Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Day of Storms: Un Dia de Tormentas

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        My friend and colleague chaplain Jerry Carter sent me a poem today, as he is inclined to do on a regular basis.  I love his poetry and I have delighted in his development as a poet.  I think Jerry could put the cowboy poet Baxter Black in his shadow very quickly, if I could just convince him to get out there and publish.  
In the meantime I benefit from the exclusive privilege of receiving in my inbox about once or twice a month a poem from Jerry.  They never fail to touch me, to amuse me or to make me think. Today Jerry made me leak tears of sorrow and frustration even as he amazed me with his grasp of Spanish, a language that is not his mother tongue, but one to which he has nonetheless applied himself with admirable diligence.  You will note that the poem below makes a subtle play on two words that could very well be mistaken- "tormenta," meaning "a storm or atmospheric disturbance," and "tormento," meaning "agony, anguish, storm of the human spirit."
Este es mi compadre, Jerry! Mas vaquero que yo, y un poeta valoroso, con un corazon lleno de compasion. 


Este es un día de tormentas
Storm clouds roll west to east,
Thirsty ground waiting for the fuel of life.

Ambassador killed in Libya,
Embassy in Cairo under siege
Embassy in Yemen in peril,
War ships on the prowl,
Angry adversaries set afire

Cultural dissonance,
Clash of individualism
Versus collectivism.

They see the viral video as America
We see it as one misguided soul speaking
They react with violence and terror,
We see one man in  insensitive error,
He broke no law,
But by insensitive speech he fueled death

Este es un dia de mal tormento,
Storm clouds roll east to west,
Troubled lands  aflame with hate,
Thirsty lands needing divine healing to bring true life.

This is a day we should pray.
Este es un día de tormentas

© September 2012 Jerry Carter

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