Surface

Japanese-garden

My awareness clings
to the glossy sheen of pluvial wetness,
gliding upon the glistening foliate wax
and riding rough the tree trunk bark;
touching the cool silk of flower petal tips
to the warm skin of my face and parted lips,
letting the rainwater enter my mouth
and tasting of the perfume, bitter on my tongue,
forming yet another layer of awareness
on the surface curves of my mind.

by Jason Weaver 2013

Author’s Note:  This photograph was taken a few years back, on a rainy day at the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. 

Tonight is OpenLink Night at dVerse –Calling all poets– stop by and see what we’re up to!

Summer Ends

IMG_4074

Summer ends
and swept in
by the tail
of the pale warm winds
a regret….
that we had failed

that we never tried
or maybe

we tried too hard
to have it all
and never saw it
for what it was
or could be
simple
easy

by Jason Weaver (2013)

Author’s Note: Tonight and every Tuesday, join dverse Poets Pub for open poetry night 🙂

O Brasil

Brasil

You smile,
and you complain,
and then you ask me why I came
here to this place,
‘O Brasil’
as we talk of how
“The price of sugar has gone up,
don’t you know?
It can’t be so
in the United States,
where giant homes
have perfect lawns
and picket gates,
no less!”

No more.
Then you ask me of war.

And too, we talk of movies
and then you ask me when I came
here to this place,
‘O Brasil’
“because you speak portuguêse so well,
don’t you know?
It can be such
hell, so many verbs and tenses,
no less!”

And more.

Out the open bus window
the mountain peaks and valley greens
pass by us
as we discuss
the weather
and whether it will rain or not
and that it is always either
too cold or too hot
here in this place,
‘O Brasil!’

At my stop
we share a thumbs-up,
your hand upon my sleeve
“Abraços,” you say as I leave
with a smile.
And that is how to explain
to you why I came
here to this place,
‘O Brasil.’

by Jason Weaver

“Abraços” translates into “hugs” in portuguêse, the national language in Brazil. It is extremely common to hear people say “abraços” when parting, whether among friends or strangers, regardless of gender. In fact, after 3 years of being here, it still sometimes takes me by surprise when a store clerk or a bus toll collecter says it to me!   In general, Brazilians are known for their openness and my experience here has been the same. The thumbs-up sign is given at any and every single opportunity. It is a friendly signal with many positive connotations, and can come in handy when you need to cross the street, since cross walks are otherwise ignored. Brazilians like to talk, often to anyone that will listen. This poem is of a conversation on a bus with a stranger. Strangers will often offer to hold your bags for you if you are standing, and will then use the opportunity to strike up a conversation. Oft-times it may include a complaint of some sort. Complaining is an art form here. It is usually in regard to time spent waiting for everything, especially in lines at the bank, and also to the prices of goods. Brazil is expensive and has a long history of economic crises including monster inflation in the recent past. However strong and stable the current economy is, though, Brazilians are always on the look-out for any price increases, no matter how normal or small. They learn a lot about American culture through movies and music and like to talk about the films that they’ve seen. Also, I always get asked about war. Always. It is the one thing about Americans that they just cannot understand. However, it is never confrontational, they simply want to know my opinion of it. Other than that, they (generally) love America, love Americans and endlessly put down the slow progress made in their own country in comparison to their idea of a Disneyfied-America that they see in the movies and on TV. I say that a bit tongue-in-cheeck, but not much.

I hope it is clear to the reader just how much I love living here. I do not show my love with praises and glamorization, but rather with observation and candor. Some may see slight criticism. I think it is important to be critical of the the places we love. I guess in that sense, I fit right in.

Finally, I use ‘O Brasil’ which literally translates into “The Brazil” The “the” article is used much more often in portuguêse than in English, especially for the names of place. As an American, hearing the ‘O’ placed before masculine nouns and names of places reminds me so much of the English “Oh.” In this instance, to my American ears, “O Brasil” becomes “Oh Brazil!” which leads me to the prompt which inspired this photo-poem post “Oh the places we live ” at dVerse Poet’s Pub. Come check it out!