La vuelta de hoja

Las primeras hojas han cambiado sus colores_Otoño en Toronto

La vuelta de hoja
Entonces, estoy volteando las hojas en el cuento de la vida…
Y, hojeando las experiencias de la mediana edad,
llego a la comprensión que
mi ser es de un color demasiado intenso – audaz – para algún amante.
¿Existe el hombre que se atreverá a agarrar el amor del poeta?
Estoy agotado, aun en esta breve-eternal Ahora del corazón resplandeciente.
Me marchitaré pronto, como muerto, o eso parezca.
Pero voy a resurgir en la primavera – nos vemos allí.

. . . . .

Rabindranath Tagore: “El Último Trato” / “The Last Bargain”

El último trato...convertirte en un hombre libre_The last become a free man

Rabindranath Tagore (poeta bengalí, 1861-1941)
El Último Trato (1918)

¡Estoy por alquilar, contrátenme!
gritaba yo una mañana andando por la carretera.
El rey pasó en su carroza, la espada en la mano.
Me cogió de la mano y me dijo:
Te tomo a mi servicio; a cambio, tendrás parte de mi poder.
Pero yo no sabía que hacer de su poder y le dejé partir en su carroza.
En el ardiente mediodía todas las casas estaban cerradas.
Yo vagaba por tortuosos caminos.
Un anciano se me acercó, llevando un saco lleno de oro.
Se detuvo pensativo, y me dijo:
Ven, te tomo a mi servicio. Te pagaré con este oro.
Empezó a contar sus monedas, una a una, pero le volví la espalda.
Caía la tarde. El seto del jardín había florecido.
Una hermosa muchacha se me acercó y me dijo:
Te tomo a mi servicio y te pagaré con una sonrisa.
Pero su sonrisa se desvaneció, le saltaron las lágrimas
y, sola, se perdió de nuevo en la sombra.
El sol reverberaba en la arena y las olas rompían caprichosamente.
Un niño jugaba con las conchas, sentado en la playa.
Levantó la cabeza, me miró como si reconociera, y me dijo:
Te tomo por nada.
Desde que hice este trato, jugando, con un niño,
me he convertido en un hombre libre.

Traducción: Luis López Nieves

. . .
Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali poet, 1861-1941)
The Last Bargain (1918)
“Come and hire me,” I cried,
while in the morning I was walking on the stone-paved road.
Sword in hand, the King came in his chariot.
He held my hand and said, “I will hire you with my power.”
But his power counted for nought, and he went away in his chariot.

In the heat of the midday the houses stood with shut doors.
I wandered along the crooked lane.
An old man came out with his bag of gold.
He pondered and said, “I will hire you with my money.”
He weighed his coins one by one, but I turned away.

It was evening. The garden hedge was all aflower.
The fair maid came out and said, “I will hire you with a smile.”
Her smile paled and melted into tears, and she went back alone into the dark.

The sun glistened on the sand, and the sea waves broke waywardly.
A child sat playing with shells.
He raised his head and seemed to know me,
and said, “I hire you with nothing.”
From thenceforward that bargain struck in child’s play
made me become a free man.

. . . . .

Rabindranath Tagore: “Ella” y “El camino cerrado”

Girasoles en Withrow Park_Toronto

Rabindranath Tagore (poeta bengalí, 1861-1941)
Ella, quedando en lo más hondo de mí,
en el crepúsculo de resplendores y ojeadas;
ella, que nunca abrió sus velos en la luz del alba,
será mi regalo definitivo para Tí, mi Dios, plegado en mi canto final.
Las palabras han cortejado a ella y fracasaron alcanzarle;
la persuasión se ha estirazo sus brazos ardientes en vano.
He vagabundeado país por país guardándole en la médula de mi corazón,
y el desarrollo y declive de mi vida han subido y caído alrededor de ella.
Reinó sobre mis pensamientos y acciones, mis reposos y sueños,
pero moró solitaria, alejada.
Muchos hombres tocaron a mi puerta, preguntando por ella,
y dieron la espalda en desesperanza.
No hubo nadie en este mundo que le vieron cara a cara,
y ella permaneció en su soledad, esperando para tu reconocimiento.
. . .
She who ever had remained in the depth of my being,
in the twilight of gleams and of glimpses;
she who never opened her veils in the morning light,
will be my last gift to Thee, my God, folded in my final song.
Words have wooed yet failed to win her;
persuasion has stretched to her its eager arms in vain.
I have roamed from country to country keeping her in the core of my heart,
and around her have risen and fallen the growth and decay of my life.
Over my thoughts and actions, my slumbers and dreams,
she reigned yet dwelled alone and apart.
Many a man knocked at my door and asked for her
and turned away in despair.
There was none in the world who ever saw her face to face,
and she remained in her loneliness waiting for Thy recognition.
. . .
El Camino Cerrado

Yo había creído que mi periplo llegaba a su fin,
al último límite de mi fuerza;
que el camino delante de mí fue cerrado,
que se agotaron las provisiones,
y llegaba la hora de buscar un refugio en una silenciosa oscuridad.
Pero estoy descubriendo que, adentro de mí, no hay fin de Tu voluntad.
Y cuando se pierden palabras sobre la lengua
hay nuevas melodías que brotan del corazón;
y donde se pierden los viejos rostros
hay un nuevo país que se develará con sus maravillas.

. . .

Closed Path
I thought that my voyage had come to its end
at the last limit of my power – that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted,
and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that Thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.

. . . . .

“Flor de mi alma” / “Flower of my soul”

Flor_un poema de  Amor

“Flor de mi alma”
Flor de mi mente:
Creces en mí el alcance – la gama –
de las perspectivas de Pensamiento – de La Idea.
Flor de mi corazón:
Me ayudas recordar los Gozos – y la Pena –
de estar enamorado.
Y eso es algo bueno, porque tú me haces más humano.
Flor de mi alma:
Me tocas con tu sonrisa…
Y esa energía alcanza en ese lugar invisible de mí
– lo más profundo –
donde vive el auténtico Yo.
. . .
“Flower of my Soul”
Flower of my Intelligence:
You make bloom in me the scope – the spectrum –
of Thought, of Ideas.
Flower of my Heart:
You help me to recall the Joys – and the Pain – of being in Love.
And that’s something good, because it makes me more human.
Flower of my Soul:
You touch me with your smile…
And such energy reaches all the way to that invisible place
– the deepest place –
where lives the authentic Me.

Poem for the last day of Elul / the eve of Rosh Hashanah

Shofar painting by Anna Kocherovsky

Stacey Robinson
It was not day
It was not evening,
nor night,
not quite –
although the sickle moon,
dusted in orange,
kissed the plumes
of passing clouds.

It was not morning,
thogh the sun
stained the sky
and shivered there,
on the horizon
that was sea and sky together,
and neither sea
nor sky

And so we prayed,
gathered at the water’s edge,
in the not-evening-
Almost morning.
We opened our lips
on the border
of land that moved
with fluid grace,
next to the dark glass
of an obsidian sea
that rippled with
the laughter of stars
that skated there.

And all the Hosts of Heaven
waited in expectant
and shimmering
in that not-quite moment,
that sacred place
of not you
and not me;
That place where God lives –
at the very edge
of Heaven
and Earth,
That is the centre;
And calls to us
With bird song and wind
and the rippling
obsidian sea.

And there the shofar* called
A single note,
Stretching out unto

There was evening,
There was morning:
One day.


(September 2014)

Shofar tapestry woven by Anna Kocherovsky

. . .

*shofar:  a simple curved horn, usually from a ram, the sound of which, when blown, is a trumpet call to both action and spiritual reflection during the Jewish month of Elul that precedes Rosh Hashanah (the New Year in Hebrew)

Stacey Zisook Robinson writes on faith and doubt in her verse, which is best described as Searching Poetry.  She is working on a collection of religious poems, to be entitled Unexpected Hosannas, plus a book of memoirs and essays exploring the idea of self acceptance (Just Enough). She shares both questions and insights at at her on-line journal stumblingtowardsmeaning.

Shofar painting and tapestry: both by Anna Kocherovsky

. . . . .

Alicia Claudia González Maveroff: It depends, doesn’t it? / Depende…


Zumaque canadiense durante el invierno_Sumac in winter_Canadá

Zumaque canadiense durante el invierno_Sumac in winter_Canadá

Alicia Claudia González Maveroff

It depends, doesn’t it?
There are those who look out at the sea and perceive only the waves, and so they meet up with water
– doesn’t it all depend on our gaze?
He who looks at the countryside yet cannot distinguish the horizon perhaps is he who might go into the woods only searching for firewood.
But there are others of us – she who is
in flux – who will uncover the real magic.
She looks at the naked tree in winter
and she smiles, in faith,
awaiting the fruit such trees will bear – in time.
And there are those of us who,

even before our eyes open each morning to see the world around us

– well, we’ve already dreamed of such worlds!

. . .

Alicia Claudia González Maveroff

Hay quien mira el mar y solo ve las olas,
solo encuentra el agua…

Todo depende de la mirada.

Quien mira el campo y no distingue el horizonte,
quien entra al bosque y solo va por leña.

Otros en cambio, de lo real descubren la magia.

Miran un árbol desnudo en el invierno
y sonríen confiados esperando que de sus frutos
cuando sea el tiempo.

Y están aquellos que antes de abrir los ojos
y ver el paisaje,
ya lo han soñado.

. . . . .

Poema para el Cambio de Estaciones: Una Afirmación de la Naturaleza – en la Mitad de Esta Vida

Still Life B_Some see stones...I see poems.Still Life A_Some see stones...I see poems.

Una Afirmación de la Naturaleza – en la Mitad de Esta Vida
¿Cuántas lecciones tengo que aprender?
Que la inteligencia de emociones es muy difícil a lograr.
Que la mente ligera no es suficiente.
Que alimenta al alma la creatividad,
y la imaginación es enigmática y grande.
Que el seso debe ser perspicaz – y sabio;
y el corazón, aún más sabio.
Que es sentido común mantener la boca cerrada;
y decirle a él que le amas sobrepasar morderse la lengua.
Que jugarlo cauteloso nos pone en un destino sombrío;
y correr el riesgo requiere muchas agallas.
Y que todo el asunto no significa nada si no hay Amor en la mezcla.
Y, aunque los seres humanos nos deilusionan, todavía son llenos de sorpresas.
Por lo tanto seguiremos – curioso al Fin.

. . . . .

Rubén Darío: Song of Autumn in Spring / Canción de Otoño en Primavera

Still Life 1

Rubén Darío (Nicaragua, 1867-1916)
Canción de Otoño en Primavera

Juventud, divino tesoro,
ya te vas para no volver.
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro,
y a veces lloro sin querer.

Plural ha sido la celeste
historia di mi corazón.
Era una dulce niña, en este
mundo de duelo y aflicción.

Miraba como el alba pura;
sonreía como una flor.
Era su cabellera obscura
hecha de noche y de dolor.

Yo era tímido como un niño.
Ella, naturalmente, fue
para mi amor hecho de armiño,
Herodías y Salomé.

Juventud, divino tesoro,
ya te vas para no volver.
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro,
y a veces lloro sin querer.

Y más consoladora y más
halagadora y expresiva
la otra fue más sensitiva,
cual no pensé encontrar jamás.

Pues a su continua ternura
una pasión violenta unía.
En un peplo de gasa pura
una bacante se envolvía.

En brasos tomó mi ensueño
y lo arrulló como un bebé
y le mató, triste y pequeño,
falto de luz, falta de fe.

Juventud, divino tesoro,
ya te vas para no volver.
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro,
y a veces lloro sin querer.

Otra juzgó que era mi boca
El estuche de su pasión;
y que me roería, loca,
con sus dientes el corazón,

poniendo en un amor de exceso
la mira de su voluntad,
mientras eran abrazo y beso
síntesis de la eternidad;

y de nuestra carne ligera
imaginó siempre un Edén,
sin pensar que la Primavera
y la carne acaban también.

Juventud, divino tesoro,
ya te vas para no volver.
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro,
y a veces lloro sin querer.

Y las demás! En tantos climas,
en tantas tierras siempre son,
si no pretextos di mis rimas,
fantasmas de mi corazón.

En vano busqué a la princesa
que estaban triste de esperar.
La vida es dura. Amarga y pesa.
Ya no hay princesa que cantar.

Mas a pesar del tiemp terco,
Mi sed de amor no tiene fin;
con el cabello gris, me acerco
a los rosales del jardín.

Juventud, divino tesoro,
ya te vas para no volver.
Cuando quiero llorar, no lloro,
y a veces lloro sin querer.

¡Mas es mía el alba de oro!

Still Life 2

Rubén Darío (Nicaragua, 1867-1916)
Song of Autumn in Springtime


Youth’s a treasure that only the gods may keep,
and how it flees from me, forever – now.
I can’t seem to cry, when I need to,
and sometimes tears come when I don’t want them to.
The stories of this heart are countless,
can never be told – and
she was a darling child,
in this world of pain and woe.
Like daybreak, pure delight she was;
her smile – like flowers after rain.
Her hair was as the night,
fashioned of darkness and unhappiness.
Like a kid I was, awkward and shy,
couldn’t ever have been any other way.
And she was as Herodias or Salomé,
my love ermine-draped.
Youth’s a treasure only the gods may keep,
and how it flees from me, forever – now.
I can’t seem to cry, when I need to,
and sometimes tears come when I don’t want them to.
And there was another one…
More sensitive, quiet, loving, kind;
her will to live, to love, was greater
than I’d hoped to find.
Yet there went with her tender grace
a kind of violence of love;
in a peplos of loveliness
was hidden a passion – raving like a Maenad.
Youth’s a treasure only the gods may keep,
and how it flees from me, forever – now.
I can’t seem to cry, when I need to,
and sometimes tears come when I don’t want them to.
Still another imagined my lips
to be a casket made to bury our love.
She gnawed at the very heart of me,
that’s what she strove to do.

Excess of passion, that was her will;
love’s flame for me she was,
and she could make each embrace, each kiss,
Eternity in synthesis.
She pronounced our flesh could never die,
that Desire might restore Eden;
but she forgot one thing:
that the flowers of Spring, and this flesh,
an End must bring.
Youth’s a treasure only the gods may keep,
and how it flees from me, forever – now.
I can’t seem to cry, when I need to,
and sometimes tears come when I don’t want them to.
And all the others!
Different climates, many lands,
they were just a pretext for my rhymes,
phantoms of my heart.
I sought for a princess in vain,
one who had waited, a-sorrowing.
This life is hard, and bitter with pain.
And there’s no princess exists now to sing.
Yet despite th’autumnal season’s meanings,
My thirst for love knows no end;
Gray-haired I am, yet still
you’ll find me circling the late-bloom rose.
Youth’s a treasure only the gods may keep,
and how it flees from me, forever – now.
I can’t seem to cry, when I need to,
and sometimes tears come when I don’t want them to.

Ah, but the Dawn belongs to me!

. . . . .

Translator’s note:
I have been faithful to the title of the original, calling my English-language version Song of Autumn in Springtime. Yet something doesn’t feel right; Song of Springtime in Autumn would fit Darío’s content better. True, he writes as if an old man reminisces – there is great nostalgia – about past Romance, yet he also tells us that he will still seek out the blooming rose in the garden of Life, and that Dawn belongs to him. And isn’t the dawn that fresh beginning to each day – its Springtime?

Poems for the first day of Autumn

ZP_Sumac with ripe fruit_Autumn in Toronto

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
As Summer into Autumn slips
As Summer into Autumn slips
And yet we sooner say
“The Summer” than “the Autumn,” lest
We turn the sun away,

And almost count it an Affront
The presence to concede
Of one however lovely, not
The one that we have loved —

So we evade the charge of Years
On one attempting shy
The Circumvention of the Shaft
Of Life’s Declivity.

. . .

Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)
Different Destinies (translated from German)
Millions busily toil, that the human race may continue;
But by only a few is propagated our kind.

Thousands of seeds by the autumn are scattered, yet fruit is engendered
Only by few, for the most back to the element go.

But if one only can blossom, that one is able to scatter
Even a bright living world, filled with creations eterne.

. . .

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
Sumach and Birds
If you never came with a pigeon rainbow purple
Shining in the six o’clock September dusk:
If the red sumach on the autumn roads
Never danced on the flame of your eyelashes:
If the red-haws never burst in a million
Crimson fingertwists of your heartcrying:
If all this beauty of yours never crushed me
Then there are many flying acres of birds for me,
Many drumming gray wings going home I shall see,
Many crying voices riding the north wind.

. . .

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
If I could have your arms tonight—
But half the world and the broken sea
Lie between you and me.

The autumn rain reverberates in the courtyard,
Beating all night against the barren stone,
The sound of useless rain in the desolate courtyard
Makes me more alone.

If you were here, if you were only here —
My blood cries out to you all night in vain
As sleepless as the rain.

. . .

Louise Bogan (1897-1970)
Last Hill in a Vista
Come, let us tell the weeds in ditches
How we are poor, who once had riches,
And lie out in the sparse and sodden
Pastures that the cows have trodden,
The while an autumn night seals down
The comforts of the wooden town.

Come, let us counsel some cold stranger
How we sought safety, but loved danger.

So, with stiff walls about us, we
Chose this more fragile boundary:
Hills, where light poplars, the firm oak,
Loosen into a little smoke.

. . . . .

Poemas para el último día del Verano

Finaliza el Verano...y inicia sus cambios graduales el Otoño...Toronto Canadá_Septiembre de 2014

Pedro Serrano (Canada/México, nacido en 1947)
El último día del verano

El último día del verano
me ha traído la sospecha de que toda vida
es una ficción:
sigo queriendo amar a la mujer que amo,
las temperaturas son extremadamente altas,
aquí, en el comedor,
mi ciudad está sufriendo la metamorfosis inversa
de mariposa a gusano,
la banda de Liverpool actúa en el parque municipal
con acento che y con poco público,
el equipo local no gana los partidos, los empata,
las plantas se secan misteriosamente
y el silencio es el himno que espera al otoño.
El último día del verano
es un baile de grillos, y un consumo
de luna. Ficción.
. . .
Pedro Serrano (Canada/Mexico, born 1947)
The last day of summer
The last day of summer
I had been under the suspicion that all of Life was mere
invention, pretence, hogwash:
I keep on wanting to love the woman I love;
temperatures remain exceedingly high
here in the diningroom;
my city suffers from a kind of inverse metamorphosis
– butterfly to worm;
that band from Liverpool performs in the civic park
– with an Argentine accent and next to no audience;
our local team doesn’t win any games – they all end in ties;
plants dry up mysteriously
and Silence is a hymn that awaits the autumn.
This last day of summer
is the crickets’ dance;
this last day, consumed by the moon.
Pure fiction.

An End of Summer bouquet in a watering can_Goldenrod_Asters_Sunflowers_09.2014
Henri Cole (Japón/EE.UU., nacido en 1956)
Pobre Verano, no comprende el hecho de su muerte; le quedan pocos días.
Pero aun está conmigo el lago con sus pinceladas de índigo
y el sol encendido recolocando la soledad.
Me siento como criatura que ha descubierto un hogar;
eso es mi madriguera / nido / intento para decir:
Yo existo.
La rosa no puede pararse y ser de nuevo un capullo.
Es una dolencia, quererlo.
A lo largo de la orilla, la luna esparce su luz sobre todo, como una fogata;
y dentro de la noche verde-negro, los pinos altos ofrecen, estiran, sus brazos
– como Dios
que ofreció, estiró, sus brazos para decir que
Él era aislado y que
Él hacía para Su Mismo
un hombre.

An End of Summer bouquet in a watering can_Goldenrod_Asters_Sunflowers_September 2014
Henri Cole (Japan/USA, born 1956)
Poor Summer, it doesn’t know it’s dying.
A few days are all it has. Still, the lake
is with me, its strokes of blue-violet
and the fiery sun replacing loneliness.
I feel like an animal that has found a place.
This is my burrow, my nest, my attempt
to say, I exist. A rose can’t shut itself
and be a bud again. It’s a malady,
wanting it. On the shore, the moon sprinkles
light over everything, like a campfire,
and in the green-black night, the tall pines
hold their arms out as God held His arms
out to say that He was lonely and that
He was making Himself a man.

. . . . .