Friday, April 13, 2012

Under the Palapa

A Travel Adventure in Senryu
Drawings by Margaret Scott

3.25.12 (Saturday Flights)


Another delay –
It’s pouring in Baltimore!
Think of Halifax.

ATL to PVR (Puerto Vallarta)

So, had to walk first
To another terminal.
Seems it’s ALL Delta!

Given a new seat.
Was 24D on aisle?
30A window.

PVR   Luggage (Fear)

In Mexico now,
Missing luggage on my mind.
Then, lo!  There it is!

90 Minute VAN ride
to Mar de Jade (Norte)

Drivers seeking fares!
So many wanting pesos!
Finally, Julian. 

He is standing there
Holding a small printed sign
With my name: KAY WEEKS

On the road with Julian (Van Driver)
My Father’s name, too,
He pointed to pink blossoms,
Said “Primavera.”  (our Magnolia)

He showed me a tree
And then called it “Barota.”
Hard wood; makes tables.   (Also, this Palapa)

ARRIVE  Mar de Jade   Room 11    

It’s hard to describe
What it feels like to be here;
Sat alone and stared.

Alone in this room,
Unpacked, thought of Alison,    (AKA “kin” in my journal)
And fell fast asleep.

Dinner & Community

Woke to orange sunset;
Met “Kim” going down the stairs.
Sat with others; talked.

One was named “Nimmi,”
A lawyer in Canada.
Has such a bright smile!

3.25.12    (Sunday Arrival/Waiting)
No light yet, writing –
It’s all that ocean, pounding.
I want some coffee.


Fidel & Gowa
Coffee/Cats at Mar de Jade

Thinking of home now
And my two cats, wondering:
“Is it SPAIN again?”

Text Message to Friend, Not Sent

Here in Paradise,
Ocean sound, birds, so sleepy
To be me at last.     

No Coffee/Yoga

Coffee time is now,
But nothing happening –
Domingo, maybe?

Your body will tell
You what it wants you to do –
Said NO to Yoga.

Earlier, the birds
Were saying “Ready! Ready!”
Black and bright yellow!

Sleep, Arrival, Sea
Waiting for my kin
Puts me to sleep with that need.
She’s here, and it’s gone.

This green sea delights!
Roaring, pounding all night long –
It keeps me asleep.

Birds, Cats, Rhythms

Repeated rhythm:
Coffee, walk, and read.
What more could I want?

I think of them all.   (My Nia Dancer friends)
No obsession; memory!
A good balance, yes?

“Ready Birds” begin,
Calling from palm to palm –
Small, black, bright yellow. 
Morning sounds delight.
“Readies,” to crows, to frigates –
the latter, silent.

The lithe orange cat-god
Is chasing a “spirit fruit,”   (Kiwi)
Then brings it to me.

Poem and Watercolor Sketch

A major search now –
“Pegamento en barra,” (glue stick)
The front desk has it.

Walk on the beach twice;
Finally finished poem;
Went to bed early.

3.27.12   Monday Pain

Horrible gut pains,
And the pollen is high too.
Don’t want to complain.

My kin is working –
Computer: Sun/up/Sun down.
We both love the sea.

From the balcony,
Cloudy with little light now –
What more could I ask?

Even the pool toys were involved!
The midges are out!     
Those “Ready Birds” asking us:
How will your day be?

How silly to ask!
Don’t have to DO anything!
Why am I wanting?

Sexual season –
Iguanas copulating!
Love is in the air!

How odd of me
To take note of these couplings:
I'll switch to pink clouds.

This is a jungle,
And called ‘jungle by the sea.’
The birds delight me!

A momentary lapse into joy, and I want to stay.

Some Negatives Creep In

The kin taking yoga;
I would last twenty minutes,
So write Senryu.

I’m a stilled runner
Who wants to fly again, NOW!
Run barefoot on sand.

Remembering plane –
She says “Poncho inside-out.
Label is showing.”  

I label things too –
Those “Ready Birds,” for instance.
They own the palm trees.


Massage is so nice,
Up there with alligator!
Then, I descended.

Walked to Chacala.
Kin bought some dangling earrings;
I bought a purse.

Gut pain continues       
So I stayed in the room:
         Kin brings me some rice.   

   3.28.12    Tuesday--Mandate

Counting money now.
My wallet is a jumble!
Pesos, Euros, all!

Getting well today.
Tell my stomach to "F___off!"
No, it wants gentle.

I sleep a lot--it is very healing.
Long day with no plan,
Yes, I need to be questing.
Want to NAME those birds.

Ocean sounds puny.
Probably my hearing aid!
Take a walk, Stupid!

Hear the bird’s voices –
A pleasant cacophony:
Vie for position.

Walked to town again –
A ring for my friend this time –
Necklace for the kin.

3.29  Wednesday:  Introspective

Watching a runner
Doing “repeats” on the sand –
I hate sitting still!

Got to lose ten years
And the same number of pounds –
Rhythm of the road.

At yoga, poem. 
I really pushed to do this –
Now, I’m having doubts.

Most of the time here
Has been about fighting pain.
I eat the brown rice.

The dance studio –
With a yoga energy.
I read my poem.  

3.29 Thursday:  Summarizing

It is now Thursday
And so sadness will set in.
It already has.

I leave Saturday;
Just beginning to relax.
Then, it’s all over.


Elusive green sea!
I get the camera out,
And you turn to blue!

Thinking Again

I prefer dancing
Over staring at the sea:
You question yourself.

Not all FUN this time,
But more important, I think,
To handle “alone.”

I deny the palms
As a tropical cliché.
Soon, they will haunt me.

Palm shadows on sand
Doing their solo dances,
Waving graceful hands.

Understanding & Peace.

That’s the way it is:
Takes awhile to get it right.
Then, it’s time to go.

3.30 Friday,
Early Morning Goodbye
Kin is leaving soon.
Comfort making her bed now –
Soon, alone again.

The gut is better,
And it BETTER be, for sure.
I leave tomorrow.

The room seems empty.
That van left awhile ago.
I’m almost packed now.

Walked toward Chacala.
Her energy still here,
With the fish key-chain.

It’s totally gone.  
Lingered awhile, not now.

Ultima Dia for Me

Yes, it’s here so soon.
Talking about NEXT year.
But we can’t predict.

Painting for Edith.
I’m keeping the Buddha-face.
His smile is blissful.

I wake to flowers
With some Spanish-chatter too!
It is all lovely!

Hard to believe it –
Only a few more hours here.
New families arrive.

Give Gowa some egg,
Hard boiled, from my salad.
I leave the lettuce.

Still afraid of food.
The gut-pain has subsided,
But the fear remains.

Paid the bill early,
To avoid a “rush,” later.
I leave at 5:00 a.m.

One last glass of wine,
Blanc de Blancs - poured each day by
Smiling Javier!

3.31 Saturday:  
Back to PVR   Going Home!

Green sea, you kept me
Awake ALL night with your joy.
On my way home now.

Only one goodbye:
My cat-friend, Gowa, was there.
We talked a minute.

Ninety-minute cab
Included scary passing,
But not on the curves.

Mexico City Airport to ATL

Horrible food day –
Turkey-on-white, candy bar!
But the gut likes it.

Gate changes prevail,
With a lot of fast walking –
Finally, lift off.

ATLANTA  Evening

Thought it was over –
Long passport line and customs –
Missed my connection.  


Delta made it up –
Free shuttle, room, and food chits.
They made me peaceful.

Welcome to Mar de Jade. Not Comfort Inn.
The Inn

Not like Mar de Jade,
But better for re-entry:
I dropped back to earth.

4.1.   Sunday, Atlanta Airport (ATL)

It’s April Fool’s Day!
I’m thinking of G. Chaucer:
“Whan that Aprille…”

On the final leg,
Back to home, cat fur, litter.
I’m ready to scoop!

Do you think it’s true?
The universe protects us?
I look at Buddha.

Enough of this tale.
Put the pen away and live!
Adventurous me.

Adios!  Hola Ellicott City!

*  End Notes.

First, since the title of this feature is Under the Palapa, here is brief information from the Oxford Dictionary web site.

Palapa    Pronunciation:/pəˈlapə/   Noun  
  • A traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches. 

    Origin:  Mexican Spanish, denoting the palm Orbignya cohune


Next, rather than clutter the simple Japanese poetry form (5/7/5 syllables) with an introduction, I decided to tell you about some Spanish to English errors.  Some words I misunderstood; others, such as the "Ready Birds," were researched after I got home (see below).

I received this e-mail from Angelica Del Valle, about the cat I had called Gowa.  "The orange cat's name is Jova--he showed up at Mar de Jade on the day that a hurricane was supposed to hit us, although it never reached Chacala. The hurricane's name was Jova; hence the name."  So:  GOWA, the cat. Should be JOVA.  FIDEL, the gray cat, is the correct name.

Yellow-winged Cacique  (Bird I called “The Ready Bird”)  Native to Mexico, the Yellow-winged Cacique are beautiful and very abundant blackbirds that live on the edge of the jungle in solitary nests or in small colonies in Jalisco, Nayarit, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Sinaloa and Sonora. Named for the bright yellow feathers that adorn their brilliant black bodies, Yellow-winged Cacique build bag-like nests that are up to 30 inches long, which can be seen in the middle or the upper parts of the trees. 

A thought about the Ready Bird:  It was the first sound every morning, other than sound of those ocean waves, continuous and relaxing.  I looked up into a palm and could see the bird puffing up its little body to produce the sound that was undeniably "READY!  and again,  READY!"   The one time I actually saw the bird out of a tree, I saw two of them, courting--and then some--mid.flight.  March at Mar de Jade is love time! 

Wine:  Blanc de Blancs turns out to be the distributor's name, not a variety of wine. I tried to find it, but no luck.  Now, I have given up, and will have to go back, for sure!

Finally, even in this earthly paradise by the sea, I was not in the moment--and in my heart--the entire time, as a close friend suggested I try to do, prior to my departure from Ellicott City, Maryland.  But, for me, one looks out at the sea, and comes back to self...or selves with all that enticing chemistry!

But, if you were to ask me now, I would probably not say that. I would tell you it was pure, unadulterated joy...and the stomach ache was just to make the tale more palatable, for everyone who reads it.

Kay Weeks & Margaret Scott
On Friday the 13th, April, 2012 


Author Amok said...

Beautiful journal, Kay. So sorry for your stomach troubles. I hope the beautiful views made your pain bearable.

Pat Watson said...

Kay, your words, as always, paint vivid pictures! And Margaret's illustrations are magic! Fine artists make it all look easy, as do you and Margaret, with minimal words and lines. - - - Just lovely!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful prose from my favorite globe trotter!

Olivia Rivera

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great time...

Bob Fitzpatrick
San Diego, CA