(Deep to the Other Side)

Through the desert
I travel
the hours passing
with filmed violence
flaying through this inside

I fall in
& out of sleep
to escape
to rest, to heal
to escape

the desert bare, lifeless
except for the plywood shacks
of the poor who have fled

the taupe sand blackened
beneath swirling fog
covered thinly
by plants … alive
or dead or just

to revive, perhaps
with a rain

With a second grey dawn
I travel
through a greener landscape
of orchards & small farm fields,
climb into cloud-filled
mountain valleys, the road
winding above the fog, into
clear sky & sunshine

I feel
more awake, more clear

At the top of the pass
the landscape is
once-more sere,
nascent streams flow
the other way—
but I know
once beyond those crags,
fully on the other side
of this range,
I know
the cloud forest exists—
I have been there before

Descending, descending
into lusher heat,
clouds heavy over the jungle
that swaths the eastern slopes,
streams braid together into rivers,
goats & colts roam the gravel bars,
the earth lain
with emerald rice paddies
& thick thorn forests

but my journey is delayed
time & again, slowly
progressing down
demolished roads
being rebuilt

About the contributor: Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 150 journals in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa; 12 chapbooks of poetry – including Caribbean Nights (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Notes from the Patagonia(dancing girl press, 2017) and the upcoming On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019); five audio recordings and 18 anthologies. She also pens travel pieces, with stories appearing in the anthologies Drive: Women’s True Stories from the Open Road (Seal Press, 2002) and Far Flung and Foreign (Lowestoft Chronicle Press, 2012), and travel guidebooks. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada chose her verse as poem of the month. She has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia. Ms Caputo journeys through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. You may follow her travels. and blog.


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