A Winter in the Baja

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Reefs, south side of Isla Corondos

A sudden drift of

fish startles up from the sea,

their silver backs flash.

 

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

Nightfall. The Little

Dipper pours starlight over

darkened mountain tops.

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Puffer fish carcas, Bahia Salinas, Isla Carmen

Walking a desert

track we turn and stumble on

piles of pipefish bones.

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Abandoned stone house, Isla Carmen

 

Break a branch of the

torote tree—sharp scent of

bitter orange lingers.

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Torote rojo (elephant tree) with copal berries, San Basilio

Palo Adan, grey

branch, half-moon: one scarlet bud

streaks the evening sky.

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Palo Adan (Adam’s Tree) with moon and blooms, Isla Coronados

A Pacific wind

freshens. Hungry clouds nibble

The fattening moon.

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Broken conch shells, south beach, San Basilio

Empty shells of a

conch graveyard glisten: so much

broken crockery.

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

Almost spring but the

sharp scent of beach fires burning

intimates autumn.

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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.

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Cardon blooms, wash at Punta Perico, Isla Carmen

A buzzard sits on

an abandoned power pole,

lines cut and dangling.

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Sea lion skull, Punta Perico, Isla Carmen

A beached sea lion

skull slowly submerges: sand

fills the eye sockets.

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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:

http://poets.ca/2018/01/19/fresh-voices-karin-cope-nan-williamson-barbara-black/

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.

 

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