bouganvilla by the pool-- photo by Kath

We Did Not Have a Hurricane
FRIDAY and SATURDAY in Puerto Rico
August 17 and 18, 2007

photo by Rick

The clouds were ominous and there were some wild winds and rain, but really everything is fine here, no hurricane.

Waves on Friday were stronger than usual, but it was all show, at least here.

Looks like the sea, but no, our hotel room bed...

On our hotel room walls... Kath's hat, scarves belly dance skirts (we only pack what's necessary) meet black and white hibiscus.

There's construction going on everywhere here...

Orchid plants like airy nests in the trees on campus.

Ferns growing out of palm trees by the pool.

More flowers on campus.

This is Frenando Pinero, graduate student of Professor Janwa, one of the sponsors of our visit. He just got back from a Math conference at Texas A&M University. I was sentimental about his shirt since my son Tim was born while I was attending Texas A&M, taking Shakespeare and Modern Poetry classes there... don't ask me why. Fernando says he might be able to get us a botanical tour of campus with someone who can name all the varieties of fascinating plant life so profuse here. Rick will be giving some lectures on his request.

The law student's lunch place on this cmpus is always best. Last trip I learned to make plaintain soup here. One thing we like that's different is that all sandwich breads are squashed in a waffle iron to toast and take all the air they're thin and crunchy.

Kath has written two poems so far during this trip. You can read the first here: "If Lakes Were Eyes" was written from poetic notes during the flight here, as well as many swims during the first two days.

It's her first pina colada.

We had lunch at the outdoor poolside restaurant at the hotel, and these pigeons were very aggressive about food and even wanted to read our books. (That's "Poems of the Late Tang". However when torrents of rain started pouring down they became very sheepish and hid under their wings under tables, obviously terrified.

This pool area adjoins the hotel beach...we walked there after the rain stopped, to watch the stormy waves

Returning here, where my lines feel vinelike over the lush landscape and in keeping with tropical style, we feel at home. The threatening hurricane, not so threatening here... gave us an excuse to "hide" in our hotel, venturing out to see the big waves and feel the occasional downpour. The inner begins to mirror the outer, as lines grow longer and last night the inevitable reward. The long sentences of the tiny invisible (to us) tree frogs who sing all night like sleepless flocks of birds wherever there are trees. We heard them familiarly roaring... loader than any human conversation. They settle in your heart and many here say they no longer can hear them. (I am sure they feel them.) For when people leave here, they cannot sleep for want of the coqui sound. Gradually here the nameless begins to identify itself, the large round fruits in the palms call themselves coconuts... but there are endless mysteries as in any new place. And for those who live here, as with anything familiar, no names are needed. So many stare at my questions for want of words. Names may be only for holding in the heart after the leaving?

Go to The first day of our trip
Go to Our Puerto Rico Travel Page
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