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Where willows weep

Where the Willow Weeps

The trill of redbirds in the cool morning air
Against the backdrop of a silent neighborhood.
We are together up before the cacophony of day begins
At an hour when the world yet slumbers on.

The smell of dark coffee from the hearth,
Its warmth against my palms,
Teases my senses, not quite distracting me
From the dawn that breaks ever westward.

I curl my toes against the cold tile beneath my feet,
Shivering ever so slightly against the breeze that
Tickles the soft tendrils of gray at my neck,
And I bless the life that brought me to this moment.

All that I have known joins the universe
Of remembrance songs at this moment
When the lingering traces of night dissipate
Into the undisturbed euphony of morning’s dawn.

There’s nothing that I could ask for more than this,
At an hour when the soft glow of sunrise
Lays its blanket of dew upon the verdant green
Just where the supple willow branches kiss the earth.

© lcirilo, 2011 All rights reserved.

These days…

Ego-Surfing: Finding Yourself in Unlikely Places

Come on – admit it – you’ve Googled yourself, right?

I found myself in a textbook today, of all places. I suppose if my name were more common, I’d be less surprised, but it’s not like I’m Mary Smith or Jane Doe. I mean, how many people have you met named Lotus or Cirilo, much less Lotus Cirilo?

hello my name is

I only thought my name was unique. I rather liked it that way. My name is (or was) mine, and mine alone. Vanity searches rarely resulted in false positives. Yet, here I am in the 10th edition of Guffey’s Business English, page 112, question number 7, first line. Do you think once you’ve adopted a textbook for your classroom, your name is put in a hat for use in future editions? No permission needed, right?


guffey10th 2015-06-30

Then there is the whole thing about pronunciation. My last name is regularly mispronounced by students, which leaves me wondering, “Why would Guffey do this to students, in an English text, no less?” Have you googled (or binged) yourself? What most surprised you about the results?

I’m listening


  1. contact zone

gestures misaligned
in several languages
along the border

  1. white noise
cultural collisions–
through white noise
the eyes gesture
  1. eye contact
unending cacophony
the stranger
gazes above my left eye
  1. hotel doorman
hailing a taxi
in 3 languages
he tips his hat
  1. chop-chop
half heard conversation–
day after day
the hurried life
  1. the commute
a thousand words
left unsaid
on the subway
  1. street noise
on a cold night
she tilts her head
toward the open window

Behind the old washshed….

Where the willow weeps

thrush nest

In the backyard, against the old washshed leans a salvaged window,
near paneless, with peeling paint of dusty pink.

A cottonwood has taken root between the glass and the shed, every leaf a miracle,
warmed by the sun beating upon this makeshift greenhouse.

A series of organ-pipe apartments adorn the topside of the frame,
welcome shelter for the slim-waist mud daubers,
who fly at the ready against a possible black-widow invasion.

At the base of the holly, nestled against a burnt out stump,
just under the eave of the greying washshed,
a mossy, mud-lined nest cups two, bright blue, speckled thrush eggs.

And, in the tiniest of crevices, behind the loose trim of the old window frame,
a warty gecko naps unblinkingly in the hot afternoon, toes splayed wide.

Into this still world, phantom with weighted motion,
the padded footsteps of the cat move in silence through the grass.


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Longing toward this day

snow in springA thousand words
left unsaid,
while the wind whistles chilly through the canyons.
Headlights flicker dimly on a distant highway
catching my eye and attention.
The mind slips sideways
refusing to hold onto even the memories.
I consider that it is time, past time –
I have been longing toward this day
even though I could not would not
tell you.
Not then, not now.
A thousand words
left unsaid.
Snow flurrs.
On my lashes, my cheeks.
Yrs truly.
Our tent cants forlornly leeward
against the pall, dark vacancy.
Somewhere in the distance a door slams
for the last time
you brush the hair from my forehead
reminding me that I am and am not alone.
I do not think of how it once mattered
Instead I think of how the electricity barely registers,
When the sun splays its warmth across the morning sky
and the giant pines cast their shadows
across the damp, stone quay,
I will have gone.
I only rarely will look back
at the pieces of our hearts lying shattered on the canyon floor
where we flung them
on this bitter night
without so much as saying
a word.


ebbed-tide mirth


a cacophony of voices
pacing themselves
sketchy, dwindling, salting,
sterilized by the insane rage
of riotous profanity
thrown callously into the wind,
full of the season
of ebbed-tide mirth,
driven by the hail
of half-stripped lies,
the harsh, hard waters
of secrets kept,
hopelessness flung flayed–
refusing to go quietly,
scattering their gifts
like so much red clay
on the funeral bier
of sorrow’s sharp edge.

the eyes twitch
mute in utter repentance
footsteps so weary
diminished by mediocrity
having forgotten
both tune and dirge.


Against the mountain


The seasons do their dance.
Sometimes the wind blows,
Crisp, cool.
Smooth against my palm,
I heft the rock, and pitch it against the mountain
Remembering the way the sun inched across the sky
Remembering to be grateful that the seasons do their dance.
Sometimes the wind blows,
Crisp, cool.
For these things, my heart sings in the night.
For these, and for those with whom I have toiled and tugged
For those with whom I have grappled and loved
Across the seasons when the wind carried our voices
And we remembered to be thankful.
Let us be thankful again
That the seasons dance
And the wind carries our voices across the canyon
Where our friends listen in the night
To chirrup and ribbit,
Where our friends remember to be grateful
That the seasons turn
And the wind blows,
Crisp, cool.
Can you think of anything more sorrowful
Than to wake to a dream in which the seasons do not turn.
Let us be thankful that the wind blows
And the seasons do their dance
And friends listen to chirrup and ribbit in the night
While we skip rocks across the cool water of change,
While we pitch rocks against the mountain
And remember to sing songs,
Giving thanks
That the seasons dance and the winds still blow.

In memoriam, 6 July 1941 – 12 Oct 2014.