As the language in the Americas

Other than Canada

I want to see your cave paintings in several locations

That’ve become national symbols

And the site of Xaragua’s former capital

That Columbus landed on

Who your princess Queen Anacoana fought

Spain took your gold

The French pirate Jean Lafitte was born in you

With your now 9 million people 9 million 35 thousand

Five hundred and 36

You had 30,000 in 1763 while Canada had only 60,000

James Audubon was born in you

I think

And the founder of Chicago

Your slaves fought in heavy majority in 1791 on the northern

plains

Polish soldiers ultimately fought with your rebels

The only nation born of a slave revolt

Dessalines Emperor for life

Quashed was the idea of Napoleon

I like your 1700 kilometers of roads that were made usable

And your 189 bridges built

And drinking water brought to your main cities

In 1923 you helped feed Ghana

You of the third largest island

Your lowlands, your two plains, the Massif du Nord

And fourteen universities 15,200 primary schools

And most, listening, hearing and listening,

Your complex ever-changing

Music vodou ceremonial Rara parading troubadour ballads,

Compas

Compas or Kompa from Africa and ballroom underpinning of

Tipico, meringue

Hip hop your castle inscribed a World Heritage

You offer peppers and other strong flavorings

Seasoned liberally and i.e. Levantine from Arab migration

Often red snapper

And your beans and rice

Several differing ways there is protein there

There is mais moulu

Or pigeon peas

And as you know oregano garbanzo and red peppers

So in the crowd pressing toward the stage

On the Champ de Mars

“Now I know my life is safe,” you through some of your faces sing

On Friday “no matter what happens tomorrow”

So listen, Haiti, on Sunday you weren’t in the paper

Anymore but then I found you on CNN

They were pulling your beautiful artworks out of the rubble

Which were in good shape I should add

And Frank Louissaint was painting again


Copyright © 2010 by Don Berger.




David Dorantes


Poemas en forma haiku en español



Sufro las dunas

no sé qué hago solo

en el destierro



Los patos ya van

hacia la flama del sur

trisca de lagos



Fuera del mundo

trago tierra, hormigas

zafio tornado



En la soledad

hay cielo e infierno

¿cómo vendrá hoy?



Sobre el trigo

y en el amanecer

reposan nubes



En su camino

vive un siglo frágil

cada hormiga



El mar de Cádiz

manto de relámpagos

catre en vilo



Este paisaje

de montañas mojadas

es nuestro carmen



Copyright © 2010 by David Dorantes.



Biografía:


David Dorantes (Guadalajara, México, 16 de Diciembre de 1967)


A los 10 años, descubrió que tenía dos vocaciones que eran una sola: observar y caminar. Por lo tanto decidió emprender el oficio de trashumante urbano sin rumbo, pese a la oposición familiar. Descubrió poco a poco todos los rincones secretos de su ciudad que no aparecían en ninguna guía de turistas. Mientras alternaba su oficio como observador urbano comenzó escribir en cuadernos las imágenes que la ciudad le regalaba. Un día notó que tenía muchos cuadernos y que la ciudad no tenía más rincones ocultos. Así que se fue a buscar otros secretos urbanos…


En Puebla Cozumel, San José, Belice, Tegucigalpa, Managua, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Ciudad de México, San Pedro Sula, Panamá City, Hojas del Toro, Madrid, París, La Paz, Santiago, Zarautz, Lisboa, Praga, Bruselas, Edimburgo, Londres, Santo Domingo y Marruecos fue mimo callejero, vendedor de pantalones, fotógrafo ambulante, actor, pintor de casas a domicilio, vendedor de discos piratas, voceador, cantinero, timador de turistas, jugador de fútbol en un equipo semiprofesional, guitarrista de tres acordes en un trío, lavador de carros, mesero, lavaplatos y cantante pésimo. Un día reparó que ya tenía muchos cuadernos guardados en su mochila y regresó a su casa y a su barrio….


Sus amigos y familiares, al verlo volver, le dijeron que lo malo de que se hubiera ido es que se hubiera regresado. Ante tan cálida bienvenida luego de cinco años de ausencia pensó que lo mejor sería sentar cabeza. Se matriculó como estudiante en las escuelas de Filosofía, Música, Literatura y Teatro. Aprendió mucho, pero no todo en las aulas, y por eso no terminó ninguna carrera….


Un día, sin saber nada de periodismo, se hizo periodista por azar. Lleva casi 20 años en el oficio y la verdad es que, salvo el salario, no se puede quejar. Ha sido reportero y columnista en los diarios mexicanos Paréntesis, Diario Peninsular, Siglo 21, Público, Cambio y Primera Plana. En el año 2000 ganó el Premio Emisario de Periodismo…


Desde el año 2002 vive en Houston en donde ha trabajado como valet parking, mesero, repartidor de pizzas y telefonista en una pizzería. Estudio literatura en la Texas Southern University y tampoco terminó. Desde hace dos años trabaja como reportero de entretenimiento en los semanarios La Vibra, hoy desaparecida, y La Voz, ambos del Houston Chronicle. Mantiene como puede el blog “La Butaca” en www.chron.com y hoy es su primera lectura de poesía en toda su vida….


Espera, sinceramente, no decepcionarlos…



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