Guaymas Turtle Hunters and Learning to Sing in the Key of Green

 by Carole A Borges

Guaymas Turtle Hunters


All night forced to listen

to the dry gasp and wheeze of the dying turtles.


In the back of the dusty red pick-up truck,

a writhing pyramid of floundering flippers,

dry throats and gaping beaks.


It was all they had to protest with—

those almost human-sounding sighs.


I wanted to rush out, beat my fists against

the men’s chests, beg them to turn

the turtles upright, send them back to the sea.


But, I didn’t.


(Can’t you see

how useless it would be?)


Nothing in this world is more terrifying,

than a gang of men with a job to do



Learning to Sing in the Key of Green


Blessed be the teachers who

did not teach, but stand still as stones,

resonating with the fine sound of I am,


and my books with their green

jungles of words, fierce tiger-lilies,

ferocious mushrooms, lightening struck trees,


and the Mayan flute player who danced naked with me

through so many towns, a crown of grape leaves

dangling in his hair, his amazing skin

that changed color according to my feelings.


But most of all bless this longing

that forced me to bloom. Hyacinth bulb

brought out from a dark cabinet in December.


The flower still secret. Perfume held inside green.

The only promise in my life I’ve ever believed in.




Carole Ann Borges, author of Disciplining the Devil’s County, published by Alice James Books, was raised aboard a schooner on the Mississippi River in the 1950’s. She learned the art of storytelling from the fishermen and river folk she met along the way and also from the river itself. Carole has traveled all over Mexico by thumb, bus, and train. Her favorite spot though was Playa del Carmen where she lived in a small fisherman’s hut right on the beach. Her poems have appeared in a number of literary journals including Poetry, Kalliope, Bardsong, and Soundings East. She has also published a variety of non-fiction essays, newspaper and magazine articles. Currently, she is a staff writer for The Enlightener, a small weekly newspaper in Knoxville, TN. Her memoir Dreamseeker’s Daughter should be out next year.

Photo by Beryl Gorbman



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