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Alfredo Quarto "Three Poems"

LaPush Sonata

Oceans between us,

ever changing,

           forever the same.




Father’s gone,

mother long before

            driftwood piled high

upon this ocean shore.


Our memories buried in sentiments of ashes and sand,

old tree trunks, gnarled branches and roots

abandoned by shifting tides,

remnants of lives lived on other shores.  


A robin calls out in rounded notes,

its morning song sets us adrift

like flotsam strewn

across confines of shoreline.




A gathering of family has come and gone,

a mad blast from the horn of plenty.

We found again our spreading roots together

our paths of planetary motion briefly touching,

drawn to each other in inevitable succumbing…

gravitational forces beyond our control. 


Each time we raise our glasses,

recite our communal prayers before feasting,

toast to the then, the now and the future.

We plan for the next time, till our next reunion

when our tributaries of many colors may again conjoin.


For a moment we hold each other

within warm gloves of memories shared,

Then like drifting continents,

 move apart to redefine ourselves.





Red glow of setting sun lifting fog blankets,

sending chills to the marrow of bone.

All we have left, our sudden departures.


Each returns to their walled confines

where street addresses may better define us

and welcome mats invite others in.


Lone sailors set to cross vast seas,

we drift upon the descending hours of sand.

Ubiquitous sounds of ocean deafening,

overwhelming ears sensitive to silence.



Palenque Sojourn, Mayan Maya

                        (at the Mayan ruins in Palenque, Chiapas., Mexico)


Our leavings…

all in ruins

though we had meant to stay

to feed our futures

the gaunt ghost virgins

bled upon these altar stones.


On this day too long…

long passed the offerings

the Earth returns all things…

                        to herself

            within herself

she covers her grieving wounds

beneath the green veldt folds.


Atop the crumbled mass of stone-

once walls where trees take hold-

all of our roots

are turned to leaves…

our longings gone to seeds

                        old ruins

            and timeless weeds.





The Condor


She panned the moon

a fool for gold

with sparking cords

her wings weave a fine tapestry.

She finds her sleep

where she can…

in alley ways or upon

the river beds soft of stone.


In her eyes the sorrow

the ebbing light of fallen stars…

in her voice the hollow

the place between the here and far.

When she flies she spreads curved wings

                        glides effortless

in a sky pearl blue

circling the four corners

            of lost vision.


The spirit-catcher of high tree perches

sees all, but holds onto nothing

knows that within the void

there is only the long silence

                        of the way.

Bio: Alfredo Quarto is an environmental activist and a poet, working for over 40 years on environmental and social justice issues, while writing and traveling extensively around the planet. He currently lives with his family and works on a small organic farm on the Olympic Peninsula in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. Here he is inspired to continue working and writing for the future and Mother Earth. Quarto has been published in numerous poetry journals and has had articles published on environmental and social issues in international journals ad periodicals, including: Poetry Seattle, Catalyst, Raindance Journal, Piedmont Review, Haiku Zashi Zo, Paperbag Poems, Seattle Arts, Spindrift, Arts Focus, Arnazella, Dan River Anthology, Amelia, Americas Review, and Tidepools. He has also had articles published in The Guardian, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Earth Island Journal, E-Magazine, Wild Earth, Bird Conservation, Tokyo Journal and Biodiversity.

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