A Winter in the Baja

beach s coronados P1140834
Reefs, south side of Isla Corondos

A sudden drift of

fish startles up from the sea,

their silver backs flash.


Drifts of dried “lanterns” from the Balloon Vine or Tronador, Isla Coronados

Nightfall. The Little

Dipper pours starlight over

darkened mountain tops.

Dead puffer salinas P1140958
Puffer fish carcas, Bahia Salinas, Isla Carmen

Walking a desert

track we turn and stumble on

piles of pipefish bones.

Abandoned stone house, Isla Carmen


Break a branch of the

torote tree—sharp scent of

bitter orange lingers.

perico torote rojo fruits P1150058
Torote rojo (elephant tree) with copal berries, San Basilio

Palo Adan, grey

branch, half-moon: one scarlet bud

streaks the evening sky.

palo adan haiku with moon P1140858
Palo Adan (Adam’s Tree) with moon and blooms, Isla Coronados

A Pacific wind

freshens. Hungry clouds nibble

The fattening moon.

Broken conch shells, south beach, San Basilio

Empty shells of a

conch graveyard glisten: so much

broken crockery.

lacework lantern P1140841
Insect-eaten bloom, Balloon Vine (Tronador), Isla Coronados

Almost spring but the

sharp scent of beach fires burning

intimates autumn.

to s side coronados P1140827
Path to south beach, Isla Coronados; La Sierra Giganta in the background

Walking on the beach

we startle a cricket; it

leaps into the sea.

perico cardon bloom 3 P1150054
Cardon blooms, wash at Punta Perico, Isla Carmen

A buzzard sits on

an abandoned power pole,

lines cut and dangling.

sea lion skull P1150020
Sea lion skull, Punta Perico, Isla Carmen

A beached sea lion

skull slowly submerges: sand

fills the eye sockets.

White-winged dove on top of blooming Cardon, Bahia Salinas, Isla Carmen

First published in January 2018 in “Fresh Voices,” an online publication of the Canadian League of Poets:


All photos were taken during the course of shore walks while sailing with Marike Finlay in the Sea of Cortez in 2016, 2017 and 2018.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s