Guest Poet Renee Maxwell

La Fortuna

The children of the volcano sleep
Without anxiety for the imminent
Announcement of their mortality.

They are blissfully innocent
Of the moment of their conception
When moans mixed with molten thunder.

We should expect nothing less
From the scorched fruit of a mountain of
Angry earth lurking in the backdrop

Of each daily ritual practiced without remorse.
There is no place to harbor fear
Where the headstones are etched in the landscape.

There is no refuge from a mouth
That swallows the moon and regurgitates
Fire at odd intervals.

Those whose lives depend on the moods
Of a tempermental stone dragon
Do not put off the pursuit of giant blue butterflies
Until the dawning of an uncertain tomorrow.

November, 1999

Renee Maxwell's Questions:

1. How does the reader interpret the mood of the poem? I'm afraid it seems too ominous when it's supposed to be saying "seize the day!"

2. Is the transition between the 3rd and 4th stanzas awkward? Should I try to break up that lengthy sentence?

personal note La Fortuna is the ironic name of a little pueblo in Costa Rica nestled at the base of Volcan Arenal. My son was conceived there.

I'm new at this so I would be very grateful for feedback of any kind!

The Albany Poetry Workshop