Friday, September 1, 2017

23 La luna y el Cristo del ciclón

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
Christ of the Cyclone in Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico.

El farol de los enamorados.

Ya viene la linda luna rodeada de mil estrellas pa'lumbrar a mi
morena cuando salga a su ventana
.


The sliding doors from down the stairs
wake me up before the dawn
Though I never hear them open
Hector arrives to bake his bread
in the cool that passes for night

Two dogs bark absently
amidst the dusty cobbled stones on Abenida Michoacán
offering security for their sleeping masters
while arousing others from their slumber

The remnants of a jug of water
helpless and still in its ceramic reservoir
needs to be coaxed into producing a half pot of coffee

The street light glows across from a balcony
an eager pen creates an ode to a blue moon overhead
as fireworks sound off over the Baia Navidad
to honor the Cristo del ciclón five flares at a time.


— Mark Butkus


The Cristo del ciclón, or the Christ of the Cyclone (Christ of the Hurricane) has it's origins with Hurricane Lily which struck Barra de Navidad in the early morning hours of September 1, 1971. Villagers descended upon the local church — Saint Anthony of Padua for shelter and prayer. Parishioners took notice when one of the arms of Christ broke and hung by his body. Moments later, Christ's second arm broke and the hurricane ended immediately. The locals consider this a miracle and celebrate with special masses and fireworks during the first week of September.

23 La luna is named after the Mexican card game La Loteria. The poem appeared in Last Call: Poems, Stories and Art from the Costalegre.