The Poet’s love (Chapter 7-9)
The Poet’s love- The cancer
A Chapter by Coyote Poetry
A new chapter.
Leo watched Paloma and Johnnie leave. Johnnie face had aged. The last time he saw him. He was robust and loud. They , danced with pretty Teja’s girls and drank the Honduras rum till four a.m in the morning. This was four years back and he saw death in his friend face. He had lost many to cancer and sometimes. The cancer is caught too late and a painful and lousy death shall come. Lawrence touched his shoulder and he told him. Johnnie had Gastric cancer, stomach cancer. It is in the late stages. He went to the Cancer treatment centers of American. He tried the chemo and the new drug Keytruda. The treatment was too late. Johnnie called me last month and he told me. I’m bald, tire and I need my Honduras. Dear Lawrence, I’m coming to Trujillo to die my friend. Took him 30 days to get here. Stomach cancer is quiet. Most times the cancer showed-up too late and no treatment can work. I called Paloma and I called you. Johnnie will need us. He had one last wish. For us to go to Port Austin, Michigan. When he is gone. Burn some sage and spread his ashes to the lake Huron waves. I have my travel visa. You and Paloma have proper passports and we must leave as soon as possible.
Leo looked sad and he asked. Why didn’t you tell me this on the phone? Lawrence looked at the Trujillo bay and he told him. He wanted his death to be as painless as possible. Paloma doesn’t know. I brought Elena here from the city. She will use her herbal medicine to make the pain less. Maybe she can slow down his death. Johnnie told me to tell you. Don’t show me the ugly faces. Let’s me die liked I lived. Foolish and fearless. Laughing, drinking and with my dear friends near. He will tell Paloma in the morning. He had been here in secret for five days. Elena gave him the graviola soup, five time daily and buckhorn tea with every meal. She forced down the cat claw into him twice daily. Elena is trying to extend his life. The gastric cancer had spread and his days can be few or many if the herbal medicine can slow down the spreading. Leo begin to cry and Lawrence wrapped his arms around him and he whispered. You cry tonight and tomorrow you smile and laugh for our old friend. Two old men watched the movement of the Trujillo bay. Needed silence this night.
Johnnie brought Paloma closer and he whispered a silence prayer. Thank you lord of life and death for Paloma, my dear friends and Trujillo. Paloma wasn’t sleeping. She knew Johnnie was dying and she knew. He didn’t want tears and sadness. She remembered him. Standing above the dead Mexican in Mexico city and he told her. Not your time to die my love. Go now and I will find you again. A long night for her. She knew the morning the truth would be set free. This night was to embrace her Johnnie. She loved being the Poet’s love. She knew already. Johnnie was fading away.
In the morning. Johnnie awoke early and Elena had the soup and tea on a small table. He went to the table and he drank the tea and he began to eat the soup. Leo came to him and he wrapped his arms around him. He whispered to him. What will I do without you? Leo’s tears begin to fall and he told him. My last tears for you my friend. We will go to Port Austin, drink the Michigan wine and whiskey. You will die like a Ojibwa warrior. Once you told me. When I’m dead. Put me in a small raft with some hay. Allow my body to burn and flow to the heavens. I will try to do this. Paloma appeared from the motel room and Leo kissed his forehead and he walked toward Paloma. He kissed her forehead, face cheek and lips than he walked away.
Paloma sat with Johnnie. She gave him an odd smile and she whispered. Please tell me the truth. I’m not a baby and I saw how cancer can kill. You are hiding the truth and please tell me. What we are doing my love? Johnnie loved his Spanish love. She was still as beautiful as when he held her hand and he sang love songs to her thirty year ago. He told her. I was a normal man. Never saw a doctor and one day. I couldn’t walk and the pain came. I went to the Veteran Hospital and the old doctor told me I had advance gastric cancer. They told me my chances were not very good. I didn’t want to die yet and I requested some treatment. The treatment was useless. Just make me sicker. I was going to do the good Ojibwa death. Go to my land. Sit alone by Lake Superior and die in private. Be food for the coyotes and the wolf. I had a dream. Part of you died when you learned I die alone. You never show your real face again. The damn Nagual’s dreams told me. Find Trujillo and your friends. Don’t die alone and die with the last vision I will see. You, my beautiful Paloma.
Paloma began to cry and she whispered. Thank you Johnnie. If you die without a proper goodbye. I would had died too. I’m the Poet’s love and I will not leave you. You have loved me for thirty years and you have seen me at my weakest. You made me stand-up and be strong. You have been my only love in my life. I will stay with you dear Johnnie. What shall we do now? He smiled at her. I have one request you will dislike. I want you, Leo and Lawrence to come to Port Austin with me. Trujillo is my first home and Port Austin is my second. I love Lake Huron. I want us to celebrate my last days by the great lake. Paloma whispered dear Johnnie. I will go to hell and back with you. He brought her closer and he embraced her. He kissed her a dozen time and he whispered. I love you dear Paloma. She whispered. I love you my Johnnie.
He told her. Elena had slow-down the cancer. She brought me things from the four corners of this world. The American white lily and the greater celandine had make me feel okay. I feel good enough to travel now. Elena is coming too. She had become the fifth legs of us now. She saved Leo and hard headed Leo made her stay with him. She will find the herbs needed and she will take care of me and us. Elena came near and she kissed Johnnie forehead and she went to Paloma and she kissed Paloma lips. She whispered. The cancer is stalled. Johnnie came too late. The bacteria had expanded and all I can do is try to slow down the cancer. Leo showed-up and he told them. Tonight the last party on the Trujillo beach for the four warrior plus one new one. Me and Elena are one now. She couldn’t fight me off no-more. She made me understand the lost of my wife and child years ago. She taught me. I could love again.
The night was coming. May is Trujillo. So damns hot and so damn beautiful. Lawrence had organized a large party. The whole city would turn-out. Free food, music and free drink. Paloma dressed slowly in front of the mirror. Johnnie saw the marks on her back given to her by the Mexican police. He went to her and he whispered. We must one thing before we go to Port Austin. I want you and I to go to Mexico City. Burn some sage and pray for Susana Castillo Chavez. First we must be marry. You are I shall be a marry couple in Mexico city. Two strangers just seeking the martyr kind poet. Leo is a famous painter now. Lawrence, Leo and Elena will come with. A stranger came in and he smiled. I’m the Catholic priest of the only church here in Trujillo. My name is Juan and I will marry you tonight and I will create the proper documents. I wanted to meet the famous Paloma and Johnnie. You gave your money for my food and medicine charity many times. I do appreciate your kindness. Tonight I will return the kindness.
Paloma walked with Johnnie on the quiet beach. People were near setting up for the party. You could smell the food and the workers had the Spanish music playing loud. She asked him. You want to marry me and I didn’t receive the proper invitation. You think I’m a class-less lady who don’t need a proper question? He went to one knee and he embraced her waist tightly. He kissed her bare stomach and he looked at her beautiful face. He asked her. My dear Paloma. Would you marry an old fool. You are my Poet’s love. I want to live and die in the kind smile of your face. Paloma begins to cry and she caressed his face. I will love to marry you my Johnnie.
Poet’s love – The long journey to Cuidad Juarez.
A Chapter by Coyote Poetry
A new chapter
The five old friends sat together. The people of Trujillo were drinking, dancing and having great fun near. Lawrence didn’t tell them the reason for the Festival this night. He told them. A night to celebrating life and a grand wedding. Johnnie loved the people of Trujillo. They treated him like a lost son. He made many good friends in the city. He assisted many with their businesses and ensured the Church had enough money to help the homeless children. He knew they must wait a month. The paperwork of marriage even with the new tech would take some time. He told Paloma. We won’t leave till your name is my name and I know you will be safe. She understood. He was in good spirit tonight. Lawrence did some testing. He told him. The cancer was dormant. The cancer is still in you. Just resting. I don’t know for how long. Elena herbal medicine is stalling the cancer. Giving your body the strength to fight back. You may live a year or maybe a week?
Paloma took his hand and she whispered in his ear. thirty years of dating and you shall make me an honest woman? He turned to her. Yes my love, my dear, my sweet and I know. Good things take time and you are worth the wait. Leo smiled and he got-up and brought Elena to him. He told them. Time for us to dance, sing and make wild love. The Golf of Mexico demand payment. A dance for her or a hurricane for us. Johnnie and Paloma got-up and the two couples wandered to the dancing people on the beach. Lawrence sat alone and he did a silence prayer. Please god of life and death. Let us survive the hard days coming. Please allow Johnnie to die at Port Austin. Home is where he can know peace finally.
The Priest demanded quiet from the 300 Trujillo men, women and children on the beach. They obeyed Juan with a proper silence. He told the gathering. Tonight we combine two lives as one. Tonight we combine two people into a permanent place in the eyes of God. We are blessed by the warm night and the kind sea. Tonight Johnnie and Paloma will be blessed by God and swear to love till death take. Johnnie, do you take Paloma to love and hold till death do you part. Johnnie smiled and he said. I do. Dear Paloma, do you take Johnnie to love and hold till death do you part. Paloma with tears flowing. She said. I do. Johnnie put on her ring of gold on her tender finger and she put on a ring of gold on his finger. The priest raised his hands and he told the people. Tonight we joined two people and Johnnie, Paloma. You are married in the eyes of God.
Paloma and Johnnie left the beach and they went to the motel room. Lawrence and Leo had bought some Spain wine and left many flowers in the room. She asked him. You know we must go to Cuidad Juarez. Not Mexico city. He smiled and he told her. I know. I went to the her site in Cuidad Juarez. She isn’t forgotten. She was stole from us by violence and people like us. Must keep her alive. We will leave as soon as the documents show-up. I pray Elena’s herbal cures keep working. We have a long and hard trip. I made plans for us to see many places. We will stop in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala for a meal, visit Dangriga and Belmopan in Belize and drive across Mexico till we reach Cuidad Juarez. It will take two months till we reach Houston. Houston to Detroit and final road trip to Port Austin. She looked sad and she questioned him. Can you survive his journey? He smiled and he brought her near and he sang.
“Dear Paloma, you and I. Wandering Gypsies. You are my song, my love, my muse. The Poet’s love.
You and I.
Fearless and brave.
With you near. Death shall stay at bay.”
The month went quickly. Paloma saw some improvement in Johnnie. He was walking better and he was writing again. Elena came four times daily. Force down an ounce of cat claw twice a day to him. She served him the graviola soup and the Buckhorn tea with every meal. She didn’t allow him to have coffee. She told him. Coffee takes more than she gives. Lawrence did weekly testing. The gastric cancer was present and stable. He went to them and he told them. The paperwork is here. Tomorrow we leave for Guatemala. My good friend Doctor Roberto had a medical center in Puerto Barrios. We will rest a few days and leave for Belize. Belize is the safest entrance for us. The border guards are few and the roads are open to Mexico. We shall go quietly into Mexico. Do what we must do and to Houston. Paloma went to Lawrence and she gave him a hard and warm hug. She whispered to him. You are my blessing and my friend.
Leo rush-in and he told them. The painting is done. Lawrence told him. Please God, I hope so. You made us sit in the hot sun for weeks. I hope we are a masterpiece? Leo took then to his private studio in the city of Trujillo. Paloma started to cry. Leo had painted twenty paintings of them. Each one different and so beautiful. She went to Leo and she whispered. You are my brave painter. I love you. I thank you for saving my life twice and I did nothing for you. Leo held her tighter and he told her. You made the weak man, the quiet painter come alive. You are my muse. You made me strong and brave. I love you dear Paloma.
In the early morning. Four a.m. A loaded truck left Trujillo. Johnnie held Paloma hand tightly as the bay and Trujillo disappeared in the distance. He knew. He would never see the city again.
Susana Castillo Chavez poem.—
The Poet’ love — Puerto Barrios
A Chapter by Coyote Poetry
A new chapter.
The trip was long and very odd. There was no direct route to Puerto Barrios. Paloma knew the reason the true reasons for the road trip to Puerto Barrios. She believed Johnnie didn’t know. Lawrence told her. Most talented herbalist in the Central Americans made her home there. She was consider a Nagual. Her birth place was unknown and no-one asked. Most of the best Herbalist trained with her from Central American and Mexico. Including Elena for two years. Her name was Rosa. Mexican people came from Mexico city for her treatments. They called her the Nagual of hope. She would cure you or make your death softer and less painful. Paloma prayed she could help her Johnnie.
Was a long silence. The darkness made the five people keep silence till the morning light. Johnnie asked Lawrence. You told me you never left Honduras? Now we are a giant field trip to find a miracle cure. Lawrence smiled and he told him. I can’t trick the Coyote. The trickster cannot be tricked. You know my friend. I won’t give-up. I gave-up on my dear wife and I sweared never to give-up again on someone I love and care for. You shall meet the most beautiful woman in Central America. Her name is Rosa. The people of Central America and Mexico, they call her the sweet flower. She is very beautiful and she understand the plants. They say she talked to them. She had made powerful medicine that had cured and extended many people lives. Johnnie laughed and he whispered. I believe she bewitched you my friend with her beauty, her eyes and her belief people can be cure. Dear Lawrence. Maybe she bewitched them and the patients mind, cured the cancer? With hope and prayer.
Leo told them. The mind is more powerful than you believe. Elena took me to Rosa and she is a goddess. She made me bathe in waters with unknown herbs and I drank her teas. She massage me with natural oil. In two weeks in her clinic. The cancer was dormant and hidden. I was lucky. I caught the cancer early. I lost my voice and Lawrence called Elena. Johnnie, you waited too long. I know you. You felt like shit and didn’t pay attention. You told me often. Don’t need doctors. Like most old fools. They learn too late. You will love Puerto Barrios. A twin city of Trujillo. Kind people, the sea near and the best drink I have ever tasted in my life. I made this city. My second favorite. Johnnie reached over and kissed Leo’s neck. Don’t be too easy on me. Us old Fool’s are many in this truck. Paloma was looking at the long road and she asked Lawrence. Do you believe Johnnie’s cancer can be cured? Lawrence looked very serious and he told her. I have seen a few miracles. I’m praying for one more.
Fifteen hours in the truck and the five people. Legs, backs and minds were tire of the truck. Johnnie took Paloma hands and he kissed them. He told her. Leo didn’t lie. Puerto Barrios is beautiful. Puerto Barrios was in their view now. Lawrence told them. Tonight we eat, drink and dance. In the early morning. Johnnie will begin his treatment with Rosa. Paloma looked at Johnnie and she told him. Tonight we sit by the bay. All of us. Allow Leo to take some photos. Maybe handsome Leo will paint a masterpiece for us in his free time.
The hotel was beautiful, it sat on the bay with the Gulf of Mexico in view. It was old fashion and modern at the same time. Lawrence had rented three rooms facing the bay. You could see the open beach and the fishing boats. The night was cooler and after 15 hours in the car. All of them needed to wander. To move their feet and their bodies. Paloma and Johnnie walked the quiet city. Friendly faces greeted the new strangers. Puerto Barrios was guest to many people seeking healing. The city people were polite,and kind to the people seeking healing. They sat by the bay. Just holding hands, allowing the silence to overtake them. She whispered into wanting ears. I wanted us to do so many things. We surrounded our life with so many things that didn’t matter. You found your wars and you learn to seek peace and non-violent. I fought and lost my many battles. Now I accept no-one can change our world. He wrapped his arms around her and he told her. My love, your words are like a running river. They had expanded and so many are listening and paying attention to you. We may not see the changes, but we are lucky. Susana Castillo Chavez words will be scream-out and stop the abuse of the children on the Mexican border. You stood with her for justice and you watched your friend murdered and butchered. People need you. You need to keep the memory of her alive.
I stood at Susana Castillo Chavez mural in Cuidad Juarez. I stood where she was found in the city. I burn sage and I pray for her. I pray she had found peace and her words are never forgotten. She was a martyr for girls who could not speak. I found a painter and a poet. We drank to her and we cries for her and the young girls lost on the border. I want you and I. Together to face her final place. Maybe some kind of healing dear Paloma. Paloma looked very sad and she fell into his arms and she cries. She whispered. I won’t never know peace or understanding. My friend was killed alone in some back alley.
Lawrence and Leo appeared. Paloma clean-up her face and shared a fake smile. Lawrence told them. Come dear friend. Best sea food, best drink and the prettiest women are waiting for the beautiful Paloma and the famous Johnnie. The four walked slowly to the cafe. Paloma put on a fake happy face. She was thankful to be with good friends and Johnnie near. She released Johnnie hand and she went to Leo, kissed his cheeks and face and she held him tightly.
At the cafe. A nice set-up for them. You could see the bay of Puerto Barrios and the people were very kind. The food was waiting. They drank the fruity wine and enjoyed the food. Leo did most of the talking. He told them. I had all my painting returned and a living legend. Now I’m old and thank you dear Elena accepted an old man invitation. Elena dancing eyes looked at Leo and he told him. I had no option. You moved in with me and you wouldn’t leave. I got use to you. All of a sudden. Lawrence looked up and he stood-up. He went to a beautiful woman. Maybe forty years old and she was wearing a dress of her native city. Showing perfect curves and dangerous smile. Johnnie and Paloma went to her. She hugged Paloma first and she told her. I’m so glad to have met you. The Mexican people talk of a Spanish woman with a heart of gold. Please my beautiful Paloma. You did so much for the silence women and girls. I’m Rosa. She went to Johnnie. She touched his face and then his hands. Dear Johnnie. The black night you are called. They say one man killed off ten men in one night. He returned again. You are myth and tale for the new heroes. The rumor was. If you hurt the Poet’s love. You shall die. She held his face and she kissed him warmly. Forcing her body toward him. She held him for a minute. She released him and she told him. I can slow down the cancer. The cancer is in your blood. You will need the Native American healing. Covered tent with herbal smoke to heal outer skin. You will need long baths and many herbal lotion massage to make the body come alive. I will pack you with my herbs. I will try to change your blood. I can’t cure you. Only extend your life for maybe three-month to a year. Your cancer is dangerous. We will start treatment at three a.m. You and I will become very close dear Johnnie. Maybe you can write a poem for me. Johnnie smiled and he kissed her forehead and he told her. Thank you Rosa. Paloma hugged her she whispered. Please Rosa. Save my Johnnie.
John Castellenas/ Coyote