Overview: In this solo episode (ep 148), Adam Williams talks about his not-quite-forgotten chapbook of poetry and photography, San Agustinillo. He shares two very short poems — “The Palm” and “The Moon” — from that project several years still in the making. (Released on podcast on June 27, 2023)

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Podcast cover art: Adam Williams


“Old Rope” by Joe Johnson | joejohnsonsings.com

Original Written Version

Before the pandemic, I had said on this blog that I was writing a chapbook of poetry from a two-week family trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. We stayed in a small village on the Pacific coast, San Agustinillo

I had written a solid number of related poems between 2018 and 2020, and had several still to be worked on to flesh out the chapbook with what I considered would give a fuller story of experiences, observations and learning from our time in San Agustinillo.

Then the pandemic. Then a personal creative hiatus. And I still am not there with that work, three years after I set it aside. But I have come to this place of reason within myself: It’s okay.

I tend to think in print and, specifically, in book format terms for a lot that I create. It’s how I ultimately want all my written and visual work to land, to be collected, bound and put on a shelf for my two sons to later hold. So I have wanted to assemble a chapbook with these poems and photography from our time in Mexico.

But in the meantime, I now recognize that there’s no reason to hold things until that day that hopefully will come. I had previously published a few poems from that San Agustinillo chapbook-in-progress on this site: “The Fish,” “The Boats” and “The Horizon.”

Here, I’m sharing “The Palm” and “The Moon”:

The Palm
Palm fronds fan into the pale-dawn sky, so many plumes of peacock, quietly proud and monochromatic, each quill shaped by reticent, green bayonets not quite at the ready.

And for what?

Black birds glide into landings and hop frond to frond without worry, waiting and watching the world, unbothered by the chiseled points and fibrous razor edges of the tree’s reaches.

The palm, stoic and pliable, softens under the weight of companionship.

The Moon
A slight curl of moon glows
hazily in a fading sky.

Palm fronds reach and
bow in its presence.

Photograph by Adam Williams