a window

The sky dreams clouds for the real world
with matter enamored of light and space.
Today dunes scatter over a reef,
sands with marine waves that are snows.
So many chance crossings, by fanciful caprice,
there in plain view with an irresistible
smiling reality. I dwell on the edges
of solid transparent depths.
The air is enclosing, displaying, enhancing
the leaves on the branch, the branches on the trunk,
walls, eaves, corners, pillars:
Calm proof of the evening,
requiring a windows tranquil vision.
Details chime with their surroundings:
smooth pebbles, there a fence, then a wire.
Every minute finds its own aureole,
or is it fancy dreaming this glass?
I am like my window. I marvel at the air.
Beauty so limpid, now so in accord,
between the sun and the mind! There are polished words,
but I would like to know as the June air knows.
The poplars stirring makes a visible breeze,
in a circle of peace the evening encloses me,
and a soaring sky adapts to my horizon.

Jorge Guillén Álvarez

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works and days

Wet your lungs with wine: the star is corning round,
the season is harsh, everything is thirsty under the heat,
the cicada sings sweetly from the leaves . . .
the artichoke is in flower;
now are women most pestilential, but men are feeble,
since Sirius parches their heads and knees . . .

Alcaeus

today’s poem

Today’s poem, when day already struck
the dark forehead, and dispersed
the stars in a multiple fall,
and the abandoned or unknown site
occupied the whole world;
Today’s poem is the poem of ever,
of later on, of then,
the sole poem which a hand
draws without tiring,
happily on a paper in vast flight,
and where it places skies, stars,
burning calls,
which in the evening
will return to talk to us.

Roberto Fernández Retamar

symphony in grey major

The sea like some giant crystal of quicksilver
reflects the metal plate of a sky of rolled zinc.
Far away there are flocks of birds forming a stain
on a polished background of a pale shade of gray.

The sun, a piece of glass, both rounded and opaque,
walks toward its zenith with a sick person’s steps.
The breezes from the sea take a rest in the shade,
using as a pillow what their black trumpets play.

The waves, moving their bellies made of lead,
seem to be moaning under the great wharf.
Sitting on a cable and puffing on his pipe,
there is a mariner, thinking about beaches
in some distant country, lost on a foggy day.

That sea-wolf is ancient. The burning rays of light
from the Brazilian sun toasted him to a crisp.
The harshest typhoons on the South China Sea
found him drinking his gin in a protected bay.

Iodine and nitrate fecundate the sea-spray
that has known his red nose for a very long time,
and his curly hair, too, and his athlete’s biceps,
his hat made of canvas, his shirt ripped in a fray.

In the midst of the smoke from clouds of tobacco
the old man can discern the country lost in fog,
where on one afternoon that was golden and warm,
the brigantine weighed anchor and then sailed away.

Tropical siesta. The sea-wolf is sleeping.
The gamut of the gray enshrouds everything now.
It seems like some gentle and huge stump of paper
for shading the lines that frame the curved sky today.

Tropical siesta, and the old cicada
practices its guitar so hoarse and so senile.
The cricket tries out a monotonous solo
on the one-stringed violin it knows how to play.

Rubén Darío

poem

Colonize sadness with your voice
Child of the sea having no other care
He sleeps in the shade of my flute and his fingers

Watch closely my heart is a beacon
And my prayers climb an inner stair like a tree

I tell you you’re beautiful
Like a room in some hotel

Here beneath the eglantine
And the crown of thorns
You look for the rope ladder and the polite violin
Tell me forever you adore my second chin

If I were a stream or a tourist
You’d all love me the way you love artists
But I hate winter and the eye’s lids
And your little star wondrous as it turns

I like patience and the swallow
The bed with sails for the dreamless voyage
As waves consume the precise night
And the head rises and the balloon bursts
Under the paper moon which slides away
Looking for the words hung from the sky

Vicente García Huidobro Fernández

beside Christ’s lake in Aldehuela de Yeltes, on a night of full moon

White night in which the glassy water
sleeps quietly in its lake bed,
over which watches a round full moon
that leads its army of  stars,

and a round holm-oak is reflected
in the unrippling mirror,
white night in which the water acts as cradle
for the highest and most profound wisdom.

It is a tatter of sky that Nature holds
clasped in her arms, it is a tatter of sky
which has come down

and in the silence of the night prays
the prayer of the lover resigned
solely to love, which is his only riches.

Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo

scherzo

Smiles, flowers, kisses, and essences
perfume the wind of my nights
after such insipid boredom,
after such dreary absences!

Light up my fantasy,
strew my ideal path and
pour me your ambrosia, lingering glances,
lilies, lips, and sandalwood!

    • *

For I know nothing of decrepit love
and eyes unsealed,
since the gold still blazes
in silky tufts on your white neck.

And yet, my proud friend,
it was a long time ago, wasn’t it?
that, weary of loving, you went to sleep
in my arms one morning.

    • *

It is not carnal things
that make your charm unequaled,
that keep those same
sunbeams in your pupils.

For carnal things die or wither
in fresh air.
But your beauties always remain
within their spiritual halo.

    • *

It is no longer the time for jealous tenderness
nor for false oaths.
Tell me nothing of my mistresses;
I do not count your lovers.

    • *

For you, wandering comet,
often loitering on your path,
letting your fair hair float
in the superhuman ether,

What do a few pale stars matter
in my reason’s troubled sky,
when at long intervals you come
to close my horizon round?

    • *

I do not want to know what poles
your mad orbit left behind it;
give me your breasts and shoulders;
let me kiss them, and that is enough.

Charles Cros