Three poets’ takes on Mexico

Three Lake Chapala poets have devoted much of their talent to sharing their love of life in Mexico.  Each writes in a very different style, but each manages to capture in his vignettes of daily life not only images familiar to anyone who lives here, but a sense of place that escapes the camera lens.  These poets manage to say what  we often feel about what we see Mexico, but are unable to express.


Three of Bill Frayer’s four volumes of poetry are devoted almost exclusively to this pursuit, and here are excerpts from each:

Frayer - MigrationMexican Street (from Migration)

Living in the heat
of the Mexican street
I step out into the sun
and smell the carnitas
and peanuts roasting.
and Rosa, Rosa next door
who sells her botanas every night
and watches my basura
every morning
keeping the dogs away,
stands smiling
with her missing teeth
and greasy apron,
but always smiling…

Frayer - Sacred LakeForeigner Walking (from Sacred Lake)

As I navigate the uneven stones
Of our Rio Zula
Past a dark-skinned boy
Drinking Coke and mixing sad
Into cement.  “Hola,” I offer.
And he responds more lyrically.
Mangos fallen to the street
In the overnight rain
A flat-face madre
Picks them up, bruised and unripe alike
Into a faded nylon mesh bag.
Another beautiful “Buenos Dias”
Enunciated slowly, carefully
With a slight smile…

Frayer - Agave BloodAgave Blood (from Agave Blood)

I watch as they squeeze
The baked agave heart
To extract the sweet nectar
Which will become
A fine anejo
How did the Aztecs discover
The secret of this blue  cactus
Which would blunt their senses
Perhaps, and make sense
Of their blood sacrifice?
For this tequila os
The story of all Mexico,
The beauty and the tragedy.

Find these three books and others by Bill – along with his reviews – here on Amazon.


DoddsJohn Thomas Dodds has written novels and children’s books, but poetry is most prominent among his body of work.

In A Stroll Through The Village of Ajijic, he devotes an entire volume to loving verses about his adopted home.

 

… I am captured under the delicate brilliance of a canopy of bougainvillea the color of my lovers’ lips.
Momentarily and alien on another planet.
Nothing grows that seemingly hasn’t been here forever, with a fragrance of life so delightful as to buffer the external myth of having been trapped in a never ending ascension of regret.

Find this book and others by John – along with his reviews – here on Amazon.


41-vnsNynCLThe late James Tipton introduced many local poets to the short form verse of Japanese tanka, and his book Washing Dishes In  The Ancient Village packs deep insight into a sparse and meticulously crafted phrases.  Here are four selections:

Behind the barred window
the proud mother
holds up her laughing baby

The cart hauling hay
for the horse
pulling the cart

Dirt road at dusk
everything alive whispers
slow down

So close to Heaven
we could smell
the empanadas!

Find this book and others by Jim – along with his reviews – here on Amazon.

Check out the complete listing of RiberasAuthors by genre here.


Posted by Antonio Ramblés

LCS acknowledgement

Four takes on expat life in Mexico

More than 10,000 Americans and Canadians have chosen to live permanently along the shores of Mexico’s Lake Chapala, begging for everyone else the questions of what motivates them to leave lifelong homes, and what they have sought – and found – in their new lives south of the border.

Fortunately, those who may be considering such a move – or are who newly arrived – can draw upon the experiences and observations of the area’s resident writers for authentic insight.

Presented here are four books chock full of personal accounts written from different perspectives and in different voices.  Some are nuts-and-bolts tutorials on life in Mexico, and others delve into the psyche of foreigners who have chosen to live abroad.  In combination they serve up a full mosaic of expat life in contemporary Mexico.

These are the true stories of real people who have already made the move.


Baby Boomer coverBaby Boomers: Reinvent Your Retirement in Mexico.  This book by Karen Blue is a collection of accounts by expats who have found in Lake Chapala way to fill their lives with passion and purpose, and to cultivate their full potential.

It doesn’t focus on the wheres, the whats and the hows as much as it invites the reader to immerse him/herself in the expat mindset.  Find it here on Amazon.


Head for Mexico cover

Head for Mexico: The Renegade Guide.  This book was edited by Teresa Kendrick, who is also the author of a guidebook to the Lake Chapala area, and Karen Blue and Judy King are among its contributors.  This book offers readers comprehensive information needed to make an informed decision about moving to Mexico.   Find it here on Amazon.


Living At Lake Chapala coverLiving at Lake Chapala.  This guide to everyday living at Lake Chapala draws upon Judy King’s years of explorations, inquiries, and writings about local village life.

She leads readers through the what, where, how and why of everyday life in this part of Mexico.  She offers up tips and advice about how to accept and embrace the many cultural distinctions that make Mexico such a fascinating place.

This is not only a book to read before arrival, but one to keep for reference after arrival.

Find it here on Amazon.


Midlife Mavericks coverMidlife Mavericks: Women Reinventing Their Lives in Mexico.  This book, also by Karen Blue, does not suggest that moving to Mexico is for every woman, but it does present it as a viable consideration for those experiencing or desiring  significant change in their lives.

For some, change means a readiness  to shed the trappings of corporate life and consumerism for a simpler existence.

Others are victims of economic happenstance that has left them no other choice.  And some are simply unwilling to further postpone dreams of a breakout adventure which has sustained them through otherwise uneventful lives.

Find it here on Amazon.

(Post by Antonio Ramblés.)