Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jorge Carrera Andrade

Fruit seller church
seated at the corner of life:
crystal orange windows,
the sugar cane organ.
Angels: little chicks
of Mother Mary.
The blue-eyed bell
wanders off on bare feet
throughout the countryside
Sun clock:
angelic burro with its innocent sex;
wind, in Sunday best,
bringing news from the mountains.
Indian woman with loads of vegetables
embracing foreheads.
The sky rolls up its eyes
when it sees the church bell
run barefoot from the church.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Maria Del Carmen Paiva

It is sufficient.
It has already fainted--
that accidental word
that usually sketches itself out in farewells,
and that you bring since who knows when;
or perhaps
it came close one day
and started the bad habit of nurturing it.
Time wears out things,
and although you keep on under those separate stars
and the sun, with its overflowing wings of sulphur,
and you keep on living in spite of all this
and what has already happened.
You deserve the name that life gives you
with its unforeseen and unknown impulse.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Li-Young Lee

In the steamer is the trout
seasoned with slivers of ginger,
two sprigs of green onion, and sesame oil.
We shall eat it with rice for lunch,
brothers, sister, my mother who will
taste the sweetest meat of the head,
holding it between her fingers
deftly, the way my father did
weeks ago. Then he lay down
to sleep like a snow covered road,
winding through pines older than him,
without any travelers, and lonely for no one.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tu Fu

Far off in Fu-chou she is watching the moonlights,
Watching it alone from the window of her chamber--
For our boy and girl, poor little babes,
Are too young to know where the Capital is.
Her cloudy hair is sweet with mist,
Her jade-white shoulder is cold in the moon.
...When shall we lie again, with no more tears,
Watching this bright light on our screen?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Shel Silverstein

There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar.
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare.
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Frigiditydaire

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Flitting white-fire insects!
Wandering small-fire beasts!
Wave little stars about my bed!
Weave little stars into my sleep!
Come, little dancing white-fire bug,
Come, little flitting white-fire beast!
Light me with your white-flame magic,
Your little star-torch.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Octavio Paz

Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with it's own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.
All is visible and all is elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.
Paper, book , pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.
Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.
The light turns the invisible wall
into the ghostly theater of reflections.
I find myself in a middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.
The moment scatters. Motionless.
I stay and go: I an a pause.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gary Snyder

Lew Welch just turned up one day,
live as you and me. "Damn, Lew" I said.
"You didn't shoot yourself after all."
"Yes I did." he said,
and even then I felt the tingling down my back.
"Yes you did, too." I said - "I can feel it now."
"Yeah." he said,
"There's a basic fear between your world and
mine. I don't know why.
What I came to say was,
teach the children about the cycles.
The life cycles. All other cycles.
That's what it's all about, and it's all forgot"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Maria Del Carmen Paiva

After all have past;
from the initial rupture,
from the all-too-sad alterations
and from the initial abnegation
that reconciled me to the opposite
[of forgetfulness;
after that battle in which my belly burned
until they remained sculpted
in the image of my exhaustion
in the exuberant sky
of those days;
and later
from the declines in the nightfall
and from the proposals that rose up
to accept what I no longer can,
the brilliant dawn came
with vague contents
of naked occupations
with innumerable admirations
for the rest of the world and the things
that also deserve my attention,
although it was only like a faint
in the magical sphere
and, sleep walking, inhaled a bit of freshness.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ruben Dario

Towers of God! Poets!
Lightning rods of Heaven
that resist the fierce storms
like solitary mountains,
like peaks in the wilderness!
breakwaters of eternight!
Magic hope foretells
the day when the traitorous siren
will die on her musical rock.
Hope! Let us still hope!
Still hope. The bestial element
consoles itself with its hatred
of blessed poetry, hurling
insults from race to race.
The rebellion from below
is against excellence .
The cannibal waits for his chunk of flesh
with red gums and sharpened teeth.
Towers, fasten a smile to your banner.
Confront this evil and suspicion
with a proud puff of the breeze
and the tranquility of the sea and sky -

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ahmed Barakat

I am going to the market
Please wait till I come back
You can wash your clothes if you get bored
And if the door disturbs you
Take it off
And put anything in its place
Please don't leave your face inside the mirror
And then quit by the window
Don't commit suicide as is your habit
For me
I come back

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Allen Ginsberg

I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind,
She moves in thought she cannot speak
Perfect care has made her bleak
I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark, so long my sleep.
I have become another child.
I wake to see the earth go wild.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Spike Milligan

Young are our dead
Like babies they lie
The womgs they blest once
Not healed dry
And yet - too soon
Into each space
A cold earth falls
On a colder face.
Quite still they lie
These fresh-cut reeds
Clutched in earth
Like winter seeds
But they will not bloom
When called by spring
To burst with leaf
And blossoming
They sleep on
In silent dust
As crosses rot
And helmets rust.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Percy Bysshe Shelley

fragment: TO THE MOON
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth -
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Juan Ramon Jimenez

I pulled on the reins,
[I turned the horse
of the dawn,
I came into life, pale.
Oh how they looked at me,
the flowers of my dream,
lifting their arms to the moon!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flavia Cosma

Suppliant hands
Streched out for
Plates made of snow,
Wish for Peace, for Light,
For Mercy from above.
They won't be given,
These precious gifts;
Only a dull, ephemeral illusion,
Only the moon's aura,
[an untouchable globe
And a tear
Welling up many others.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Amparo Osorio

The wind sculpts faces
and you who watch the grass
ignore now the traces
of all eternity.
Aside from you
there are no possible roots.
How to name you
without death growing?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Braulio Arenas

A clearly interior woman
I saw her in her eyes
I hugged her around herself and kissed her on her lips
As far as her feet were concerned I took off her shoes
As far as my life is concerned she answers to it
As far as rightness was concerned the two of us were right
We possessed dream
We possessed pleasure and the value of its answer
For life
I will hold your youth in my arms for life
A fisherman was mending his nets in your eyes
Such a beautiful afternoon I am tearing my forehead apart for a dream
I am shaking off all notice of slavery with the help of my hands
A notion of reality which now lays claim to dream
That afternoon
All the afternoons will be saying that afternoon
All of love's kisses will be repeated in that kiss
Latent love made manifest in life
Little hand among all hands destined to serve as light for my destiny
Little dream you go from here to there like lightening rides the eyes of a storm
Little dream you take this little hand by the hand
The entire sun was not beyond the cherry for these lips
Therefore the swordsmen forests buried their scythes
In honour of Saint Pol Roux's daughter who's name is divine
Because even though so little time has lapsed a curious legend has enriched the sea
This solid sea
Without exit

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vicente Huidobros

You hear the night glide across the snow
The song fell down from the trees
And through the fog sounded voices
I lit my cigar at a glance
Every time I open my lips
I flood the void with clouds
In the harbour
The masts are full of nests.
And the wind
Groans at the birds wings
Whistling on the shore I
Look at the star that glows between my fingers

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tao Chien

An empty boat glides on without oars,
Returning to the infinite.
At the year's start, I gaze here and there,
And before I know it, it is already midyear.
Under the southern window, nothing withers,
And the forest is beautiful and luxuriant.
Seasonal rains pour down from the sacred source,
And the colour of the dawn is attuned to the warm wind.
We who have come must go;
Man definitely has an end.
While we live each day, waiting for the end
And bending our backs in the fields,
We surely cannot injure the inner self!
Though we meet with change, transformation, danger.
I am neither despondent nor exultant.
If in daily affairs we hold our spirits high,
Then what is the need to seek the sacred mountain tops?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pablo Neruda

It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there night came in.
When I returned from so many journeys
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes were transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path.
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam,
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ernesto Trejo

The spirit surges among branches.
The nervous laughter of blackbirds
traces a dagger over the day's flesh.
To an assembly of birds on a wire,
plums below fill with their dark milk
and the shadow of a small cloud sizzles.
Two stars still burn:
eyes about to go out:
another blind day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thich Nhat Hahn

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves
-slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Alley on the Quiet

Laser tongued failing spirit flying out my rib cage
the trinket "bring up mindfulness with large icons"
you're floating the blood sea brain "L'Acadie hidden
in the desk, don't part the sea!!" alcohol made a promise
to cut you down. To drop in the end; the prickly oil
"bounce like no tomorrow, a contorting blast; Rub the Belly!!!"

Alvaro Marin

The silence of the future ruins
gently move to and fro in helplessness
in this place called earth
because it yet doesn't have a name
its inhabitants
have one eye on the moon of death
and the other on a burning sun
The voice
does not spring from the lips
it is the deep trance of silence
Silence is the name of this place
so-and-so is everybody's name
and stone or ash
the names we shall have in the void
there's geography with the foot prints of the absent
the cut-down trees lose their leaves
in some turn of eternity
and cover the streets of the century with dead leaves
Wind passes deaf and saying nothing
it is a murmur as imposing as midnight
but not everything begins or ends here
in this geography.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pedro Garcia Cabrera

To the right of the voice of the statues dream
a river of birds flows by.
The river is a little girl and the bird a key.
And the key a field of wheat.
That opens a small snail of a hundred days.
This means the hills of broken men
Are made of cardboard, wood and green walnuts.
But don't touch that anguish; it's all from the Sunday
When they created the nests in which tomorrow the
[adulterous stones will brood.
It's from that fish looking through the sea's eye
At how war is the tenderness guarding the empty beds
And peace that blood with which feet spatter their chains.
Let's go now. Don't pierce the shadow I had four years ago,
For my fingers ache with hunger and my heart with rains.
Better for you to sleep, to go on walking.
I'll wait for you till the tigers, on the lake shore after the
[wine harvest,
Lying farmhands to the fields
And shoulders of someone on the deserted promises
[without water.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

And wilt thou have me fashion into speech
The love I bear thee, finding words enough,
And hold the torch out, while the winds are rough,
Between our faces, to cast light on each?-
I drop it at thy feet. I cannot teach
My hand to hold my spirit so far off
From myself--me--that I bring thee proof
In words, of love hid in me out of reach.
Nay, let the silence of my womanhood
Commend my woman-love to thy belief, -
Seeing that I stand unwon, however wooed,
And rend the garment of my life, in brief,
By a most dauntless, voiceless fortitude,
Lest one touch of this heart convey its grief.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


You no sooner attain the great void
Then body and mind are lost together.
Heaven and Hell -- a straw.
The Buddha relm- Pandemonian-- shambles.
Listen: a nightingale strains her voice serenading the snow.
Look: a tortoise wearing a sword climbs the lampstand.
Should you desire the great traquility,
Prepare to sweat white beads.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yehuda Amichai

The memory of my father is wrapped in
white paper, like sandwiches taken for a days work.
Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits
out of his hat, he drew love from his small body,
and the rivers of his hands
overflowed with good deeds.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Juan Sanchez Pelaez

Elena is earth seaweed
Ocean wave.
She exists because she owns the nostalgia
Of these elements,
But she knows it,
She dreams,
And trusts,
Standing on the rock and the coral of the abyss.
Actually, Elena
Knows the simple things,
Because before being a damsel
She was Siren and Ondina.
And before being
Siren and Ondina
She swam in the whirlwind, in the number, in the fire.
I must have fallen onto the trail, and recalled,
Oh delirious host;
Right there, where the afternoon and the dusk are appeased,
They separated me.
I had another love,
Pure like ecstasy,
Fragile like fantasy,
Absolute like my other love.
I heard a trumpet of fog in the desert
My falcons emerged from the foliage.
In all seasons
In autumn or in spring
Elena is earth seaweed
Ocean wave.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tomas Transtromer

I stepped ashore one May night
in the cool moonshine
where grass and flowers were grey
but the scent green.
I glided up the slope
in the colour-blind night
while white stones
signalled to the moon.
a period of time
a few minutes long
fifty-eight years wide.
And behind me
beyond the lead-shimmering waters
was the other shore
and those who ruled.
People with a future
instead of a face.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Flavia Cosma

I fall into sleep as in another world,
Subterranean or extraterrestrial,
A world with foreign laws and customs,
With mysterious temples and hills.
Strange things are happening there
But they don't astonish us in the least.
On the streets we meet with unknown throngs,
Who we feel we have seen before
In our day-to-day life.
And out of the blue
The miracle should happen,
O, if we'd regain
The keys to the tall gates,
We'd keep them open between sleep and watchfulness,
We would understand everything, all at once,
The past,
And the future,
Wandering time and the vastness;
Leisurely and wise
We'd sate ourselves
On a tree of bitter, ripened fruit.