Like Red-Hot Lava
The sun travelled from the East
on its wings of wind
the seeds sprout
to light up this day
I want to bathe your soul
in the dew of my waters
an alphabet of vowels
where one enters and is never forgotten
I want to be the wind
to appease the raging waves of the sea
hands that caress the volcano
and douse the fire of your words
Poison to calm the wrath of Iwia
the tears that fill your childlike eyes
revealing myself and erupting like red-hot lava
to roll like a stone turned to fire
into your salty arms
I want to be time stood still
to take a new path together
to be the hot spring
that quenches the thirst of your soul
that drinks in the secrets of Arutam
The literal translation of this poem was made by Nataly Kelly
The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop
Nataly Kelly writes:
 In Ecuador, the word Oriente has a double meaning. It is not just the East, but indeed refers to a region of Ecuador, which starts with the slopes of the Andes and extends into the Amazon rainforest through to the border with Peru.
 Iwia symbolizes the jungle as a serious threat to human beings, and is sometimes referred to as an evil spirit or a demon. In María Clara's words, ‘Iwia is a cannibal spirit that devours humans.'
 Arutam is in many senses like the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit, an all-powerful being. María Clara explains, 'Arutam is the one that gives you the strength to live, the power, the force, and the life. It is the beginning of the beginning of everything. Arutam lives beyond the waterfalls in order to dream and see the future, the present, and to repair the past.
Sarah Maguire writes: This beautifully erotic poem was a delight to translate. Nataly's literal translation needed little amendation and, if you compare the two versions, you'll see that we changed only a few details, such as 'time stood still' for 'the time to remain'.
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2015