Poems by Lorraine Caputo

L Caputo -- Profile photo (2)Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 100 journals on five continents, such as Drumvoices Revue, ENcontrARTE (Venezuela), übergang (Germany), Open Road Review (India) and Cordite Poetry Review (Australia); eight poetry chapbooks, five audio recordings and twelve anthologies. She also pens travel pieces, with stories appearing in the anthologies Drive: Women’s True Stories from the Open Road (Seal Press, 2002) and Far Flung and Foreign (Lowestoft Chronicle Press, 2012), and travel guidebooks. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada chose her verse as poem of the month. She has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia. For the past decade, Ms Caputo has been journeying through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. You may follow her travels at Latin America Wanderer.



Across these plains
of red hills & sage brush
the ancestors speak

Mapuche hig
in the saddle, staff banners
dancing in a phantom autumn wind,
dinosaurs steadily trodding,
sometimes stopping to scan a scape
now laced with power lines

Across these plains
dappled gold & russet
the landscape speaks

Cragged mountains barely
clothed in sparkling glaciers,
shrunken cerulean lakes
where flamingos wade,
quail a-flurry from the scurry
of buses down the highway


All day
the supple willows have bent,
shorn on their western flanks,
boughs flying
like wisps of hair
wildly blown
by an autumn austral wind

from the cold Pacific
sweeping across
Chilean fiords & glaciers,
not stopped by Andean heights

All day
the antennas have swayed,
words with the outside world
snipped, silencing us,
forcing us to root our selves
in the constant blusters of that
Patagonian wind



Beneath a deep indigo sky
we travail a road through dry landscape
hard grasses, spiked shrubs tipped with frost,
brooks skimmed with ice fracturing
in the late dawn palely painting the clouds
magenta, gold, orchid,
distant polychrome mountains
fleetingly alpenglowed,
the morning star yet bright,
the creamy near-full moon already set
beyond a long plateau, beyond a field where
birds flock, solitary beings in the loneliness of this
Patagonian valley carved by ancient glaciers,
the rising sun yet tinting the pastel heaven,
shadows pooling in the deep folds of the earth,
ochre, bittersweet,
green, taupe.

We now cut across a more eastern plain
molded & scraped by glacial fingers

Grazing herds of tawny & white
guanaco against the tawny landscape
in the tawny light of morn

Down into the steep-walled canyon
tawny, white, faded purple,
eroded crags towering into the celestine sky

On the time-smoothed walls of a shallow cave,
beneath rock overhangs,
guanaco heavy with child gather around a
creamy full moon, millennia-old hands,
ochre, burgundy
bittersweet, cream
touch the stone
hands of a people
long gone … long forgotten
in the loneliness
of this Patagonian earth


Wind-swept trees, their boughs
frozen in flight, trunks wrapped in
strands of green mosses

Stiff golden grasses
stipple last night’s snow printed
by grazing ñandú

Brush russet, hills black,
a grey ice-etched pond splashed by
feeding flamingos


With icy pink sunset
      the thundering waves
            of this cold sea wash calmer

I search the distant teal-
     platinum waters, dreaming
          of toninas

Wind brushes the thin firs
    dusk watercolors the night
        gold & indigo

Into the twilight sea
    I toss a bouquet
       of small white wildflowers
& indigo sweet pea
   in a shell’s spiral vase

I here in Patagonia
   on the shores of the South Atlantic
      beneath the Southern Cross

& you there in Carolina
   many miles from the North Atlantic
     beneath the Little Bear

This night, friend, do you, too,
   dream with Yemayá?
      Can you hear her song?

The white-crested waves
    rolling, shattering
       upon a rough-sand beach
In the light of this
     moonless night

I drift in spiral sleep
   listening to the murmured
       music of the sea

The earth soft beneath me
   stars glitter in a chill
       midnight blue heaven

Wind-tousled trees cast thin
    shadows across my home,
         across my warmed body

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