ACROSS THE FACE OF THE STORM by Jerome R. Adams (Colombia)

 

In early 1911, Isabel Cooper, 17, and her 15-year-old brother, Frederick. they leave their Georgetown home after the sudden death of their Mexican mother. They are determined to find their father, a college professor who – like many American leftists – had joined the Mexican revolution a few months earlier. They travel by train, stagecoach, and wagon, at first put off by what they see of turn-of-the-century American South. But they soon learn of the quiet dignity of their mother’s homeland. After an ugly incident not of their making, they escape the federales with the help of Pepe, a lad of many talents. He leads them to refuge with a ragtag militia on its way to join Carranza’s Army of the North, commanded by a woman known as La Maestra.

After service in the Peace Corps in Colombia, Jerome Adams went to work for The Charlotte (NC) Observer, a daily newspaper. He went on to a career as a freelance writer and teacher. He hopes it was his wanderlust that has moved his four children to live and work in Nigeria, Albania, Italy, and Costa Rica.

Previously he has published among others Greasers and Gringos: The Historical Roots of Anglo-Hispanic Prejudice (2006), and Liberators and Patriots of Latin America: Biographies of 23 Leaders from Dona Marina (1505-1530) to Bishop Romero (1917-1980), (2010)

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  • This is quite a story of a PCV’s life and his service in Columbia and his subsequent life as a Charlotte NC OBSERVER employee and then a free-lancer, teacher, and popa and later his 4 kids who as this review says were moved to live and work in Albania, Costa Rica, Italy, and Nigeria. I gotta read this one and the two other books of his, both focujssing on Anglo-Latinex prejudice and the heros of Latin America.

  • Adams’ story as reviewed here above is a tale of hope and my poem may be seen as a metaphor for it:

    THE PHOENIX
    by Edward Mycue

    All that noisy night the phoenix flamed
    crackling embers into singeing song
    scorching fog, fuchsia, western laurel tree
    razing memories of my flower years,
    smoke clouding what passes, these keys of flesh,

    time the phoenix entered the sun dance
    fragmenting, shattering, grinding-down
    my tired half-dreams of a failed dream,
    scooping from that mist of muffled bones
    one frail and fragrant puff of finished fuse.

    Fleeing, finding stars, sky, sirens screaming,
    years turn, hope spins again into morning,
    so what could never end might yet still come again.

  • . Little Lifetimes
    Children crush crackers between stones
    celebrating luck and joy
    seeing with ears, breathing music from trees, flowering
    in pure deliciousness
    awakening graves, unarmed against the rain. In time — silence:
    stoning sterile trees,
    praying the dead will sleep between the swollen roots.
    The wind rushes in saying hold my ground, carve
    your own road — the design that develops.

    Now a face begins to emerge seeking air
    examining death to discover patterns
    in the movements of little lifetimes.

    © Copyright Edward Mycue

  • (EXPLAINING HOW YOU BUILD YOUR LIFE):

    IT TAKES FOREVER

    because life it built
    from the inside out,

    from the bottom up but

    you do it upside down from
    the top like you’re digging

    a hole when you’re really
    building a frame and

    hanging a skin around

    –that is, form the inside out

    when it’s upside down and
    the light isn’t so good

    and everything has to be
    tilted and turned. It’s hard.
    ________________________________
    (C) Copyright Edward Mycue

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