Poem for Ronan from Alma Luz Villanueva

Thank you, Alma, lovely poet full of generosity and compassion, for this gift of a poem for Ronan. Lorca was my muse this summer, so Alma is also a mind-reader!


“Where is the duende? Through the empty arch comes

a wind, a mental wind, blowing relentlessly over the

heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and

unknown accents; a wind that smells of baby’s spittle,

crushed grass, and jellyfish veil, announcing the constant

baptism of newly created things.” Federico Garcia Lorca*




I keep writing to

Lil Ronan, every

stage of his life,

(dreaded/beloved) teenhood,


manhood, I follow him,

I follow you, so

far until my mind/heart

collapses with grief, imagining


what you live

daily, Emily,

and I’m left with

questions, simple questions-


What song does every

mother’s womb sing to her

child? What light connects

the unborn to the born, the


dying to the living, those

waiting their turn to be

come flesh, vulnerable flesh,

life death life death

**Sound of a rattle**


again, oh again, between

their mother’s dark thighs, a

light emerges. What is this

light, always ancient, always


new, why do we long for

light, why do we long for

darkness, why do we wait

our turn life death life death

**Sound of a rattle**


Why do some be-come only

in the womb, a year, four

years, 16, 28, 49, 54, 90,

110, why, life death life death

**Sound of a rattle, sacred rattle**


I ask the ocean, why?

I ask the mountain, why?

I ask the stars, why?

And of course, I ask the Sun,


why? I ask Grandmother

Moon, why? I ask

my dream, why, why?

Within the awe-full silence,


the music, drums and rattles,

voices from womb, heart, throat,

I hear, gift, repeated



chanted endlessly, one

word, gift, we are offered,

we must receive, or not,

and you have life death life


death life la mar

moans, sings, in

love with salt, human

DNA, the womb echoes


ancient tide,

ancient child,

ancient rattle (stones,

bones, seeds), gift.


Alma Luz Villanueva

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

January 1, 2012


To Emily Rapp, her son Ronan

A poem I keep writing, so finally here it is, con amor…

*In Search of Duende, Federico Garcia Lorca

9 responses to “Poem for Ronan from Alma Luz Villanueva

  1. I can see and hear Alma reciting the poem, performing it, breathing it into Ronan and Emily with an energy only she possesses. As always, Emily, you are in my thoughts; how wonderfully you are experiencing this life you have.

  2. What a privilege it is to have connection with women writers!

  3. Alma was my first mentor at Antioch. Her heart burns so very bright. Lovely, just lovely….

  4. Beautiful, Alma. ❤

  5. My comment is unrelated to your current entry, but I have been following your blog, and just read this, and thought you might appreciate it:

  6. Sending love to you, and Ronan, Emily. I follow everything that you write and feel like you are my own. Love Barbara

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