Poems

Minitopography of Santa Isabel

PLAZA DE ESPAÑA

The tired afternoon falls
on a rhythm of palm trees
clad in spring
human, a scattered voice.
Above, the moon rounds
its silver & enamoured
spins its gratitude
- starry light swerves
between the coupling of harnesses -
through gothic cypresses
that toll the bells.

MARKET

Rivers of joy full of the very thing
played only by this Stradivarius of beings
trampoline that launches us from the pole
of artifice to pristine contact

with the virgin, packed bustle
of naked Africa... Protocol
of baskets & tables, bloodclots, deceit,
yucca & the solemn fraternity in the act
of being emptied and filled in between laughter
drawing coins without currency,
rain of ancient sun on their backs.

Lean out - by the skin of the day -
into that open custom of exchange,
a life running among skirts.

POINT CRISTINA & POINT FERNANDA

Album of doves
that comes to coo
the sister couple
who sleep in the sea.
The air in the trees
starts to play
at being mime & comb
kiss & madrigal.
Light. Calm. Silence.
Waves, nothing more.
... & the two sisters,
wives of the sea.
                             (1967)

ELEGY IN STONE

I speak to you of my destiny when I die,
one afternoon, beside the virgin fountain,
at the edge
of my final memory.
I hope you will say:
'His life was to a stone
as a song is to a lark. Exactly.
You left it to the alien mime
& the spark jumped - flint -
of a hollow smile
withering at its core.
He offered you his life, firm on the platter
of his friendship, full of itself, yes, to the very brim.
You had to tell him: "This is heavy"
& your hands gave out under the bulk
to the tug of the earth.'
'Take my life' - he said to you - 'beneath the flesh of my easy smile'.
Then his life was a dry leaf
in the arms of the wind...

You will also say: 'On his shoulders the heads
of friends stumbled over the edge
of fierceness...'

Later you'll fling me
- like a stone -
to the heart of oblivion.
& I will live out the sentence
I will die standing like the trees
I will leave this opaque dolmen that I am
planted in the earth.

& I will stay standing
                            numb
                                   alone
                                          like a stone.

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Comments (1)

Yuliya

What about the rhymes that the original poems have? You’ve lost them allmost all. Can it be concidered adequate translations?

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