I’m Living in Oaxaca by Ken Massicotte

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I’m Living in Oaxaca

by Ken Massicotte

Hay que soñar para vivir
One must dream in order to live.

I’m living in Oaxaca
but I’m harbouring a canoe.
I keep it high
in the Jacaranda tree,
lightly moored calling
currents north;
buoyed in the purple bloom
of things possible,
I sail the blue moon.

High in the Sierra Madre
daily I divine
my rio magico taking me
through canyons and canopies,
underground and above —
the metaphysic of transport,
the cantus of mythologies,
border less, carried by wind
and butterflies,
mariposas monarcas,
of Canada, America,
El Rosario sanctuary
where the Sanctus flames
in the blinding blue sky.

But the rivers here
are dry as the stones
that cover the bones
of the desiccated poor —

their souls drifting
like gold dust
catching only
where laughter lands;

the newborn dead
blasted into heaven —
little sonic booms
of innocent release.

My parent’s Jesus was blond
and suffered only rosary
rubies of blood;
barely broke a sweat,
blue eyes clearly beyond.

Here Jesus blossoms
in cool gilt chambers
reprieving toil;
limbs broken,
eyes rolled to ecstasy,
triumphing torture
and this exhausted soil.

I miss the winter
lull of wet wind,
bare limbs
wild in the impetuous
warm respite;
night clouds cresting
an errant southern stream,
colossal sugar maple
writhing like sentries possessed,
casting, recalling love,
a crescent craft homing
the waves of midnight.


Biography: Ken Massicotte normally lives on Vancouver Island where he teaches English as a Second Language at the University of Victoria. He is currently residing in the UK. He has published in several online journals, including: River Poets Journal; Turk’s Head Review; Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Retort Magazine; and Wilderness House Literary Review.