The Face of Summer: ひまわり Tornasol Sunflower Tournesol Girasole Girassol ひまわり

 

Mang Ke (1950 – )

Sunflower in the Sun (Excerpt)

 

きみは見たのか

陽光の中のあのひまわりを

見たまえ、うつむくこともなく

頭(こうべ)をうしろにふり向け

そっぽをむいてしまった

まるで一口に

あの頸にかけられた

あの太陽の手に引っ張られている縄を

噛み切ろうとするかのように

きみは見たのか

あの頭をもたげ

太陽に怒りの視線をなげかえすひまわりを

その首は太陽をさえぎるほど

その首はたとえ太陽のない時でも

やはり光の束を輝き放っている ….. …..

 

*

 

Mang Ke

Sunflower in the Sun (excerpt)

 

Do you see?

Do you see that sunflower in the sun?

You see, it didn’t bow its head

But turned its head back

As if to bite through

The rope around its neck

Held by the sun’s hands.

*

Do you see it?

Do you see that sunflower, raising its head

Glaring at the sun?

Its head almost eclipses the sun

Yet even when there is no sun

Its head still glows. …..  …..

 

 

 

Anónima

Invocación (un extracto)

 

Quédate bajo el brillo tornasol

o arrástrame

a tu sombría transparencia

Murciélago de luz

que sabe tanto de volar

como de sueño

agarrado

del techo

y de cabeza hacia la oscuridad.

Quédate bajo el brillo tornasol y arrástrame

a tu sombría transparencia

Soy sólo yo, a contracorriente

sólo mi corazón,

piedra vertiginosa

que rueda.

 

 

 

Dale Harris (New Mexico, USA)

Manzano Sunflowers

 

You missed Indian Market

And of course the sunflowers.

As usual they swept across August

At first a few, a yellow trickle along the fence line

Then more, making pools in the pasture

And splashing down into the “arroyo”

Then, incredibly many more,

Dappling the distance,

As though a giant hand had buttered the land.

*

Yet with the entire prairie to expand into,

They prefer crowds of themselves

They mass along the roadside,

Lined up as though a parade were about to pass.

Here and there one stands alone,

But not for long.

Soon his kin will come

And there will be sunflower squalor,

There will be sunflower squalor, a floral slum.

*

Once they are out,

They will not be ignored.

Stretching their skinny stalks,

They top our roof-line,

Press against the window screens,

And peep in at the door.

Familiar foot paths to the out buildings are obscured,

And from the road we seem afloat,

Our cabin, an odd tin boat

In a sea of sunflower faces.

*

They are the most staccato of flowers.

I catch them humming snatches of polkas

And John Philip Sousa marches,

Bobbing in the wind to the Boogaloo,

The Boogie Woogie and the Lindy Hop.

I call their names,

Clem, Clarissa, Sarah Jane

To try and tame them.

*

My neighbour comes by.

She has a field full

They’re useless, she complains.

Her horses can’t eat them.

I should hope not!  I exclaim,

After she’s gone.

*

I don’t remember if you even liked sunflowers

But you liked Life

And they are all about that.

Today I wrote to your family, finally.

I expect they are occupying themselves,

With beautiful gestures

In order to get over the grief of you.

As for me, I have sunflowers…

 

 

Michèle Corti

Tournesol

 

Vieille fleur du Pérou au bel astre pareil,

Sunflower, Sonnenblume, Girasol, Girassole

L’oiseau trouve un abri sous ton grand parasol,

Au plus chaud de l’été, éclosent tes merveilles.

*

“Hélianthus annuus” ou même “grand soleil”

Tu envahis les champs de mille têtes fières

Qui rebrodent d’or pur notre dame la Terre

Frissonnante d’azur, émeraude et vermeil.

*

De ton coeur irradié par l’astre solennel

Va couler la douceur d’une huile flavescente

Radieux tournesol, sur ta tige puissante

Tu règnes glorieux, et parais éternel !

*

La folie de Vincent a cru, dans tes pétales

Entrevoir les grands feux d’un lointain paradis

Tu as su fasciner le grand peintre maudit

Qui, au milieu des champs recherchait les étoiles…

 

 

 

Eugenio Montale (1896-1981)

Portami il girasole ch’io lo trapianti

 

Portami il girasole ch’io lo trapianti

nel mio terreno bruciato dal salino,

e mostri tutto il giorno agli azzurri specchianti

del cielo l’ansietà del suo volto giallino.

*

Tendono alla chiarità le cose oscure,

si esauriscono i corpi in un fluire

di tinte: queste in musiche. Svanire

è dunque la ventura delle venture.

*

Portami tu la pianta che conduce

dove sorgono bionde trasparenze

e vapora la vita quale essenza;

portami il girasole impazzito di luce.

 

 

 

Lô Borges e Márcio Borges

Um Girassol da Cor do Seu Cabelo

(Letras cantada por Milton Nascimento)

 

Vento solar e estrelas do mar

a terra azul da cor de seu vestido

vento solar e estrelas do mar

você ainda quer morar comigo.

*

Se eu cantar não chore não

é só poesia

eu só preciso ter você por mais um dia

ainda gosto de dançar, bom dia,

como vai você?

*

Sol, girassol, verde vento solar

você ainda quer morar comigo

vento solar e estrelas do mar

você ainda quer morar comigo.

 

 

 

芝不器男   Fukio Shiba  (1903-1930)

Sunflower Haiku

 

向日葵の蕊(しべ)を見るとき海消えし

Looking into the sunflower’s centre,

the sea has disappeared.


The Voice of Summer: セミ Cigarra Cicada Cigale Cicala Cigarra セミ

Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

セミ

 

静けさや

岩に滲み入る

蝉の声

shizukesaya

iwa ni shimiiru

semi no koe

utter silence

penetrating the rocks

the cicada’s voice

 

 

 

María Elena Walsh (1930-2011)

Como la Cigarra

 

Tantas veces me mataron,

tantas veces me morí,

sin embargo estoy aqui

resucitando.

Gracias doy a la desgracia

y a la mano con puñal

porque me mató tan mal,

y seguí cantando.

*

Cantando al sol como la cigarra

después de un año bajo la tierra,

igual que sobreviviente

que vuelve de la guerra.

*

Tantas veces me borraron,

tantas desaparecí,

a mi propio entierro fui

sola y llorando.

Hice un nudo en el pañuelo

pero me olvidé después

que no era la única vez,

y volví cantando.

*

Tantas veces te mataron,

tantas resucitarás,

tantas noches pasarás

desesperando.

A la hora del naufragio

y la de la oscuridad

alguien te rescatará

para ir cantando.

 

 

 

Roderic Quinn (Australia, 1867-1949)

The Song of the Cicadas

 

Yesterday there came to me

from a green and graceful tree

as I loitered listlessly

nothing doing, nothing caring,

light and warmth and fragrance sharing

with the butterfly and the bee,

while the sapling-tops a-glisten

danced and trembled, wild and willing

such a sudden sylvan shrilling

that I could not choose but listen

Green Cicadas, Black Cicadas,

happy in the gracious weather,

Floury-baker, Double-Drummer,

all as one and all together,

how they voiced the golden summer.

*

Stealing back there came to me

as I loitered listlessly

‘neath the green and graceful tree,

nothing doing, nothing caring,

boyhood moments spent in sharing

with the butterfly and the bee

youth and freedom, warmth and glamour

while Cicadas round me shrilling,

set the sleepy noontide thrilling

with their keen insistent clamour.

*

Green Cicadas, Black cicadas,

happy in the gracious weather

Floury-bakers, double-drummers

all as one and all together—

how they voice the bygone summers!

 

 

 

Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974)

La Cigale

 

Le soleil fendille la terre,

Aucun bruit ne trouble les champs;

On n’entend plus les joyeux chants

Des oiseaux qui chantaient naguère.

Tous par la chaleur assoupis

Sous les buissons se sont tapis.

Seule une cigale est sur l’aire.

*

Son ventre sonore se meut;

Sur une gerbe elle est posée;

Seule elle n’est point épuisée

Par l’astre à l’haleine de feu.

Et la chanteuse infatigable

Jette dans l’air brûlant et bleu

Sa ritournelle interminable.

 

 

 

Francesco Fabris Manini

La Cicala

 

La cicala del mattino frinisce

E mi sveglia su una tazzina di caffè

Bisbigliando gracili parole su ascolti assonnati

Di spettinati pensieri.

L’uscio s’apre al giorno con forzati ardori

Che dissolverà la sera sui passi

Di un solitario ritorno.

 

 

 

Olegário Mariano (1889-1958)

A Última Cigarra

 

Todas cantaram para mim. A ouvi-las,

Purifiquei meu sonho adolescente,

Quando a vida corria doidamente

Como um regato de águas intranqüilas.

*

Diante da luz do sol que eu tinha em frente,

Escancarei os braços e as pupilas.

Cigarras que eu amei! Para possui-las,

Sofri na vida como pouca gente.

*

E veio o outono… Por que veio o outono ?

Prata nos meus cabelos… Abandono…

Deserta a estrada… Quanta folha morta!

*

Mas, no esplendor do derradeiro poente,

Uma nova cigarra, diferente;

Como um raio de sol, bateu-me à porta.

 

 

正岡 子規   Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)

セミ

 

tsuku tsuku boshi / tsuku tsuku boshi / bakari nari

nothing but

cic-cic-cicada

cic-cic-cicada


Neal McLeod: “Songs to kill a Wîhtikow” ᐐᐧᐦᑎᑯᐤ

Neal McLeod

Wîhtikow *

 

They spoke of the time

beings broke the stillness of water

retreating from the pollution

that rested on the skin of days

kî-mistâpâwêhisocik, they drowned themselves

and the water became still

*

I went to a place to rest

and lay in the remnants of thunder

I collapsed in ripped and dried hollow earth

a fugitive of spent moments

which had outgrown their divinity

*

The old ones spoke of how the beings dug into the earth,

kôtâwîwak

to retreat from the pollution on the skin of the earth

the old ones spoke of wîhtikow

who hunted dreamers, under thick, dark, coarse sun

took their prey in

like the wind of trains

draws us to the tracks

 

 

Wîhtikow wandering

 

wîhtikow whispers

and pulls the light from the sky

only cluttered cover, electric neon

makes my steps heavy

pass abandoned house

windows opened

no longer covered by glass

emptied of people

and stories

burned out black hollow

my body

has also known

the fire of wîhtikow

bingo caller gives false hope

white johns

circle the wagons of families

cops who drive brothers

to cold places

wîhtikow wanders

in the grey, concrete forest

 

 

Crow cross

 

body heavy wooden

black circling round

crow crowned head

claws extended, cutting

arms extended

wrapped into horizon

feet on hands

abrupt blood pecks

expired fright scarecrow

pulled off

hands fling free

legs fall hard

extend relaxed hand

ready legs

onto road

away from crows

remember tracks

upon skin

sing praises

black crow crying

 

 

Kôkôcîs **

 

plaid crumpled and folded

hidden patterns of fabric

clung around his arms

his brown, storied hands

with lines of memory

which marked events

stories, and words

reached for the chewing tobacco

which slid through the

spaces of his mouth

and with the taste of tobacco

through his tongue

which created words

moving through the room

*

I remember the open windows

and brown, wet roads

cars and trucks

would pull up

and people would fill the windows

with colours and movement

*

familiar faces and rhythms

I remember the sound of his voice

of his laugh

the eternal song

up through his mouth

added stories

and layers of memory

to the photographs

bringing old ones alive

*

I remember kôkôcîs

words came from him like water

formed from the shallow fog

of the early spring afternoon

the room held his voice

the voice of others

pushed through

the fold of eternity

were held in

his textured voice

*

kôkôcîs, kâ-kî-itiht,

the once called kôkôcîs,

was my living link

to eternity and relatives

 

 

 

Cree-language words:

*  wîhtikow — a being who consumes other beings – greedy, like a vampire

**  kôkôcîs  — the name of the poet’s great-grandfather

 

_____

 

Neal McLeod is Cree (having grown up on the James Smith reserve in Saskatchewan),  and Swedish, having had the fortunate opportunity to study abroad at the Swedish Art Academy at Umeå.  He has exhibited art work throughout Canada including at the 2005 exhibition au fil de mes jours (in my lifetime) at Le Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec – remounted at the Museum of Civilization in 2007.  In addition to being a painter he is also a curator:  his latest project was as co-curator of the exhibition James Henderson: The Man who Paints the Old Men which was organized by the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Neal’s first book of poetry, entitled Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow, was nominated for several Saskatchewan book awards including book of the year in 2005.  It was nominated for book of the year at the Anskohk McNally Aboriginal Literature Awards, and won poetry book of the year by unanimous decision of the jurors.  In 2007 Neal published Cree Narrative Memory which was also nominated for book of the year at the Anskohk McNally Aboriginal Literature Awards.  In the fall of 2008 he published his second book of poetry entitled Gabriel’s Beach.

Neal is currently editing a volume entitled Indigenous Poetics.  In addition he is working on the following books: Dreaming Blue Horses – a novel, a collection of humour short stories entitled Neechi Hustle, 100 Days of Cree, a biography of Noel Starblanket, and a book of poetry called Casting Spells of Neechery.  He teaches Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.


Nurun Nahar’s “Travellers”: An Inspirational Bengali Poem for Ramadan 2012

Nurun Nahar (1924-1992) was born in Tangail, Bangladesh.  She wrote this poem in her youth.   Artist, writer, and mother of five,  she could crochet blankets in her sleep.  Translation by Syeda Parvin Shirin, her only daughter.  Photo by Laboni Islam, one of Nurun’s many grand-daughters.

*     *     *


¡Buffy Sainte-Marie, en Toronto esta noche! / Buffy Sainte-Marie, in Toronto tonight! Una traducción para honrar a la cantautora y activista Cree

 

Buffy Sainte-Marie

(First Nations Cree singer-songwriter, activist, born 1941, Saskatchewan, Canada)

No No Keshagesh

Editor’s note:  Keshagesh means Greedy Guts,

a child (or an adult) who eats his own food – and then wants everybody else’s, too.

_ _ _ _ _

I never saw so many business suits

Never knew a dollar sign could look so cute

Never knew a junkie with a money jones

Who’s buying Park Place? Who’s buying Boardwalk?

*

These old men they make their dirty deals

Go in the back room and see what they can steal

Talk about your ” beautiful for spacious skies “?

— it’s about uranium,  it’s about the water rights!

*

Got Mother Nature on a luncheon plate

They carve her up and call it real estate

Want all the resources and all of the land

They make a war over it — they blow things up for it.

*

The reservation out at Poverty Row

There’s something cookin and the lights are low

Somebody tryin to save our Mother Earth… I’m gonna

Help ’em to Save it and Sing it and Pray it… singin:

No No Keshagesh you can’t do that no more…

No No Keshagesh you can’t do that no more…

*

Ole Columbus he was lookin good

When he got lost in our neighborhood

Garden of Eden right before his eyes

Now it’s all spyware — now it’s all income tax.

*

Ole Brother Midas lookin hungry today

What he can’t buy he’ll get some other way

Send in the troopers if the Natives resist

Same old story, boys — that’s how ya do it , boys!

*

Look at these people,  Lord,  they’re on a roll

Got to have it all — gotta have complete control

Want all the resources and all of the land

They break the law over it — blow things up for it.

*

While all our champions are off in the war

Their final rip-off here at home is on

Mister Greed I think your time has come… I’m gonna

Sing it and Say it and Live it and Pray it… singin:

No No Keshagesh you can’t do that no more…

No No Keshagesh you can’t do that no more…

 

_____

 

Buffy Sainte-Marie (nace 1941, Saskatchewan, Canadá)

¡No, no, Panzas ávaras! (No, no, Greedy-guts!)

Nota del editor:

Keshagesh quiere decir Panzas Ávaras.

Así se le llama a un niño (o un hombre) que se come su comida

y después quiere la de los demas.

 

_____

 

Nunca vi tantos atuendos formales

Nunca supe que un signo de dólar pareciera tan bonito

Nunca conocí a un adicto con una obsesión por dinero

¿Quién está comprando el Park Place – y el Boardwalk?

*

Estos viejos, hacen sus tratos sucios

Van al cuarto interior para hacer sus tratos sucios

¿Habla de “hermosa por cielos espaciosos”?

– ¡ se trata del uranio, se trata de derechos sobre el agua!

*

Tienen en un plato a la Madre Naturaleza

La dividen y la llaman:  bienes raices.

Quieren todos los recursos naturales y toda la tierra

Hacen una guerra por eso – exageran las cosas para eso.

*

La reservación es Condenada a la Pobreza

Están cocinando algo y atenuan las luces

Alguien está intentando salvar a nuestra Madre Tierra

Voy a Ayudarles a Salvarla,  Cantarle, y Orarle…cantando:

¡No, no, Panzas ávaras!

Ustedes ya no pueden hacer éso…..

Ustedes ya no pueden hacer éso…..

*

El bueno de Colón muy fresco

Cuando se perdió en nuestra vecindad

El Jardín de Edén en frente de sus ojos

Hoy día todo es spyware – ahora todo es impuesto sobre la renta.

*

El buen Hermano Midas parece hambriento hoy día

Lo que no puede comprar lo obtendrá de otra manera

Envian a los policías estatales si los Indígenas resisten

La misma historia de siempre muchachos, es así como lo hacen.

*

Mira toda esta gente, Señor, son imparables

Tienen que poseer todo, tener control absoluto

Quieren todos los recursos naturales y todo lo de la tierra

Quebrantan la ley por eso – exageran las cosas por eso.

*

Mientras que nuestros campeones están lejos en la guerra

Su estafa final occurre aquí en casa.

Señor Avaricia – pienso que su tiempo ha llegado…Voy a

Cantarlo y Decirlo y Vivirlo y Orar… cantándolo:

¡No, no, Panzas ávaras!

Ustedes ya no puede hacer éso…..

Ustedes ya no puede hacer éso…..

 

 

_____

Traducción del inglés al español  /  Translation from English into Spanish:  Lidia García Garay

 


Hari Malagayo Alluri: “eyes beat heart wide…”


body body

eyes beat heart wide

n sine co-patience

 

blink rare breath laugh

un sin go pay shun

 

deep shared step speak open tongued rhythms

 

story tell in the pattern of a mischief

round each other’s oldest voices caress

 

in

syncopation

 

abi bellybuttons shoot

memory glances

 

 

 

raven city

rain follows snow follows shine hollows

clouds hollow graves into roots hollow

cracks into tar fallow talk hollows

dreams nightly migrating birds hallow

sky copper indigo follow trickster heart

 

 

 

conjure lion’s roar from spitting cobra’s belly

one language

used to hack

all the others

from my body

this pentongue

my balisong now

jai!

 

 

_____

The poet explains several special words:

abi  –  Nigerian pidgin, from Yoruba; final interrogative particle on a yes/no question

balisong  –  a.k.a. balisong batangas, butterfly knife, fan knife or veinte y nueve; a swing-bladed folding pocketknife used in Filipino martial arts and for self-defence.

jai  –  I use  jai in the sense of “Long live” (Hindi).  It can also be translated as “Up with,” “Hail” or “Victory”. Often it’s a part of call and response chants.

*

Hari Malagayo Alluri is a poet, activist, facilitator and filmmaker who migrated to SouthVancouver, Coast Salish Territories, at age 12.  He will be at Surrey Muse on July 27th.  Hari’s writing appears in several publications.


Cynthia Dewi Oka: Nomad Legends – Midwife and Moon’s Benediction

 

nomad legend: Midwife

 

I am what remains. Here,

on this crop of volcanic rock. At the knees of the temple

where for thousands of years we worshipped

as the moon began her slow retreat

in deference to the gong, the jubilee of roosters –

our women with lotus lily towers on their heads,

our men with bronze curved daggers at their waists.

I still hear their children and recognize

each hungry wail, each budding tenor.

My hands were the first they knew,

the heat from my body preceded their mothers’ milk.

I was the one who rinsed their coats of blood

and breathed the story of this island and its specific stars

into the plaintive Os of their mouths.

In time, they forgot the ocean and learned to trust

paddy, clay, the gods. I began to assume

in their eyes the same madness perceived by their elders.

A madness feared, because no woman should

scratch letters to the drowned with a shark tooth

in cream colored sand. No woman should hunt

fish from her bed of rock, bare-handed, and eat them raw.

No woman should claim the sea is her mother,

the sea snake her husband. No matter.

When the babies were ready to cleave

the shell of their mothers, it was me they summoned.

See now how the land empties. How skin and slender

bones wash to sea. For moons I watch from the temple’s roof

skirmishes between soldiers and vultures

over moonstone anklets, ruby studded rings and abalone

still clinging to blue, salted flesh.  At the cusp of daylight,

I fill my eyes with wine and sheathe my body

in seawater.  The currents pound my eardrums like our warriors’ fists,

tiny fish make meals out of my calves, and time is measured

by the goldening ends of sea grass.  This is the only place

where I do not smell, taste or think in blood.

My body cleaves tunnels through the satin depths,

clean and weightless. Ether.

The old people used to say that water snakes guarded the rock

cradle of our temple, that in fact, the rock was

the temple of greater creatures that came before us.

Pillars, courtyards, pagodas of copra were constructed

to house not the gods, but humans after we shed our hooves and horns.

According to some, we were once winged.

The men laughed at this story as they fondled their bows.

The women rubbed sandalwood oil into each other’s smooth backs.

This is before tips of bayonets split our children down their lengths.

This is before bows and backs were snapped alike.

I know what they did not know because the sea is my mother,

the sea snake my husband. This is why I leave my heart in the water.

The longer I stay, the closer I draw to their secrets.

The more I resemble salt. Within me, bones begin

to loosen. The bloom of my lungs acquires an echo.

I come up less and less for air.

On the seventy seventh year of the midwife’s submersion, at the moon’s zenith, it is said that new bodies crawled out of the waves.  Their teeth were adamantine and their skin sequined.  They spoke to each other in sign, for they had not yet invented a language for soil.  They were not men and women.  They were multiple, each with their own distinctive architecture.  They practiced the art of disappearing, walking children home and dancing at street corners.  Their dances could not be imitated for they moved in ways unknown to our imagination.  When they looked at you, you heard the sea mother.   It is said that they had solved the alchemy of bone to water.

 

_____

 

nomad legend: Moon’s benediction

 

[at rising]

bless the round belly, elephant tusk, sago

root straining dark moist earth, tongues

of aloe peeled open, their juice kneaded

into the crowns of old women, gypsum

powder, ash scrubbed into linen and skin

preparing them for touch, the flintlock

at rest with nomads and their fire

[in descent]

bless lightning, the unsung flute, proverbs

spelled in tobacco leaves, owl’s hoot

rippling east, its timbre grained in salt

from the palms of fishermen, a coastline

beaded in pearl, pith of a woman

listening for her name in the throng, iron

sphere, devil’s oar,  snake’s teardrop.

 

 

_____

Cynthia Dewi Oka lives in Vancouver.  She writes of these poems:

“Although they are in English, they incorporate elements, landscapes, concepts and re-imagined myths embedded in my native language, Bahasa Indonesia, and experiences of historical and contemporary displacement.”