“The Lure of Beauty” Margo Roby: Tuesday Tryouts Alternating Perspective

Terra cotta tiled roofs descend into view,
wasted white on an egg-yolked sun

rising on homes, carrying tales of bells
with distinct rings; I turn my back
so death won’t take my soul … like those

old abandoned buses lying in a caressing,
cold crevasse, watched over by

a stream of crosses resurrected on
mountainsides, playing tag as you
pass by

El Diablo sinking his limbs and horns into red clay,
ready to give a slight nudge into
unforgiving, but loving arms of trees

When no-one wants to claim you, only to
keep you as a trophy for their lost day,

landscapes can embody space, giving
it life, a personality

*Excerpt from Diario Despertar de Oaxaca
El “Espinazo del Diablo”, leyenda mixteca:

Indeed, they found the wounded dying, and a bus turned over the precipice, over three thousand meters, with more than 30 people dead and at least two seriously injured, who testified that a beautiful woman with long hair made ​the driver stop and caused him distress.
Thus began the accident in the “Devil’s Backbone,” unquantifiable in all forms.
You can still see the remains of some buses overturned and traces of where they tried to cross the road to inform people and Mixtec communities.
On top of the hill is a chapel of the Virgen de Guadalupe, there are pictures of the Virgin of Juquila and a number of crosses, witnessing the misfortunes that occurred in the “Devil’s Backbone.”

Carretera Huajuapan Juxtlahuaca

Here is a link to the article:

Espinazo-del-Diablo-leyenda-mixteca.html”>Espinazo del Diablo leyenda mixteca


6 responses to ““The Lure of Beauty” Margo Roby: Tuesday Tryouts Alternating Perspective

  1. This is by turns harrowing and beautiful. I know of a similar bus graveyard in Seychelles, by the side of a steep winding road, with sheer drop into a gully. Your descriptions are very vivid.

    • Thanks Viv. I was messing round with my line breaks when you commented. I still haven’t got the hang of posting here yet.
      I was terrified when I first noticed the outline of the Devil’s back in the mountains, that and I wasn’t driving, I was in a suburban.
      A suburban is a commercial vehicle, a VW bus. The highway is very, very narrow and at 6 am in the morning with an old timer
      explaining the legend, it doesn’t make for perfect breakfast conversation. I used to take this trip every Saturday at 5 am to give
      English classes to the indigenous children who lived in a small town.

  2. What a fascinating tale. And I like what you have done to retell it. I think a country’s myths are a rich resource for poetry.
    I love the line: ‘El Diablo sinking his limbs and horns into red clay’ and the idea of the bus as trophy is wonderful.


    • Hi Margo. I haven’t even posted the link at your site. I was having a horrible time formatting. I love how your prompt, and my writing this coincided so nicely. The legends here go on and on, there is one I’ve heard that is so silly, but some of the people believe it. If you switch/change places while eating you will never get married. However, some of them can be frightening, if you are superstitious. 😉

  3. Exquisite language in here. I especially love the image (like Margo) of El Diablo sinking his limbs in… just has this really vicious feel to it befitting the situation. Interesting how you’ve turned those stories into a piece of haunting beauty.

I appreciate all comments.

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s