Sunday, October 22, 2017


San German, Puerto Rico, where I was born.

Hurricanes have devastated many islands in the Caribbean.  Puerto Rico was one of them.  I have no family but I have friends there, who are among the millions of people undergoing severe hardships.

The words 'Le lo lay' have no explicit translation that I  know of.  They are words often sung in traditional Puerto Rican music to indicate joy and happiness.  


I remember my summers there
Sweltering vapors of relentless sunshine
Playful, clear, warm waters
Tantalizing, sweet, juicy drips of heaven
Perfumed tropical breezes from Africa's beauty
Grandeur of Spain's flamenco fire
People everywhere smiling
Music blasting - Ay le lo lai, le lo la lai

And me, awed 
Because there was something untamable
About the freedom I felt
Like a rain forest growing
Wild in every direction

Today I cry
Because mother nature's fury
has woken
Puerto Rico's spirit is not broken
It lurks deeply within its soil
Its seeds will soon birth multicolored flowers
Puerto Ricans,
Those strong, happy people
Will soon reclaim their sugar, their breeze, their grandeur, 
Their music - Ay le lo lai, le lo lai

(For Poets United.)


  1. Well said Myrna, Hopefully recovery will be swift.

  2. I hope that they will recover (and I'm sure they will) but I also hope that they get all the help they need.

  3. Myrna, I did not know you hailed from Puerto Rico. This must be so sad for you. I do sense that the spirit of the people of Puerto Rico is resilient. I can hear the joy in their song...........I hope sufficient help arrives to help them recover. They have been struggling so terribly. Thank you for this poem of hope, Myrna.

  4. A lovely poem! Almost a song itself! Ay le lo lai, le lo lai!

  5. I'll have to look at the photos from when I was there a decade or so ago to find that spirit. I love "Grandeur of Spain's flamenco fire"... and the refrain.

  6. This is lovely. My heart goes out to those affected, and I hope that their sugar, their breeze, their grandeur and their music are reclaimed very quickly.

  7. This is so very heartfelt, Myrna. I have been watching all that has been happening with Puerto Rico. I hope that they will receive the aid and the help to rebuild that they deserve. I love the mayor of San Juan....she has spirit and love for her people and is not to afraid to speak out. Prayers for Puerto Rico!

  8. This has been such an awful situation from the hurricane to the rotten way our government has not helped but hindered these Americans to recover and not given them basic needs...we continue to show our nasty side and I am not proud of it....I am ashamed and heartbroken.

  9. untamable freedom... that is beautiful and worth doing everything to preserve and protect.

  10. A beautiful - heartfelt - homage to your birthplace.

  11. The place where we have sweet memories especially of childhood is always a special one and to see it destroyed is heart rendering.

  12. Love this happy spirit of the people of Puerto Rico expressed in their music. May they survive this fury of nature and thrive.

  13. This is so beautifully heartfelt, Myrna. I can feel the emotions in your words and my heart goes out to you. Sending love and prayers for Puerto Rico!

  14. Hope the Puerto Rican people's spirit continues to stay strong through this difficult time and aid reaches them

  15. I hope that indomitable spirit you describe will indeed carry them through.

  16. This must be heart breaking for you Myrna. I hope things will be back to normal sooner rather than later. At a time like this I think of how wonderful your parents were to take a chance and start a new life elsewhere. Immigrants are so brave and their kids take it all for granted (mea culpa) as well.

  17. Myrna - I can feel your words you have put your heart and soul into this poem. Relief seems to be moving very slow into Puerto Rico. I wish them peace and strength in this difficult time.