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Son Haiku – my son’s birthday

August 29, 2012
SON
Keys in your pocket, a link to the door of my house
Mom I am, petrified forever,
Waiting for you to come home.

Love Haiku

July 27, 2012

LOVE

 

The smell of burnt wood

still lingers on your hands,

 

I am the fire that consumed it.

Isabela and the voice of love

July 17, 2012

Isabela and the voice of love

Isabela Rosa Esteban always dreamed about becoming a famous telenovela actress. She was beautiful, indeed, but her best quality was her remarkable voice that could mirror all the feelings she was experiencing at that very moment. As she did not have a great opportunity in life to study the uplifting art of acting and maybe, also because she was living in a provincial place, a city without a television station of its own, Isabela had to find other ways to make a living. So, instead of becoming a TV star, she put her voice in the service of the localairport of La Fortuna, Guanacaste. This way, travelers from other Central and South American cities would be informed of gate numbers, delays and changes with the most passionate and intense oratory that anyone had ever experienced.

Isabela was taking her job very seriously, therefore, guided by her own feelings and also influenced by the romantic novels she read the night before, she would transfer through her voice right to the souls of passengers, pilots, stewards and cleaning crews, and even of the insensitive custom workers, deep emotions of hope, sadness, love, happiness, serenity or despair, according to the chapters she was reading at the time.

People would remember how once, with a deep sorrow and sadness, she announced that flight 185 toTegucigalpa was now departing from gate 3. The whole airport was wrapped in a hopeless feeling of inexplicable desolation. Some people burst into cry, others were embracing or patting each other’s back. And all because on the previous evening, the heroine of Isabela’s book was dying of tuberculosis in the arms of her lover. On reverse, there were occasions when people passing through La Fortuna airport felt energized by Isabela’s happiness. On those days, a simple announcement of “Senior Gonzalez is called at information desk” would simply put in motion the whole airport. Cleaners were now increasing their speed; people working in the food court seemed to smile only listening to the sound of coffee machines sizzling away and flying crews were running with a grace that only happiness and exaltation would bring. It looked like the whole airport was performing a dance of intricate movements and the only music playing was Isabela’s resonant voice.

On May 3rd, 1992, Manuel Mario Santos was for the first time of his life visiting the beautiful town of La Fortuna, flying from his home, San Jose, for an important business trip that, he hoped, would open great opportunities in his professional life. What he did not know at the time was the fact that it was not his career that would change and that his life would be taken into an unexpected turmoil.

On the previous evening, Isabela finished one of her romantic novels that ended with the consummation of love between two people that went through a lot of trouble in order to be together. The heroine of the book finally gave herself body and soul to the love of her life and she made passionate love for the first time with the man of her dreams. The heat of the night did not help Isabela sleepl and even the sensuous lines of her sweat, sliding on her body, brought up intense feelings, that were unknown to her until that moment.

Next morning, the sultry tone of her voice incited all the morning airport workers. The control tower manager had to find an excuse at lunch in order to visit his mistress. Passengers were throwing fiery looks at each other, men purchasing liquor and cigarettes in the duty free shops would not take their eyes away from the bodacious shop assistants.

So, Manuel Mario Santos, just like the rest of the travelers, was taken in for a great surprise when he came out of his plane and heard the sweetest and loveliest voice announcing that flight 358 fromArequipa was delayed 28 minutes. Never before in his life, was he more interested in a flight schedule as he was at that moment. A feeling of sensuality ran through his spine and he felt more of a man that he ever did. The next announcement about the duty free special of 2 bottle of Flor de Cana rum for the price of one, set him on fire and , forgetting completely about his business partners he had to meet, he ran to the information desk and required immediately to meet the woman that was sending him waves of heat through his soul.

The girl at the information desk looked at him suspiciously and intimidating. Manuel lied and said that he was a famous radio station manager and he needed that very voice for publicity. The girl was immediately persuaded; as she wished that one day she could be discovered as well by a director, TV manager or any personality for that matter. Guided by the girl’s directions, Manuel took off through a labyrinth of hallways, in the background scene of the airport. The sensual voice was now informing passengers that gate 5 was now open for check-in for the flight to Chachagua. Running towards the voice, full of passion, Manuel opened the door as instructed, and there she was, standing in her full splendor, with her long and curly hair flowing on her shoulders, her shirt half opened and her breasts beating up and down like two doves entrapped inside her blouse, the woman of his dreams, beautiful, enchanting Isabela Rosa Esteban.

And the love goddess herself, already heated, not only by the excessive high temperature of that particular sunny afternoon, but also by her repressed sentiments, gaze at the dark man watching her intensely. And without any explanation she ran into his arms and pressed her body on his own. He lifted her up, took off her clothes and loved her right there, on her desk, next to the microphone that she was talking into,  every day of her adult life.

A lot of confusion ran through the airport building. Perfume bottles were spilled by shop assistants that were arranging the shelves in vain. Pilots and stewardesses were hugging each other passionately; passengers were ventilating themselves nervously with any means possible, magazines, papers, tickets, trying to relief themselves of the heat wave that was running throughout the airport. And even if the air conditioning was running to the maximum, the technicians were saying that on that afternoon of May 03, 1992, the temperature inside the La Fortuna airport became unbearable.

Ten years have passed since then and, as on each day of their anniversary, Isabela Rosa whispers in the ear of her lover, Manuel Mario, with a tone full of love and affection: “ Flight 628 arriving at gate 9”.

by Elena Cochia – Vochin

Sadness Haiku

July 10, 2012


SADNESS

 A grip of darkness –

No temple bell will ring to break this silence.

I fall alone.

Circe’s lament

July 6, 2012

When Ulysses left, Circe could not understand: “Ulysses, how could a man’s heart be so dark, and allow a woman to love him, enchant him, bathe him in rainwater every morning, gather fruits for his lazy afternoon, caress his body with her hands, her feet, her breasts, thread clothes for him with roots and fibres, dream with him, and then, all  of a sudden, for the man to break the link of a chain carefully knitted? How can a man be so cruel that would choose friends and army companions over the soft soul of a woman?” And, sitting in the middle of her outdoor kitchen, between the trays that she used to serve him with, between the cauldrons that she used to bathe him in and between the jars of ointment that she used to cure him with, Circe dropped to her knees and cried.

Whipping her tears, she broke the turquoise and gold necklace that laid on her breasts, tore the yellow silk dress she was wearing, threw away her emerald dangling earring and the colourful bangles adorning her hands and her feet. Naked and pure she remained motionless for a while on the outdoor kitchen floor, feeling the coolness of the stones, watching the clouds flying above her and imagining Ulysses and his shipmates riding the waves, away from her, far, far, far away but again, most hurtful, away from her.

She remembered the days when Ulysses would call her, just to fly high on the consonants of her name: Circe! Circe! Circe!. And Circe would soar like a dove to his lament. “Why did he go?” she asked herself. “I gave everything.”

The worst was remembering his hands on her hips, his eyes on her shoulders and the taste of his sweat. She missed him so final. Where was he running, where could he go? “The universe was not vast enough for Ulysses to forget Circe”, she thought .

Suddenly, she understood that she needed to preserve her beauty, she needed to conserve her young soul for him. Because Ulysses would return, yes, Ulysses will be back. And, for the first time in 4 weeks, she smiled. She put back her magnificent jewellery, oiled her body with jasmine perfume, washed her hair in walnut extracts and started to plan ahead the day of his return. She would thread millions of dresses, each more beautiful than the other, and than sit on the highest peak of the island and watch carefully to the ocean’s horizon for Ulysses boat. He would not come back that day, but she was determined to prepare herself for his return. Taking her dress apart, threading another, different patterns, different looks she believed that the key of his return would be in resolving the puzzle of her appearance. By reinventing herself, Ulysses would see in her a different woman, a different pleasure.

Ulysses himself thought of Circe from time to time, however he was now happy, back to his faithful Penelope that was joyfully bathing him in rainwater every afternoon, was gathering fruits for his lazy mornings, was caressing his body with her hands, her feet and her breasts and threading clothes for him only with roots and fibres, dreaming with him. Then, he would call her, flying high on the vowels of her name: Penelope! Penelope! Penelope!

And minute by minute, day by day, Penelope became Circe and Circe became Penelope, as in each woman on this earth there is a part of Circe and there is another of Penelope.

When Ulysses left, Penelope could not understand. “Ulysses, how could a man’s heart be so dark, and allow a woman to love him, enchant him, bathe him in rainwater every morning, gather fruits for his lazy afternoon, caress his body with her hands, her feet, her breasts, thread clothes………

by Elena Cochia-Vochin

The divide

July 4, 2012
The divide
      to my friends
Along the road we walked
collecting flowers and stones,
stones and flowers.
Some weighed heavily in our pockets
and we stumbled at times.
We have been the four cardinal points,
and together we shared the Way
to the Center.
Towards left, to the East, 
our companion,
was carried by storms.
Farther and farther she went
until we could only distinguish the trace of her shape.
The West Goddess started to swirl the world
faster and faster.
She was a dervish
and winded her soul on a spinning wheel.
Up, the North star drifted to horizon
til she could not see us at all,
til she could not see herself at all.
Here, in the South, I am left with my soul
broken by wind, spun by fast fingers.
I am Atlas carrying the globe on my back.
Heavier and heavier, the load is pressuring me.
When will we find back the path?
by Elena Cochia – Vochin

Cat and Dog Haiku

July 2, 2012

CAT

Superfluous movement, stretched, lean

Languid with an exclamation sign left in mid-air,

Antagonist being of dark and light.

 

DOG

In your eyes I see myself as God,

My truthful companion,

Together travelling beyond my deepest faults.

   by Elena Cochia – Vochin

About heroes

June 30, 2012

“I never appreciated ‘positive heroes’ in literature. They are almost always clichés, copies of copies, until the model is exhausted. I prefer perplexity, doubt, uncertainty, not just because it provides a more ‘productive’ literary raw material, but because that is the way we humans really are.”

Jose Saramago

I agree wholeheartedly with Jose Saramago. Nothing annoys me more than the positive, enthusiastic and all good hero. D”Artagnan,  James Bond, Sir Lancelot and Luke Skywalker are not on my top list.

If it has to be a heroic hero, give me Don Quixote, give me Hamlet or Paul Bäumer from “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque. They all face a struggle from within, to which the reader can identify himself/herself with. I do not mind Ulysses, he is torn apart by two worlds: by humans and Gods.

I like also the tragic hero, the character that knows that will have a bad end, or, if he/she doesn’t, than the reader is the one who sees it coming: Orestes and King Lear – for example. It is even better, when the hero lives moments of happiness, like Yuri Zhivago in Boris Pasternak book, Doctor Zhivago. This is when the reader hopes foolishly that some miracle will happen and save the character.

And how about the self-destructive hero, like Byron’s Corsaire, or The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, Goethe’s Young Werther. I, the reader, feel compelled to do something, but I am unable and helpless, the hero has taken his/her decision and the end is dramatic.

My favourite though, has to be the anti-hero – the one that has flaws, breaks the law, the imperfect soul that in the end has a noble motive: Winston Smith from 1984 by George Orwell, Cal from East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, just to mention a few.

If I brought up this subject, how can I not mention the ones up to no good, the villains and the antagonists from Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Shakespeare’s Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, to Humbert Humbert – Nabokov detestable character in Lolita.

However, there is no standard, no scheme,no arrangement and no easy formula to create a hero. I am sure that any human being can be a character that stands defiant to all the classic rules and can be transformed into a piece of literature.

A carousel at crossroads

June 29, 2012

There was an awkward sensation of detachment. As if, while climbing down the stairs of the hill, he had somehow diffracted in two, and had separated his soul from his body. He had the bizarre sentiment of watching the world from a higher perspective than his height would actually permit. It was like he was sitting on his own shoulders and his body was just a vehicle of his self, mechanically performing the walk. It did not bother him a bit, on the contrary, he was analyzing it as a curious phenomenon that was happening to somebody else, and to which he was a simple observer.

   He started to look around to see if anybody was noticing, however, there was nobody to be seen. Therefore he decided to study attentively the streets that he was passing by. No difference whatsoever. He had walked thousands of times on this route and knew every detail, from the deciduous trees mathematically aligned along the streets to the flowery vines climbing in anarchy on the walls and to the garbage cans abandoned empty on the side of the road. It must be Friday, he thought, the garbage is picked up on Thursday morning. He wondered if he was to make a jump from his body and separate more from himself, would he watch his own body left abandoned on the street, just like those empty cans? He imagined being liberated and a part of him wished he could do this.

He was walking for about 15 minutes when he suddenly realized that it was taking him too long to get to the bottom of the hill. He must have changed the route at some point as he did not think he was ever in this part of the town. He remembered how he used to take Nadia with him on his walks, escaping the mundane and very small apartment that they were living in. She used to point at all the big houses along and they would try to imagine them painted in crazy colors of chartreuse and magenta.

His mood changed and he became angry. Stupid life! The image of Nadia’s corpse in the morgue rushed up to the surface. He never cried, not a bit. Left there, on the cold steel table, her body was laying in an obscene position. He refused to recognize her. Simply refused. And was still searching for her. There were moments when he believed that he would see her blue dress fluttering somewhere in the crowd, just for a split second, or he would distinctly trace her honeysuckle perfume and her presence in his empty apartment.

He falled back into his own body and felt heavy. He was a whole again, a dark and lonely whole. His feet were dragging on the asphalt and he wished he could summon the lost feeling of dissipation that he had before.

At the end of the street there were shadows moving. Probably the street cleaners, sweeping the road in their blue uniforms, it must be early morning now. As he drew closer he could distinguish amalgamated forms, reduced to their geometrical appearance, a Cubist painting that he was still trying to decipher. There was a faint sound, like a broken mechanical pianine left in the middle of the street. The metallic screech of the chords woke him up and raised his interest. Something to do or see, anyhow, something else to think about. Speckles of light welcomed him through the fog.

   As he approached the crossroad he realized that in front of him was a carousel, which somebody probably set it up during the night. It worked, but nobody was around it. The carousel was spinning slowly, as if only the wind would move him in a concentric direction. He jumped on and he seated himself on a wide bench. Due to the whirl of the machinery, the feeling of detachment came back to him. On the walls of the carousels there were paintings of trees carefully planted in rows, of streets with lampions, that he was sure he walked them by, of houses painted with bright Caribbean colors and somewhere, in the back of the scene, the silhouette of a woman in a blue dress.

“Jack, run! Turn off the machine. Somebody got inside!” the worker shouted.

“What happened?” bellowed his colleague, running to the carousel, that gave a last spin.

“I cannot feel his pulse” the other man said.

    The honeysuckle vines growing on the city walls were sweating profusely their heavy perfume.   

by Elena Cochia – Vochin

Politiki Haiku

June 28, 2012

art inspires art.

My inspiration – 08001 Vorágine :

My result:

POLITIKI HAIKU

Fortified, virulent, violent,
Prepared, persuasive, equipped –
These are the ways I strive for peace.