“Sierra Madre Occidental” The Sunday Whirl #34

Looking through opaline glass to the Copper Canyon,
pulsations of rails beneath my feet. Sonoran desert landscape is spacious, an enigma in fir and pine, on wildflower cascades,
meters of crevasses held together by burnt sienna cobras,
marked silver at each writhing turn. Rapid water rushes tributaries,
swallowed whole by the sea’s hunger. Elements placed gingerly into the grip of red-veined fingertips, occasionally a rare, unexpected spasm, once again she regains her posture …

cougars reclining
along weightless welkin slopes
tumbling, rich scenes

Process notes: I wrote this yesterday morning, and was rather surprised when we experienced an earthquake in the evening. It was a fairly good-sized one, 6.5. Its epicentre was in the south-western state of Guerrero and was 40 miles deep, felt by those of us living in Puebla, Mexico and Oaxaca.

I sat still watching the floors roll, pictures swaying on the walls, and when I stood up my equilibrium was off kilter. Not a pleasant feeling in the least.

28 responses to ““Sierra Madre Occidental” The Sunday Whirl #34

  1. Gorgeous images, Pamela! I loved: “wildflower cascades,” and “meters of crevasses held together by burnt sienna cobras.” I’ve never been in an earthquake. I’m sure it must be scary and unsettling. Hope you did not sustain any damage.

  2. More disorienting than anything, Marianne. No damage at all to our home, but apparently there was in Mexico city. I think about 50 homes.

    Thanks for the nice comment 🙂

  3. Fabulous imagery. You write so well of your surroundings and local. It leaves me always thinking of heat, warmth, colour and vibrancy, I never would have thought of earthquake though. Glad it was far enough away not to have caused any damage to property, hope everyone was safe where it did occur though. 6.5 is not a small one by any means.

  4. very interesting write…i particularly like the break out stanza on the cougars…know how you are feeling too…we had the quake here a few months back which was rather a shock as we dont get them often…glad you are ok

    • Hi Brian, What an unexpected visit. We are fine, but in the ten years we have been here, well, we have never experienced an earthquake. It was quite strange.
      This form is called a haibun, and thanks for the comment. I hope to get back to d’verse sometime soon. I miss you guys!

  5. Thanks, Bren. I have never taken the trip on the Copper Canyon Railway, but hope to someday. It runs through the northern part of the republic, and friends have described it to me. I wrote from those descriptions.
    If I am correct the San Andreas fault line runs through the states of Mexico and Oaxaca, we are a neighbouring state to both. There were two reported deaths, a young boy and a man driving his car was hit by a falling rock.

  6. Pamela- Geez… that must have scared you to death. I’m so glad you’re okay.

    I love your haibun.

  7. Yes, Laurie, it was a bit unsettling. I worry that we will experience aftershocks, and hopefully not a bigger earthquake, which is what happened in Mexico City in ’85. The first quake was 5.9, and the following day 8.0, leveling much of the city. That we are not prepared for, but who is?
    Thanks for the comment.

  8. Wow – it sounds like you tuned into something there… pretty amazing. Great poem and I hope equilibrium has returned.

  9. nan, my husband jokingly said “no volcano poems, please”. I have written a few, but never about their eruptions. The equilibrium returns within about a half an hour, it was like drinking a few glasses of wine. Though, my husband became nauseated, he doesn’t have sea legs either 🙂 Thanks.

  10. rich imagery – and such prescience!

  11. Thanks Viv, and it was a bit strange. I never think about earthquakes here, however, I know they occur.

  12. Rich description of the landscape with a seismic event, Pamela. How scary!

  13. This is really lovely Pamela, so many beautiful descriptions…
    “swallowed whole by the sea’s hunger” and
    “held together by burnt sienna cobras, marked silver at each writhing turn”
    – I loved it!

  14. Gosh Pam! Extremely glad you are ok! You are pretty close if you had felt the effects. Excellent verse!


  15. A beautiful Haibun Pamela.
    The Copper Canyon certainly sounds like a place worth visiting – even with the earthquakes!

  16. Terrific use of the wordle, Pamela, especially the haibun at the end. I’m glad you and your husband weathered the earthquake without any damage or injury.

  17. Wonderful haibun Pamela, but perhaps you should refrain from writing about natural disasters for a while, lol. The pen can definitely be mightier than the sword. Your imagery and flow never disappoint. Thanks for visiting my site.


  18. Elizabeth, I am not going to write about natural disasters anytime soon, lol. It was nice to see you back at The Whirl. Thanks for the lovely comment.

  19. Pamela, this is beautiful, yes, as Gautami says, vivid. I love the colors you present, as everything is white and wintery here.

  20. Thanks Brenda, there is no snow here, only on the volcanoes. 🙂

I appreciate all comments.

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