Colcha

In colcha, aaron abeyta blends the contrasting rhythms of the English and Spanish languages, finding music in a simple yet memorable lyricism without losing the complexity and mystery of personal experience. His forty-two poems take the reader on a journey through a contemplative personal history that explores communal, political and societal issues as well as the individual experiences of family and friends. With his distinctive voice, abeyta invites people of all cultures to enter his poems by exploring the essence of humanity as expressed by his particular Hispanic culture and heritage.

Marked by intimacy and deep sentiment, colcha not only acquaints us with the land of abeyta’s people, but also reveals the individuals from his life and family history in the most colorful and delicate detail. We meet his abuelitos (grandparents) in poems such as “colcha” and “3515 Wyandot,” and hear of their connection to the tierra and its seasons, their labor and its bounty presented both viscerally and lovingly. We also meet the nameless people: the rancheros and the herders and the farmers, the locals in their pick-up trucks, and the women who make the tortillas. abeyta’s reflections on the plight, loves, joys, failures, and exploitation of the common person in such poems as “cuando se secan las acequias,” “untitled (verde),” and “cinco de mayo” belong to the literary heritage of such poets as Pablo Neruda, Federico Garcia Lorca, and Walt Whitman.

colcha is not just for those who love poetry, but for all people who wish to be moved by the music of language and, while listening, perhaps to gain some personal insight into their own lives and cultural traditions.

Available from Amazon.com.

Excerpt

for the intentions we hold within the silence of our hearts

i pray for my tio Willie
that Mary
will let him rest his tired neck
take him from those fields
of my dreams
where he rakes hay
for all the days that heaven
can offer
i pray for him
because my abuelo
didn’t want him
to sell his llanos
to any gringo
but he did
y pa que
to drive a bus
sometimes i pray for that bus
for its safe passage
that when it gets cold
some kid
will yell out to his uncle
turn up the heat uncle Willie
and always it will become warm
for this i pray

i often ask that one
of my fathers two dreams
will come true
that someday
beef prices will rise
i pray
that on his weekly trips
on the eastbound road
to la junta
the sun will not blind him
as it rises above
the hills which seem to sway
brown in every season
he has two jobs
his neck hurts
he refuses to take aspirin
in some ways
i am like him
and for this
i also pray

for my mother
who forty-five years ago
lived in memphis
i pray that she
will not be sad
like the day
the a.m. radio
said elvis had died
she cried almost silently
but very visibly
mt. blanca was to our left
near the summit
there was still snow
we were travelling due east
but in the front seat
of our caprice classic
there was just the radio
memphis on my mother’s mind
and a few prayers
for everyone who was sad

i always have silent intentions
for Roger Arellano
he told good stories
always there was a fast horse
always there was some form of love
always there was the smoke of lucky strikes
he wore thick leather chaps
his legs were so thin
he rode well
drank too much
herded sheep with his two dogs
poncho and smokey
for him i pray because
when i was young
once a week
he was my imagination

i pray
for Michele my wife
her sense of memory
she associates
hot tea with her grandma
recalls playing in snow
when she was five
plays it on her flute
i pray we will have a house
where we can see every star in the sky
i pray silently
for a long life
for a good week
lord hear my prayers
silent as they are

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