Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Unforgiving and Indifferent Sun


I’ve been acclimating myself

to this suburban desert

since I migrated here

30 years ago

to take this job

in academia.


In August’s stifling heat

I imagine

my Mexican ancestors

physically laboring

under the unforgiving and indifferent sun,

silently bemoaning

their plight to God

(who else could care?),


and I am privately shamed

by how disconnected I am

from them


as I sit in my air-conditioned


corner office



pecking at this keyboard,

trying to write



  1. It hits home when one thinks of Mexican laborers working in the intense heat to earn a pittance! These are times when we are all going to need air conditioners - as long as the power grid can accommodate the load. I appreciate the stark contrast in your poem, of your ancestors laboring, and you in your corner office. As I recall, you are in California, and have your own worries about wildfires and, lately, earthquake and floods. Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation, Buddah. So nice to reconnect with old friends again.

  2. Yes, we really have it good compared to many who came before. But laborers, whether today or a century ago, always have it harder than many. You made me think about how much I take for granted I sit sheltered writing poetry! Glad to see you again, Mosk!

  3. Susan6:08 PM

    And yet, you honor ancestors in this poem! They must need that more than they might need your hands dirty and your skin burning!

  4. Your poem utters simple truth with such vigor!

  5. It has always been an interesting observation when travelling around the world, to observe those who are working away under a full summer's sunshine, while I weaken in the same humid surroundings.
    Workers deicing aircraft wings in Manchester, so that I might fly to the Pacific west coast... weather options packed in suitcases..
    An excellent view of the weather prompt via your poem..

  6. Anonymous8:47 AM

    A really wonderful poem!! annell livingston

  7. Anonymous12:55 PM

    We are sympatico this week. You are feeling shamed by what your ancestors suffered and I am feeling shamed at complaining about not being able to go out when I think of the Jews in hiding WW2. I like your poetic style and enjoyed your poem...Rall

  8. This is so mindful and real. All those in these suburban deserts ( the perfect term) are disconnected. Without air concitioning a third of the US would be uninhabitable.

  9. I t hought I just commented. Where did it go? Well...again, I love this poem, mindful and true. Half of the "suburban deserts" in the US would be uninhabitable without air conditioning!

  10. Anonymous8:13 AM

    This is a reminder to be grateful for those who work fields today in extreme heat. Especially areas of 100 plus. Yes, I am grateful for my small widow ac unit. - Truedessa

  11. I love this - the nod to the past and a bit of guilt.

  12. The sun will fry us as mercilessly as a young child with a magnifying glass fries ants. It's coming.