The Beat of the Son

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The beat of the son

Is in sync with the rhythm of my heart.

The conga y timbales


Through my veins, traveling,

Feeding life and oxygen

To my feet,

Arousing, stroking, sensually gliding

Through the streets of Havana.

Aroma de café

Twirling the earthy smells

Of the aged tobacco leaves, gently

Disintegrating in the hands of

The old country folk, Guajiros.


Dilapidated, exquisitely architectured

Colonial buildings

Eroded by the sea,

By the ancient spirit of La Revolucion

Line the streets with vibrant combinations of

Starburst  shades and pastel hues

like delicately carved pastries.


Buildings scraped and bruised

by the memories

Of those exiled, and the longing

Of those left behind.


Intimately combined colors

Sing to the tunes of the son

En clave

Enchanting the spirits of Cuba,

Embracing its parks, its town squares

Its majestic sea wall.


At night the stars are serenaded

With old boleros of

Unrequited love, romantic passion,

Pain drowned by old Havana rum,

The country life of the guajiro, and

Memories of an unknown distant land,






Dainty women flower the streets

With pink perfume, and a sensuality

As untamable as wild grass

Mulata Linda!  Mira que tu si

Que tiene Tumbao!

She braves a world where

La Revolucion forgot

Her voice existed.

In her, a determination as relentless

As  the Granma.


Dominoes pound against the backdrop of

Salsa, Rumba, Danzon, and Mambo

Like the 3:2 rhythm of la clave.

Each play critically calculated.

“Me Pegue” calls the victorious voice

commanding the praise and glory

of the passerby.


Old men arguing in a language

soft and invigorating like the sweetness of

The mango and guava,

Yet jagged and sluggish like

Dreams deferred,

Eclipsed by La Lucha


Cono! Que Vola?! Comepinga!


Vivid hand gestures

Whirling and spinning

Into synchronized

Guapea moves conveying

Passion and enthusiasm

For the harmoniously untamed  conversations.


The streets are a tapestry of laughter.

Jovial voices breaking through

The monotony and the physical boarders the

Cubanos are bound by.

Their spirits dance to the tempo

Of their ancestors.  Afro-Cubanismo

Guides the timing and pulse of

Each step.




The raw innocence of children

Carries a wounded dog on

Its back under the blazing sun,

Dribbles and punts

the ball in the

summer rain; and

somersaults into the ocean

like airborne apostrophes

and commas from the

crumbling piers  of



In the Son like in the

Spirit of the people,

There is a strength that

Persists beyond La Revolucion,

Beyond social-political idealism.

It’s a strength only found

In the divinity of being.


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