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our eyes locked in an embrace
around my racing heart
I cry for you Argentina
hectic planet’s southern corner
land of passion, crazy arena
aforetime our bonds were stronger.

No longer yours, you never mine
our lives belonged together once
I used to taste your scarlet wine,
your gorgeous girls, your charming dance.

The friends from ages, forgotten stories
so much privation, my heart is sore
my aging parents, the elder brothers
your call is clear I shall wait no more.

Exultant hugs, reunion is great
my parent’s sanctuary regaining life
but there is an end, a settled date
cruel farewell that sticks its knife.

I’ve seen those humid agates before
I've heard how silence can drown the wail
hair-raising feeling on every pore
they'll stand upright, I will be frail.

Oh, childhood playground! my old-time shelter
long time impeded of children laughing
no words no tears, this way is better
my love, my kids, my home are waiting.
Leaving your childhood place leaves a mix of sweet and sour feelings. Visiting back your birth country is an emotional experience.
nick armbrister Feb 2018
Natalie. Basic
Basic flight training was like dancing to The Elementals. Basic, scary and fun. Did Nat know that in a year she would be at the controls of a deadly multi million dollar warplane in the wrong war, with the wrong enemy? No amount of gothic looks would appease her situation over the coming months. Was it all real? That was a distant question, not for now.

The girl danced and flew with equal passion and ferocity. Her brown hair was all over her face and she danced like a spinning airplane. Eyes shut, she was somewhere else. In her mind, she was in the cockpit of her red coloured training plane. Her flight instructor, Alberto, allowed Natalie to acrobat the little plane. She flew it with wildness that surprised everyone, including her.

Rolling upside down and pulling the control stick to her guts, the red airplane moved like a kid’s toy. Diving straight downwards, picking up speed. Alberto was going to take over before top speed was reached but Nat second guessed him and pulled back into a half loop. Up they went into the blue, a hawk in the heavens. Free. Natalie screamed in joy. Looking over at Alberto, her smile said it all. She was a born pilot.

When the record changed, Nat went to the bar and ordered a glass of red wine. Joining her friends, they chatted on guys, music and Nat’s new air force career. Several of her friends had nice boyfriends or lovers with them. In close embraces, they kissed and made small talk. Nat chatted to Katie, on the fundamentals of aerobatics and flight, demonstrating how to loop and roll with her hand. Her other held her wine. Time passed, music played, wine was drunk and Nat slow danced with Roberto.

Being Catholic and part of a close knit family, the girl was a bit of a rebel. Her mother wanted Natalie to marry and have children. Nat was having none of this; it was music, flying and the air force. Not even men like handsome Roberto swayed the girl for marriage. He was local and conscripted in the army. His passion was films and he had to give up college to serve his country. After a year he would finish off his film studies, if fate allowed. Both were friends and occasional lovers, now they danced in Sacha’s.
nick armbrister Jan 2018
Natalie. Battle Maiden
Flying the Skyhawk was easy. Learning tactics wasn't. Aerial refuelling was hard, as was formation flying. Natalie grew up and lost her girliness. Inside she was a woman. Her view on the government remained. Should she bomb the junta in her plane? Thoughts of that were brushed aside when she was deployed near the Chilean border when tension increased in the long running border dispute.
Flying three armed patrols convinced Chile to stop sabre rattling and withdraw her soldiers. Nat was gaining experience. Public opinion was turning against the government, an ongoing crisis that needed expert handling. War was the answer. Not with Chile but in the Malvinas.
An army, armed to the teeth, sailed and was flown out. British resistance was subdued and Argentina took the Malvinas. Natalie and her squadron were on standby for action. Britain retaliated and UK ships headed south. Nat trained in anti ship attack. Soon her skills would be needed.
People were behind the war. Not questioning about The Disappeared or how to get rid of the evil junta. The Malvinas were finally ours and a joyous mood overtook many people. In the military, it was different. A real fight would soon erupt. The Brits were coming and Nat was scared. What had she got herself into?
Training continued and there was no time for her band, seeing her friends or little else. Not even secretly discussing how to help make the government fall with her fellow activists. It was a fine line of madness. An Argentine air force jet pilot with illegal views and rebellion songs.

She could change the history of her country, Argentina, forever. If she dropped a few bombs on the leaders, it was over. The new war, The Disappeared, the fear. All of it. Could she do it? Would she? Nat knew where the leaders were and would strike on her next armed training mission. Fate stopped her. Events moved quickly and the young warrior woman never had chance.
from my book Berlin Tokyo War Hearts By Nick Armbrister
Alisha Vabba Sep 2015
My bones still feel humid
Above these clouds
As I soak in these days

A song with strangers in the rain
Una pachada
my voice softer than ever

Humid walls
Faded colours, vivid people
bright warm darkness and so many stars!

I can feel you slowly leaking out
Life soaking back in
With this music…

You, who filled me with emptyness,
And I bled with anguish.

Now I bleed light and love and life
I’ve been awake for days
I am everywhere.

And you’re alone,
Lusting after your own charms:
Your perfect inconsolable pain.

I loved you fear and restrain.
How can I look after you
Here on this rooftop, under the scalding sun?

Now my mind sees more
And my eyes run wild
Fireworks in this cold comfort

These dunes by the ocean
Are a smaller desert
Then your desolate company.
Kate Lion Feb 2015
He was a drug addict, they would tell me
He was "malo," they would say
Until a policeman lost his patience
beat him
so bad that he was in the hospital for months
And never walked again
"He had it coming" was the way they'd end the story

But as I visited with him
I discovered more

He read through the entire Bible while he was getting treatment
His spirit changed
And when he was well enough to leave the hospital bed he was taken home just to be laid down again, yet I suppose that
Sometimes he had a wheelchair

He had a job
wheeled himself across miles of dirt road to get there
people would come in, greeting and asking him, "che, como andas?" which is Argentino for "dude, how are you doing?" but a closer translation would be, "dude, how are you walking (or going)?" he would always smile from his chair and say jokingly, "i don't go, i sit."

He was married and had a little boy, Alejandrito (which means little Alexander)

And i would watch him and his family
in their little tin house patched with plywood
His wife loved him; she met him after his accident
and she was never cross about doing everything for him
they had nothing
yet enjoyed everything their poverty had to offer

my favorite phrase he ever said was:
"if your problems have solutions, why worry? and if your problems don't have solutions, why worry?"
This is a poem about a man I knew in Argentina. He is one of my greatest examples.
Kate Lion Jan 2015
i miss you
the way Obama misses his intelligence briefings

i finally cleaned out my bedroom
threw out
all the legos i always accidentally stepped on
all of the crusty pieces of Argentine food i wasn't ready to let go of

you are a jedi
or perhaps just my best friend

some people hurt your eyes like neon when you see them

but you don't

you are nutella
and i am a butterknife
Kate Lion Sep 2014
instead of the thrumming of crickets
and the constant lull of the frogs by the lake

instead of late-night parties on the other side of the wall (didn't they know we were always in bed by 10:30?)
the drunken laughter of strangers
the foreign tongue that made its way into the dialogue of my dreams

instead of keeping myself up at night from the terror of
wondering what poverty-stricken, starved man might break through our poorly-fitted door to violate two helpless girls

my lullaby is the hum of a dishwasher
the creaks in the finely-polished floorboards
the purr of the computer
the cracking of ice as it slides from the dispenser in the fridge
a symphony of first-world luxury and comfort

i am up at 1:45 in the morning

and i couldn't be happier
ottaross Sep 2014
Is there still a tired cafe
On the corner under canvas
Pondering the long boulevard?
Does the faded owner smoke all day
And complain about the haze
And how finding pretty waitresses is hard?

I once lived thereabouts
And earned a meager pay
Writing broken tales for magazines.
Nights filled my belly with wine
My eyes the chanteuse Lise
She starred in my most fictional scenes.

I never found a way
To read my ink blot cards
and learn where my psyche led me wrong
It oft' left me lonely
With just black espresso
And the echo of Lise's sweet song.

One day I moved away
Back to blue ice and snow
From that old city of fumes and haze.
Yet still on thick warm nights
A song burns in my soul
In familiar, best forgotten, ways.
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