Steve Castro has had poems published in Grey Sparrow Journal,
Underground Voices, The Caterpillar Chronicles, Andar21 (Galiza / Galicia, Spain),
Phantom Kangaroo, Cricket Online Review and Numinous: Spiritual Poetry. His flash fiction can be found in This
Great Society. The poet was a finalist in the 2008 University of Evansville’s Sixth Annual Willis Barnstone translation
prize judged by Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry Willis Barnstone. Photo Credit: Guiselle Castro, the poet's mother.
The consuming fire
As I heard a fellow poet say
the quixotic feasibility
I stopped listening and
wondered if he had
ever read Cervantes - not
only did I not think so, but
I was pretty sure he had
never been to Spain either.
When I asked him if he had read
“Don Quijote de la Mancha”
he responded by saying
the writing of books are endless and
excessive devotion to books is
wearying to the body.
He plagiarized and avoided my
question at the same time I thought.
“You just quoted from Ecclesiastes” I told him.
Just think about it, Solomon
said that almost 3,000 years ago -
before the Guttenberg printing press - when
books were transcribed
by hand. Solomon had access to
less than one percent
of the books that we
have today, but he knew even then
that there were already too many books
for one person to read in a lifetime.
“So you haven’t read Cervantes?” I asked.
I actually started reading Don Quixote
while studying abroad in Spain and I
finished it in Vienna while
visiting an aunt; have you been to Vienna?
“No, but …” he cut me off
in the middle of my sentence and said:
Augustine of Hippo was of the opinion
that the whole world is a book
and those who travel not, read
only a page - then he smiled.
Anger consumed me / later that night
I started a bonfire in my backyard;
the next day all of my books blew
in the morning wind in the form of ashes.
You always wanted proof
of my existence.
You wanted me to bring you back
from Barcelona and tea from Jordan.
You wanted minute descriptions of the
Paul Klee exhibit I saw in Bonn.
You would ask me to summarize every book I read.
You were not satisfied when I told you that
was a Coelho novel about pursuing your dreams.
You wanted more and more details.
You wanted me to send you a postcard from Italy
to see if I was actually in Rome.
I left you in anger never to see you again.
I realized too late that you did not want proof,
but only desired in every part
to share in the love of my existence.
Vegetation springing to life suddenly like a
Cheetah’s shadow springs upon a Springbok gazelle.
I am sitting on a park bench listening to
Vivaldi’s spring entranced by
The swaying blades of grass as they
Commune with the flowers in God’s spring.
As the edible crops are gathered by the farmers like
A hen gathers her chicks under her wings
As the city dwellers migrate towards
Central Park with a picnic basket full of love
As the maple leaf spirals in decent and
Hopes to be absorbed by the earth below
As the snowflakes take over the sky
Like greedy piranhas taking over human flesh
I am crying for spring
My tears drop down and gather like dew gathers
On the blades of grass on
A cold night - it is winter and
I sit by the hearth on Christmas Eve
Waiting for spring
Hoping for spring
Wishing for spring
2004-2011 the Dublin Quarterly--to see familiar things with unfamiliar eyes!