Mario Gómez in the Mine With God and Friends

Mario Gómez In the Mine With God and Friends

SAN JOSÉ MINE, Chile

God is not confined to stars
to mountains and valleys
to merchant ships

He dwells in every
interstitial place where
souls may lie and pray

It is said
there is a task of redemption
for every stowaway on
His ship of saints

Could be
some will return with a ticket

It is said
for a bit of chocolate
and the taste of heaven,
Mario Gomez is
a miner for God
and for Chile

Luis Urzúa is his navigator
does the charts

In the hearts of the mine
there are stars, and

down tubes
little packets of food
messages from loved ones
videos
prayers

In the hearts of the mine
there are card games
friendships, a diet for
a small waist that’ll fit
in the rescue shaft to come

May God mind the miners
give them strength
an image of family
a bit of chocolate

Chile is digging for them.
There are stars in the mine
and stars above.

Lift them together
where sons and Sun may rise

    — Douglas Gilbert
REF: “Trapped Chilean Miners Forge Refuge,” Alexei Barrionuevo, New York Times, September 1, 2010, p. A1

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6 thoughts on “Mario Gómez in the Mine With God and Friends

  1. I’ve been thinking about those men a lot lately, how strong and brave they are…I couldn’t imagine being trapped underground like that. I read the article you referenced, Mario Gomez sounds like a wonderful soul doing all he can to help them to survive this. I hope they aren’t down there as long as they are predicting they may be.
    I love the poem, especially the last 4 lines with the ‘stars in’ and ‘stars above’ and the ‘sons’ and ‘sun’, it’s a smooth ending filled with hope.
    Excellent as always…

    1. Thanks. I originally was going to do it when I first got the newspaper. I made notes and got discouraged and put my notes aside. They disappeared in a pile of paper. I just recently came across my notes and finished it. I extracted a few essential things from my scrap notes, and then it wasn’t so bad and was inspired to an ending. It was funny: I at first didn’t recognize my own thoughts — I wondered who it was I was critiquing because I didn’t remember writing it. I found the reference and then realized that the notes were what I myself had written. I guess in different moods, I reject myself. Or sometimes when an idea pops into my head it’s like the mythical “muse” (but my subconscious) and since I usually only identify myself as my ego part(conscious part) I sometimes catch myself saying such things as “now why didn’t “I” think of that and I have to remind myself that actually “I” did write it because all parts, conscious and subconscious belong to “Me”.[jeez, bet you thought you’re the only one who rambles on…]
           Yes, Mario does sound like a wonderful person. I wish the New York Times would have more in-depth feature articles with passion like this. They used to have them all the time, and when the newsstand paper was 25 cents, I used to buy it all the time. Now at $2 on the newsstand I only get it once in a while. I can’t work with screen versions. I like having the paper version to flip & flit about, mark with a pen, take casual notes, come back to it later instantly. My eyes can’t do that well and enjoyably on the computer screen.

      1. I like when you ramble more than when I do… 🙂
        That is funny, that you didn’t remember writing it and was critiquing yourself like that. I find little scribbles in the back of notebooks sometimes that i didn’t remember writing.
        Perhaps that’s my problem lately…i’ve been rejecting myself. I can’t seem to write anything. Maybe a line or two and then I delete it or throw it away. My “muse” or subconscious only seems to come up with ideas i find interesting when it’s nearly impossible for me to write, like when I’m barreling down the interstate at 75 mph on my way to work. Then when I try to remember what it was, that i thought was a good start or line, it’s gone or it comes out all wrong and not like i intended. I think i need some vacation time from work…that would probably help a lot.

      2. Being Amused On The Highway

        I wanted to write a poem about a lily
        or a silly one about dear Lily —
        couldn’t until I was racing

        down a long highway
        at 88 miles-per-hour, and
        a Muse did say something
        or other my way, but

        I can’t remember a thing
        in a hospital bed
        and neither Lily nor Muse
        are crashing here soon
        during visiting hours
        ====
        Bethany,
        I was going to use your 75mph but I wanted the “ay” sound in highway. 75 has the “i” sound in highway but that didn’t seem right. This is the 3rd or 4th draft and I still can’t get the rhythm right. I think my associations were:
        Muse on the highway–>crash–>death–>lily–> (and/or?)
        Muse–>”Archimedes & the bath tub” story–>gold–>gilding the lily

        Anyway, this is a feel for how poems get started. I don’t know if I can finish this or if it’s a dead end….

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