by Gerald Locklin

First in Tucson,

Now at El Cholo in L.A.

On western just south of Olympic,

My wife and I make a point

Of enjoying them once a summer.


Some tamales are not hot.

These are sweet with the syrup

Of young corn, steamed within

The husks.  Even the thin strand

Of a green pepper seems sweet.

Even the morsel of tender chicken

Seems sweet.


Sweet as sweethearts

On the evening promenade

Above the beach at Mazatlan.

Sweet as summer evenings.

Sweet as the respite, the

Renewal, at the end of day.


Think sweetly of green corn tamales,

Remembering that the water of the desert,

Hoarded by the thirsty cactus,

Is the sweetest water.

Reprinted by permission of the author from The Life Force Poems, © Gerald Locklin, 2002, Water Row Press, Sudbury, Massachusetts.

“Green Corn Tamales” by Gerald Locklin will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press Green Anthology: An Eclectic Collection of Poetry & Prose. The anthology will include poetry, short stories, essays, novel excerpts, and stage play scenes that touch on “green” in one way or another. The Silver Birch Press Green Anthology will be released on March 15, 2013.