I had intended this submission of mine to be a travelogue/comparative essay about three beloved destinations I have visited. Instead, I was inspired by a particular arts-writing lesson I taught in my classroom this summer to offer my thoughts in poetic form. I actually used to love to write poetry, until my 11th grade English teacher gave me a B+ on my poetry anthology. It took me years to get back to writing poetry, but I eventually overcame that particular rejection, and now I am proud to present to you my first public poem:
The Joker’s Masque
Clouds atop Corcovado part
Gathering us with outstretched arms
Opens the soul and heart
Of even a non-believer.
Colorful scapes are reminiscent
Once you’ve been to Rio, Dios mio,
Beauty of the terrain sent
Me thinking: can anywhere else compare?
Actually, yes. Two other places
Inspire similar feelings
For the music, the culture of faces
Covered by masques to shed conservative thoughts.
Venezia in the old world, New Orleans in the south of the north of the new;
Carnivales of violet, rouge, vert mark both the Saints’ and St. Marks’ cities
Samba in the streets, notes of Bossa Nova, too,
A wide, catholic, variety of cultural mix.
In these predominantly Catholic port towns,
There is a meeting of cultures from across the oceans
When there, you can forget your Blues under Bourbon Street moons
Steamboat Mississippi on jazz-z-zydeco.
Striped gondoliers serenading O Sole Mio.
Be careful though, if you go:
If you see these three metropoleis,
You will always yearn to return.