Samuel Selvon: poemas traducidos

Niños jugando bajo de un guayacán o árbol tabebuia © fotógrafo santalucence Chester Williams__ Children playing beneath a yellow Poui tree_photograph © Saint Lucian photographer Chester Williams

Niños jugando bajo de un guayacán o árbol tabebuia © fotógrafo santalucence Chester Williams__ Children playing beneath a yellow Poui tree_photograph © Saint Lucian photographer Chester Williams

Samuel Selvon

(San Fernando, Trinidad, 1923-1994)

Temor

.

Lo cierto es que

profundamente

me asusto de la vida:

la lucubración solitaria

(el mediodía tiene su

cavilación también.)

He descubierto que la incertidumbre

está trepando, acechante y listo;

estando pendiente del momento expuesto.

.

Soy pecador:

Eso es la verdad.

Y los pecadores son ellos que

saben demasiado o muy poco.

Porque soy pagano,

venerando las cosas inanimadas:

ser un rey durante un día, solo – ¿pues?

.

Temo que

la fe no sea suficiente,

pero esta vida no esté lleno.

Construyo unos dioses vagos pequeñines:

esos dioses vagos

en lo más profundo de la noche,

o del día superficial.

Pero todos ellos se precipitaron.

. . .

Sueño

.

Perdí un sueño esta mañana

cuando me desperté,

y supliqué a la noche

para traerlo de nuevo.

Los tranvías roncos, en vano;

y aquellos que yo conocía

pasaban por un desconocido

separado a sí mismo…

.

En un desconcierto completo

averigüé a un méndigo en el parque

– una voz entusiasta por nada sino una voz –

y el reloj de la iglesia

hablaba alocadamente de

alguna hora de la tarde.

.

Pues entendí

el secreto del círculo cuadrado,

y miré la muerte de la Eternidad;

y dos por dos es igual a cinco.

Yo veía el Tiempo tambaleándose

y una puesta del sol

en el centro del cielo.

.

El méndigo escupió

sobre una hoja seca en el polvo…

El bufón era sordo,

entonces escuchaba

el vacío tremendo que yo contaba…

Pues me desperté.

. . .

Consuelo

.

La reacción inmediata a la acción

no es la cosa auténtica

ni representa el hombre usual.

Una furia caliente a causa de un golpe;

un júbilo rápido después de un beso:

estos pasarán, y luego

llegará la verdad.

.

Y puede que sí – con la vida.

Esta existencia en un dos por tres,

dentro de la eternidad del Tiempo,

puede ser que sea la reacción;

y cuando nos moriremos

llegarán los ámbitos, las reflexiones más sabias:

la lucidez de la vida.

. . .

El árbol guayacán

.

Para conseguir la vista esencial

de este árbol guayacán en el parque,

o sea, mirar las floraciones amarillas

parcheando lo azul del cielo tropica,

tengo que estar parado a cierta distancia.

.

Para agarrar una falta de vida

es pisar las flores tiradas sobre la hierba;

es mirar las últimas de la rama hasta el suelo:

una respuesta reluctante a la gravedad.

.

Únicamente son los niños que

entienden la belleza límpida;

con manos extendidas y ansiosas

tras las flores para bloquear un rato

su caída al suelo.

Parto de ellos

porque soy demasiado viejo para comprenderlo.

. . .

Los cuatro poemas arriba están incluidos al volumen de 2012, The Poems of Sam Selvon, editado por Roydon Salick, con un prólogo de Kenneth Ramchand. La mayoría de la poesía de Samuel Selvon data de los años 40, antes de su emigración al Reino Unido. Durante las dos décadas que siguieron, Sr. Selvon se volvió reconocido por sus obras literárias: novelas, relatos cortos, dramas para la radio BBC, y ensayos. Pero empezó todo con algunos poemas inquisitivos y tiernos, escritos mientras vivía en la ciudad de Port-of-Spain donde trabajaba como corresponsal del periódico Trinidad Guardian.

. . .

Samuel Selvon

(San Fernando, Trinidad, 1923-1994)

Fear

.

To tell truth

I am deeply afraid of life,

The lonely lucubration

(Noon-day has its pensiveness

Too).

I have found uncertainty

Creeping,

Lurking just a little way off,

Waiting, watching for the

Unguarded moment.

.

I am a sinner.

That is the truth of it.

And sinners are those who

Know too much or too little.

For I am a pagan

Worshipping inanimate things:

King for a day, and then?

.

I am afraid

Faith might be insufficient,

Yet life might not be full.

I build little vague gods:

Those vague gods in the deep

Of night

Or of the shallow day.

But they all come tumbling

Down.

. . .

Dream

.

I lost a dream this morning

When I woke

And prayed the night

To bring it back again.

In vain the noisy trams;

And those I knew I passed

A self-estranged stranger…

.

In utter bewilderment

I probed the beggar in the park

(An eager voice for nothing

But a voice)

And the clock on the church

Spoke crazily of some time

In the evening.

.

And then I knew

The secret of the square circle,

And saw Eternity die

And two and two make five.

Saw Time staggering,

And a sunset

In the centre of the sky.

.

The beggar spat

On a brown leaf in the dust…

The fool was deaf

So he listened

To the tremendous nothingness

I spoke…

Then I awoke.

. . .

Consolation

.

The immediate reaction to action

Is not the true thing

Nor depicts the usual man.

Hot fury at a blow;

Swift joy at a kiss,

Will pass, afterwards

The truth will come.

.

So perhaps with life,

This split-second existence

In the eternity of Time

Might be the first reaction,

And when we die, will come

Wiser realms, soberer thoughts ––

The truth of life.

. . .

Poui Tree

.

To get the essential view

Of this particular

Poui tree in the park,

That is to say, to watch

The yellow blossoms patch

The blueness of the tropic sky,

I must stand some distance off.

.

To capture lifelessness

Is to trample on the flowers

Lying on the grass,

To look at the death-throes

From limb to earth,

The reluctant answer

To gravity.

.

Only children know

The pristine beauty,

With eager outstretched hands

After the flowers from the earth

To bar their fall

A little longer.

I leave them because

I am too old to understand.

. . .

Pauline Enriques with Samuel Sevlon_Caribbean Voices BBC radio programme_1952

Pauline Enriques with Samuel Sevlon_Caribbean Voices BBC radio programme_1952

The above poems are included in the 2012 volume The Poems of Sam Selvon, edited by Roydon Salick, with a foreward by Kenneth Ramchand, and published by Cane Arrow Press.

The four poems here date from 1947. The bulk of Samuel Selvon’s poetic output dates from before 1950 (the year he emigrated to London, England), though his long prose-poem, “Poem in London” (which was broadcast on BBC Radio’s Caribbean Voices programme in 1951) is perhaps the most famous. Best known for his novels, short stories, radio dramas and non-fiction writing, Selvon’s poems had too long lain in vintage magazines and archive drawers until Cane Arrow Press decided to present these romantic, philosophical verses to the reading public.

. . . . .


Anson Gonzalez: poemas traducidos

Anson Gonzalez in 2010_photograph copyright Wesley Gibbings

Anson Gonzalez

(Catalizador y motivador de la literatura caribeña / Poeta)

Poemas en prosa:

del poemario Cruce de Sueño (Crossroads of Dream) (2003)

.

La misma dirección durante cuatro décadas – ¿estabilidad o inercia?

Un solo empleo desde la edad de dieciséis – ¿virtud o fracaso?

Nunca había residido or estudiado en el extranjero – ¿restringido o contento?

Su cacharro y él – juntos para veinticinco años.

La misma esposa, los mismos hijos para cuarenta años

¿un compromiso de larga duración o un terror de cambio?

¿Puede ir al próximo nivel, o siempre estará fijado a éste

pues lo encantará eternamente?

El mismo corazón – latiendo desde su nacimiento.

. . .

La araña Anansi se escabullía sobre el cielo de la habitación – como un ninja.

Silenciosamente se centró para capturar una panzada. Mientras concentrándose

en su comida no se dio cuenta de la lanza que se preparaba para arponearle.

Él escuchó la oración halal; sintió las mantras kosher; las bendiciones baraka bashad.

Mientras tanto, el gigante estuvo listo para enviarle hasta su próxima encarnación.

No puedo viajar con la barriga hambrienta, pensó, y de repente dejó descender a sí mismo

una distancia escarpada, y aterrizó el piso cerámico. Corriendo en piernas tambaleantes,

él pasó zumbando hacia la oscuridad, desesperado por esquivar. Apresurándose, corriendo

a las zonas oscuras – demasiado rápido por la araña – un guerrero sobrecargado de vejez.

Se escapó en un recoveco, aterrado pero vivo, y seguro hasta la próxima tentativa de comer.

. . .

Erupciona la hermosura antes del comienzo del tiempo de la cosecha

y los retoños proclamando su plenitud. Borlas cónicas deslumbran el

paisaje navideño de cañas de azúcar. Ellas brillan como los fuegos

artificiales del Año Nuevo que saludan las mañanas de enero – fuegos que

se cortan el chorro – aleatoriamente – después de una expresión efímera pero

gloriosa, de deleite.

Pues, comienza el esfuerzo amargo, y la belleza se inclina por las cuchilladas

de brazos golpeandos que le arrazan a ella en la causa de supervivencia.

Carretillas y remolques rodan, las ruedas de las fábricas gruñen, y el calor

convierte en la riqueza la realidad. El hollín se difunde y cubre el lugar de belleza

con la pátina del Hades. Del sitio de cremación, cercano, el humo oscurece el cielo.

. . .

Mientras sale a caminar al kiosco de diarios, la blancura de platino

del sol baña el valle con las bendiciones. Los vecinos del hombre,

sus cuatro rosas rojas se balancean con un resplendor al aire – como

unos besos del bel alba. La neblina de las colinas se desvanecía

como el aliento del dulce amante al momento de separación.

De pronto, el día parecía tan bendecido y espléndido:

Fue posible, casi posible, olvidar la amenaza a la seguridad de una

confrontación entre el Gobierno y unos insurgentes aspirantes que

habían amenazado nuestra urbanidad y seguridad una vez antes.

Fue un momento yuxtapuesto entre el sagrado y el vulgar. Él estuvo balanceando

en el humbral de una emoción inexplicable, y reflexionó sobre un querido

amigo. Cuando regresó, su esposa estuvo regando sus flores amadas para

salvaguardarlas de las atenciones abrasadoras del ojo antillano al cielo.

. . .

Anson Gonzalez

(Catalyst and motivator for Caribbean literature /

Poet / born Trinidad & Tobago)

Prose poems from Crossroads of Dream (2003)

.

Same address for four decades – stability or inertia? One job

since sixteen – virtue or failure? Never lived or studied abroad

limited or contented? His old car and he – together for

twenty-five years. Same wife and children for forty years –

longterm commitment or fear of change? Can he go into the next

plane – or will he be attached forever to this one and haunt it

eternally? Same heart beating beating from birth.

. . .

Anansi slinked on the ceiling like a ninja. He quietly settled

in to capture a bellyful. Concentratin on his meal, he didn’t

notice the pole preparing to spear him. He heard the halal

prayer. He sensed the kosher incantations, the baraka bashad

blessings, as the giant prepared to send him to his next

incarnation. Can’t travel on hungry belly, he thought, dropping

suddenly the precipitous distance, hitting the tiled floor,

running on kilkitay legs, scurrying to the darkness, desperate

to escape. Scurrying, hurrying into the darkened areas, too fast

for the age-encumbered warrior, to escape in a crevice, terrified

but alive; safe till another attempt at feeding.

. . .

Beauty erupts before croptime starts and ratoons announce

their time of fullness. Conical tassels dazzle the Xmas canescape.

They shimmer like New Year’s fireworks on January mornings

that go out desultorily after their short-lived but glorious

expressions of delight. Then, bitter toil begins; beauty bows to

the slash of striking arms that lay her low in the cause of survival.

Carts and trailers trundle, factory wheels grumble; heat converts

reality to wealth. Soot spreads and covers beauty’s place with a

patina of Hades. From the nearby cremation site smoke darkens the sky.

. . .

As he stepped out to go to the newsstand, the platinum

whiteness of the sun bathed the valley with its blessings. His

neighbour’s four red roses swayed resplendently in the air like

beautiful dawn kisses. Mist on the hillsides was dissipating

like a sweet lover’s breath at the moment of parting. Day

suddenly seemed so blessed and glorious that one could almost

forget the security threat in a confrontation between Government

and some would-be insurrectionists, who had threatened our

civility and safety once before. It was a moment juxtaposed

between sacred and profane. As he balanced on the cusp of an

inexplicable emotion, he though of his dear friend. When he

returned, his spouse was watering her beloved flowers to save

them from the scorching attentions of the Antillean eye in the sky.

. . .

Anson Gonzalez no empezó a escribir sus propios poemas hasta 1984, aunque había encabezado un movimiento literario en su nación nativa – Trinidad y Tobago. Fundó la revista pancaribeña New Voices (Nuevas Voces) durante los años 70, y lanzó el evento anual Poetry Day (Día de la Poesía) en octubre de 1979. Fue coadyutorio también en la creación de la Writers’ Union of Trinidad y Tobago (Unión de Escritores de Trinidad y Tobago).

. . .

Anson Gonzalez began writing poetry in 1984, though he had been involved in the arts – as founder and editor of The New Voices bi-annual journal during the 1970s. He was an important motivator and promoter of literary culture in the Caribbean – and in Trinidad & Tobago most especially. Poetry Day, observed every October, was an event launched by Mr. Gonzalez in 1979, and he also helped to form the Writers’ Union of Trinidad and Tobago. Survived by his wife Sylvia, T&T’s Poet Laureate died in 2015, in Cardiff, Wales, where his adult daughters have made their home.

. . . . .


Jennifer Rahim: poemas traducidos

Frantz Fanon (1925- 1961): escritor y revolucionario nacido en Martinica_autor de "Los condenados de la tierra" / French- Caribbean writer and revolutionary from Martinique_most famous for his book "The Wretched of the Earth"

Frantz Fanon (1925- 1961): escritor y revolucionario nacido en Martinica_autor de “Los condenados de la tierra” / French- Caribbean writer and revolutionary from Martinique_most famous for his book “The Wretched of the Earth”

Jennifer Rahim

(Trinidad y Tobago)

Versos para Fanon: 1

.

Insististe en que hablabas para tu era.

Bien, Fanon – ahora es.

Como albañiles ingenuos,

construimos sobre la arena de jeraquías falsas,

prejuicios de todo tipo y mezclados con argamasa;

erigimos paredes por dividirnos, no alojarnos

– desconocidos, el uno al otro.

Escucha – el mundo está ruidoso con

el infierno de su propia construcción:

naciones que clonan con la guerra la democracia;

religiones que sacrifican al dogma la fe;

y la inocencia asesinada sobre el altar

de pasiones hórridas.

¡El tiempo de carroña, compañero!

No hay gente aquí sino una comitiva triste de fantasmas

apiñandose juntos. Las puertas están atrancadas y

la gente permanece seca de la tormenta de

nuestro fracaso colosal:

no amaremos más completos que cualquier credo venerado o odiado.

Reza, santo imperfecto, que saltaremos la cancela

– por fin.

. . .

Versos para Fanon: 2

.

El mundo no es como habías deseado, compañero.

Quizás nunca habías anticipado su llegada,

pero trabajabas la esperanza a un lenguaje

grande como la metáfora. La esperanza es

la única fe que puede trasladar una visión

sobre las líneas fortalecidas que nos ciñen

en parcelas que son demasiadas pequeñas

para el universo que fluye, sin costura, por tu sangre.

No es como lo habías imaginado, el mundo.

Exististe demasiado temprano, y nosotros – demasiado tarde.

Entonces somos una humanidad que arrastra sus pies,

y estamos destinados a lamentar el reino casi posible.

No, no somos las estrellas que soñabas tocar

– unos puros resplandores liberados de

cualquier pasado que bloquea la visión –

niños dispuestos y ávidos

– por fin.

. . .

Nota a mí misma

.

Un padre también merece la norma de siete-por-setenta.

(Nota a mí misma: no es un poema.)

Ninguna cosa que yo he dicho sobre ti era cierto. Nada que dije

alguna vez visitó tu sufrimiento fruncido

– algo que solamente yo ideara. Mi padre, vivía

el veredicto de mi deseo que seas un héroe, durante esos días

cuando se caían los dioses; yo quería que seas un dios

viniendo para rescatarme. Ay no, los padres no deben ser escritos

a menos que les permitamos ser en carne y hueso

– necesitando clemencia.

Solo es ahora, cuando resplandece tu vida en su fin,

que empiezo a entenderte.

. . .

Jennifer Rahim

(Trinidad and Tobago)

Lines to Fanon I

.

You insisted you spoke for your time.

Well, it is now, Fanon. Like foolish masons,

we build on the sand of false hierarchies,

prejudices of all kinds mixed with mortar,

walls erected to divide, not house us all –

strangers to each other.

Listen, the earth is noisy with the hell

of its construction: nations clone democracy

with war, religions sacrifice faith to dogma,

innocence murdered on the altar

of horrid passions.

Carrion time, brother!

No people here, just a sad company of ghosts

huddled together, doors bolted, keeping dry

from the storm of our colossal failure

to love larger than any creed

we venerate or hate.

Pray, imperfect saint,

we finally leap the gate.

. . .

Lines to Fanon II

.

The world is not as you desired, brother.

Maybe you never expected its arrival,

but worked hope into a language large

as metaphor – the one faith that transports

vision across hardened lines that gird us

in plots much too small for the universe

coursing, seamless, through your blood.

The world is not as you imagined it.

You were too soon, and we too late.

So we are a drag-foot humanity, destined

to lament the kingdom almost possible.

No, we are not the stars you dreamed

to touch, pure radiances unfettered

by any past – barring vision –

like bright-eyed children, at last.

. . .

Note to Self

.

Fathers, too, deserve the seven times seventy rule. (Note to self: not

a poem.) Nothing I ever said of you was true. Nothing said visited

your pursed suffering I could only imagine. Father, you lived the

sentence of my wanting you to be a hero, in those days when gods fell.

I wanted you to be a god to my rescue. No, fathers should never be

written unless we allow them, first, to be flesh, needing forgiveness.

Only now, when your life glows at its end, I begin to see you.

. . .

Poeta, ensayista y escritora de cuentos, Jennifer Rahim es una profesora también de la Universidad del Caribe (UWI) en Saint Augustine, Trinidad y Tobago. Fue una galardonada del premio Casa de las Américas en 2010 con su poemario Approaching Sabbaths (Sabbates inminentes ). Los poemas arriba están incluidos en el volumen Ground Level (Al nivel del suelo): (Peepal Tree Press, 2014).

. . .

Trinidadian poet/essayist/short-story writer Jennifer Rahim is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. She was awarded a Casa de las Américas prize in 2010 for her collection Approaching Sabbaths. The above poems are from her 2014 Peepal Tree Press volume Ground Level.

. . . . .


Lorna Goodison: “Días del Bibliobús” (Bookmobile Days)

1912 title page for Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore_Gitanjali is the book described by Goodison in her poem Tagore on the Bookmobile.

Lorna Goodison (born 1947, Kingston, Jamaica)

Bookmobile Days

.

Reader 1

.

The one who was pressed

up against the door

clutching the last book borrowed;

book read by naked light bulb,

street lamp, bottle torch, or moonlight.

.

The child who’d cut ties

to blood lines and school friends

in order to make the acquaintance

of characters bound to become

trusted lifelong companions.

.

That one would brave blizzards,

extract swords from stones,

fly back to Guinea never ever

having eaten salt.

Fall in and out of doomed love,

forget tethered goats,

neglect to fetch water

in a tin that once brought kerosene

and so draw the ire of parents.

This is the one who would

climb aboard wide-eyed and greedy

for what was carried in the hold

of our brave new world caravel on wheels.

.

Reader II

.

She said: “I’d like a book of fairy tales, please.”

It was a weekday

but she was all Sunday clothes.

Pink frilly frock butterfly bows

white socks patent leather shoes.

She said her godmother had dressed her up

to come and visit the bookmobile.

. . .

Lorna Goodison (nace 1947, Kingston, Jamaica)

Días del Bibliobús

.

Lectora 1

.

Ella que presionó sobre la puerta,

agarrando el último libro prestado

un libro leído por

una bombilla pelona / una farola / una linterna en botella /

la luz de luna.

.

La criatura que rompió la relación con

su linaje y camaradas de escuela

para conocer a

personajes destinados a volverse

compañeros leales de toda la vida.

.

Ella que desafiaba nevascas;

extraía espadas de las rocas;

volaba de vuelta de Guinea

jamás de los jamases

habiendo comido la sal.

Enamorarse de alguien / desencantarse del mismo

a causa del amor malhadado;

olvidar cuidar a las cabras atadas;

no cumplir con traer el agua en una lata

que contenía el queresén

y de esa manera enfurecer a los padres.

Ésta es ella que se montara a la ‘carabela-sobre-ruedas’,

la carabela de nuestro ‘mundo feliz’;

ésta es ella: ingenua y ávida por

lo que llevaban en la bodega del ‘barco’.

.

Lectora 2

.

Ella dijo:

Me gustaría un libro de cuentos de hadas – por favor.”

Durante un día de semana…pero

ella llevaba puesta su ropa de domingo:

un vestido de color rosa con volantes y lazos en forma de mariposa;

calcetines blancos con zapatos de charol.

La muchachita dijo que su madrina

había vestir elegante a ella – para venir a visitar el bibliobús.

. . .

Image at top: Cover of Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore. This book is the subject of a companion poem to “Bookmobile Days” called “Tagore on the Bookmobile”.

Lorna Goodison lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she teaches at the University of Michigan. She also divides her time between her native Jamaica and Toronto, Ontario, Canada – just “up the road” from Michigan. The poem featured here is from her most recent poetry collection, Supplying Salt and Light, published by McClelland & Stewart in 2013; Goodison did the watercolour painting on the cover. Her first book of poems, Tamarind Season, from 1980, also included illustrations by her own hand. In 2013 Goodison was awarded Jamaica’s Order of Distinction for “outstanding achievements in Literature and Poetry.”

. . .

Un otro poema de Lorna Goodison / Another poem by Lorna Goodison: “Mi Testamento” / “My Will”

https://zocalopoets.com/category/poets-poetas/lorna-goodison/

. . . . .


KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival, August 5th to 7th, in Toronto!

Kultura Festival_ImageSunflower with bees_Toronto Ontario Canada_August 2016

. . .

2016 marks the 11th year for Kultura, which emerged from the youth-led Kapisanan Phillippine Centre for Arts & Culture – a small yet ambitious initiative based out of a store-front on Augusta Avenue in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood.

The Kultura festival now celebrates the vibrant, contemporary creative expression of Filipino-Canadians. This is an important event for dialogue within the community, as well as for sharing a deeper understanding of Filipino culture and experience with the broader communities of Toronto – beyond the limiting clichés of “cultural costumes and food”. Kultura features multiple art disciplines, including culinary and fashion. Kultura aims to discuss the Filipino diaspora in Canada and to elevate Filipino-Canadian culture from the perception that it is flat and static to one that is multi-dimensional and active.

.

Kultura is the brainchild of the Kapisanan Centre, a charitable community organization with strong youth leadership. Kapisanan has created a safe space for Filipino-Canadian youth, both second generation and newcomers, to overcome multiple barriers that keep them from meaningful engagement in society. To explore identity, to foster pride and self-confidence – that’s Kapisanan!

. . .

Some contemporary Filipino-in-diaspora poetry…

Victor P. Gendrano (California)

Japanese Haiku

. . .

ospital silid hintayan

ang plastik na mga bulaklak

palaging bukad

.

waiting room

the plastic flowers

always in bloom

. . .

pinagbiling bahay

puno ng halakhak

ng maga bata

.

sold house

children’s laughter echoes

from its bare walls

.

(2005)

. . .

Japanese Tanka

. . .

chopping onions

enough excuse

to shed my tears

as I cook for myself

this New Year’s eve

.

di lang sibuyas

sanhi ng pagluha

kundi sa pangungulila

pagluluto sa sarili

ngayong bagong taon

. . .

scent of jasmine wafts

through her open door

this sultry evening

she calls him to say

don’t be late coming

.

the torn jacket

and worn-out cane

lie near a trash bin

his chuckle still echoes

from the empty bed

.

(2007)

. . .

Aloneness (a Korean Sijo)

.

the visiting son laments

his loss of their backyard tree

.

where as a teen he carved a heart

to express his very first love

.

his widower dad explains

twice there I tried to hang myself

. . .

Alheizmer Disease

.

as I brush mom’s golden hair

she keeps talking to unseen friends

.

she accepts me now as a friend

in the hospice where she lives

.

sometimes I wonder if she knows

I am her least-liked daughter

.

(2007)

. . .

Victor P. Gendrano is a retired librarian from the Los Angeles County Public Library. He completed his Bsc in the Phillippines and his Msc at Syracuse University in New York state. From 1987 to 1999 he edited Heritage Magazine, an English-language quarterly. His website, Haiku and Tanka Harvest, focuses on his poetry in a variety of structured forms and styles, as well as free verse in English and Tagalog. Mr. Gendrano is the author of Rustle of Bamboo Leaves: selected haiku and other poems, published in 2005.

. . .

H. Francisco V. Peñones, Jr.

Homage to Frida

(On the Centennial of her Birth)

.

Kahlo: kaluluwa: (n). Tagalog for soul ––

O Soul of my bleeding heart pigeon-

holed in tin retablos hung in antiseptic wards

unwind your bandaged flesh and let me in

your body its plains of crumbling rocks

and howling dust is no strange country

to me. Buko kanakong estranyo ‘di.

Back home, the land cracks and opens wide

throwing up the bodies dumped at night.

Its womb refusing now any stirring of seedling

despite so much marrows in its furrows.

O Nuestra Señora de Dolores y Tristezas*

wrap me in your leafy arms as you did

Diego Rivera or yourself in infants’ bodies

yet with your lusting faces in a kind of pietà,

in a loving moment caged in the canvas.

Arog ka kanakong banwaan, (like my country)

Natusok naman ako. (I am pierced too.)

Pero en sus autoretratos por ejemplo**,

.

I am not pricked by the thorns of the cactus

which thrusts up like a pen against the sky

and my brows are as high and thick and black

as your brushes and your gaze –– a doll’s,

set in place and silent in a corner yet forever.

. . .

*Our Lady of Sorrows and Sadness

**But in her self-portraits, for example

. . .

Self Portents from a Crystal Ball

.

Between the onyx equinox

and the Martian meridian

your Saturn son is on the ascendant

towards the power clique.

Rorschach stains

whirl nebulous as violet capes

worn in Salamanca:

Beware of men in ties,

they shake your hands while

coming out straight from the john.

Swirling lights tie up

the head and the tail, a circular

tale and mandala of survival and decency

you may well just be

heading for St. Francis Alley.

.

Acid rain dust leaks out

slimy green in brain drain canals:

invest in futures, better still

the dioroxine fuel yet to be found

and named.

.

Some silicone spilled semen

unearth Buddy Holly, a boozed

night out in Malate

and the apparition in the 7th Virgo

of one claiming paternity.

Raspy grains the pores of skin

up close your nose oooom

a hint of civet in heat:

go pick a lady in the primary

though you keep a red card

in your wallet for lemme see…

. . .

H. Francisco V. Peñones, Jr., has studied in the MFA Creative Writing program at San Jose State University, and is acknowledged as a pioneer in the renaissance of writing literature in the Bikol language of his native Phillippines. Peñones’ first poetry collection, entitled Ragang Rinaranga (Belovéd Land) was published in 2006.

. . .

Rhodora V. Peñaranda

Great Expectation

.

The light goes off in this town of rationed power.

Brief dark shadows up and down the road.

.

A village dog picks up her scent and begins to bark.

Out of the sky, a flood of darkness with invisible beasts

.

bounding over the street and wedging into the heart.

She comes home, and out of the steaming dark,

.

her little brother, the boy like a cat waiting all night

purring for a rubbing on his back, leaps to his feet,

.

begging her to stay. She flicks her fan to spread the coolness,

and he gropes for the arts of her comfort, the tucking

.

into the soft bed, rocking him to the wind’s mothering.

But she is hurrying. She does not feel the present under her feet.

.

She does not know the future. She does not have the past.

She passes through the rooms and gathers only tedium’s grief,

.

the unwashed growth of things crowded with details, details

accelerating with the pressure of wars around her, so she leaves

.

in the veiled cold of the room,

the soft gestures curled inside the glass of a burning lamp.

Leaves him instead the words that order him

.

to face it like a man leaving him alone on a night like this

where only the dead walk, to conjure the man he has yet to be.

.

(2007)

. . .

Rhodora V. Peñaranda lives in New York state. Two of her published volumes of poetry include Touchstone (2007) and Unmasking Medusa (2008).

. . .

Edwin A. Lozada

Kansion

(in the Ilocano language)

.

Agtaytayab

Purao

Nga kalapati

Ti rimwar

Diay nabanglo

Nga sabong

Purao ken kiaw

Kiay nakaturog

Nga kalachuchi

.

Agtaytayab

Purao

Nga kalapati

Diay puso na

Agliplipias

Ti kansion

Kolor ti rosas

Ken gumamela

Nga awan pay

Ti nakangeg

.

Papanam ngay

Billit

Nga naulimek,

Sika

Ti makapagtalna

Diay langit?

Sinno ngay

Ti makangeg

Dagita regalo

Nga rumrumwar

Diay pusum?

.

Nakadanon

Idiay karayan

Ket inungwanna

Idi kuan nagpukawen

.

Didiay karayan

Agkankanta

Napunpunno ti sampaga

Rosal, rosas

Ken gumamela

. . .

Canción

.

volando va

la paloma

blanca

que salió

de la flor

perfumada

alba y ámbar

de la plumeria

adormecida

.

va volando

la paloma

blanca

su corazón desbordado

derrama

canciones

color de rosas

e hibisco

que todavía no

se han oído

.

¿adónde vas

ave callada

y mansa

que apaciguas

el cielo?

¿quién sino tú

oye

los obsequios

brotando

de tu corazón?

.

a la faz del río

llegó y se acercó

dejándole un beso

y entonces desapareció

.

el río

cantando

colmado de sampaguitas

gardenias, rosas

e hibiscos

. . .

Song

.

in the midst

of flight

a white dove

emerged

from the perfumed

amber and ivory

blossom

of the plumeria

lost in slumber

.

watch it fly

as white as the clouds

the dove

with a heart

overflowing

with song

colour of roses

and hibiscus

none yet

has heard

.

where do you go

bird

so quiet and meek

you who can

appease

the heavens?

who but you

can hear

the gifts

coming forth

from your heart?

.

towards the river

the dove drew near

kissed its water and then

disappeared

.

the river

singing and flowing

with gardenias

jazmine, roses

and hibiscus

. . .

Edwin A. Lozada is a poet and translator. He also edited the volume Field of Mirrors: an Anthology of Philippine American Writers, published in 2008 by Philippine American Writers & Artists, Inc.

. . .

Patrick Rosal / Aracelis Girmay

Lamento del Gallo

.

querida gallina caída

cuéntame la historia de una semilla

que contenía

todo el universo en una espina

que picó el ojo

de la noche

me das sed y seda

.

y no te vas

y no te vas

.

y si me enseñas

la ventana de tu boca

te sequiré

por las multitudes de mentirosos

que dicen

no iré

no iré

.

ay gallina

dime algo de tu vestida tan amable

y como robaste la voz de otra ave

.

animal tú eres

animal tú eres

tan bravona

.

se cree que las estrellas fueron hechas

por una sola clave

.

y me haces buscar

por las ruinas del corazón

robándolas de los dientes de esa tierra

.

y aún escucho las susurraciones p’arriba

y no te vas en seguida

.

y no te vas

no te vas

.

querida gallina caída

sueñas sin ignorar el frío

ni el agua ni cuchillo

los lobos aúllan los versos más secretos

no hay nombre que niegue ese sonido completo

.

rompe los cristales con tus lamentos

las torres de arena y de cemento

.

manda a los gobernadores que bajen

entre las alas y tu penúltimo viento

te prometen una bala o una canción

te las prometen

te prometen

.

y no te vas

. . .

Rooster’s Lament

by Aracelis Girmay and Patrick Rosal

(English translation)

.

beloved fallen hen

tell me the story of a seed

that held

the whole universe in a thorn

that pricked the eye

of evening

.

you give me thirst and silk

.

and you don’t go

and you don’t go

.

and if you show me

the window of your mouth

i’ll follow you

through the multitudes of liars

that say

i won’t go

i won’t go

.

oh hen

tell me something about your delightful costume

and how you robbed the voice of another bird

.

animal you are

animal you are

so brave

.

it’s believed that the stars were made

by a single key

.

and you make me search

through the ruins of the heart

robbing them of the teeth of that land

.

and still i listen to the whispers above

and you don’t go

.

lovely fallen hen

you dream without ignoring the cold

nor the water nor the knife

.

the wolves howl their most secret verses

there is no name that denies that complete sound

.

smash the mirrors with your laments

the towers of sand and of cement

order the governors to descend

among the wings and your penultimate wind

they promise you a bullet or a song

they promise them to you

they promise

.

and you don’t go

. . .

Patrick Rosal has authored My American Kundiman, and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive, which won the Global Filipino Literary Award and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award – respectively.

.

Aracelis Girmay is of Eritrean, Puerto Rican, and African-American descent. A writer of poetry, essays, and fiction, she earned an MFA from New York University.

. . .

Eileen R. Tabios

Die We Do

.

Die

we do

as much as

.

we live. Then

we write: right

.

what

we lived

when we write.

. . .

Morir Hacemos

.

Morir,

lo hacemos

tanto como vivir.

.

Entonces,

nosotros escribimos:

corregimos aquello que

.

vivimos

cuando, así,

nosotros lo escribimos.

. . .

Tabios’ poem originally appeared in The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes (Marsh Hawk Press, 2007).

Translation into Spanish / Traducción del inglés al español:

Rebeka Lembo

. . .

Jon Pineda

Matamis

.

One summer in Pensacola,

I held an orange this way,

flesh hiding beneath

the texture of the rind,

then slipped my thumbs

into its core & folded it

open, like a book.

.

When I held out the halves,

the juice seemed to trace

the veins in my arms

as it dripped down to my elbows

& darkened spots of sand.

We were sitting on the beach then,

the sun, spheres of light within each piece.

I remember thinking, in Tagalog,

the word matamis is sweet in English,

though I did not say it for fear

of mispronouncing the language.

.

Instead, I finished the fruit & offered

nothing except my silence, & my father,

who pried apart another piece, breaking

the globe in two, offered me half.

Meaning everything.

. . .

Birthmark

.

After they make love, he slides down so his face rests near her waist.

The light by the bed casts its nets that turn into shadows. They both

fall asleep. When he wakes, he finds a small patch of birthmarks on

her thigh, runs his finger over each island, a spec of light brown

bundled with others to form an archipelago on her skin. For him, whose

father is from the Philippines, it is the place he has never been, filled

with hillsides of rice & fish, different dialects, a family he wants to

touch, though something about it all is untouchable, like love,

balanced between desire & longing, the way he reaches for her now, his

hand pressed near this place that seems so foreign, so much a part of

him that for a moment, he cannot help it, he feels whole.

. . .

The two poems above are from Jon Pineda’s 2004 collection Birthmark, winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry.

. . .

Bienvenido C. Gonzalez

I Quit

.

BEAT A BAD

……………..HABIT

BY REDUCING

………………A BIT

DAILY EVERY

…………………BIT

TILL YOU RID OF

…………………..IT

. . .

PERSEVERANCE

.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T

SUCEEDE

SUCCEDE

SUCCEED

TRY, TRY AGAIN.

. . .

Bienvenido C. Gonzalez is a wordsmith!

He creates neo-words and logos as a hobby.

The poems above are from his PARA-PRAISES

tributes to old and original sayings.

. . . . .

All the poems selected here are contained in the 2008 anthology Field of Mirrors, edited by Edwin A. Lozada, © Philippine American Writers & Artists, Inc.

. . . . .


John Ashbery: “Paradojas y Oxímorones”: un poema del inglés

Sunflower and Bee_July 25th 2016_Toronto

John Ashbery (born 1927, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.)

Paradoxes and Oxymorons

.

This poem is concerned with language on a very plain level.

Look at it talking to you. You look out a window

Or pretend to fidget. You have it but you don’t have it.

You miss it, it misses you. You miss each other.

.

The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and cannot.

What’s a plain level? It is that and other things,

Bringing a system of them into play. Play?

Well, actually, yes, but I consider play to be

.

A deeper outside thing, a dreamed role-pattern,

As in the division of grace these long August days

Without proof. Open-ended. And before you know

It gets lost in the steam and chatter of typewriters.

.

It has been played once more. I think you exist only

To tease me into doing it, on your level, and then you aren’t there

Or have adopted a different attitude. And the poem

Has set me softly down beside you. The poem is you.

.

(1981)

.

. . .

John Ashbery (nace 1927, Rochester, Nueva York, EE.UU.)

Paradojas y Oxímorones

.

Este poema trata del lenguaje – sobre un nivel muy puro.

Mira como este poema está platicando contigo.

Contemplas, desde una ventana,

O finges andar como pepita en comal.

Lo posees pues no lo tienes; lo faltas y ello te extraña;

Ustedes se extrañan – uno al otro.

.

Este poema está melancólico porque desea ser tuyo pero no puede.

¿Qué es, un nivel puro? Es eso – y otras cosas –

Poniendo en práctica – entrando en juego – un sistema de todo.

¿Entrando en juego? En hecho, sí.

Pero considero que el juego existir como

.

Una cosa más profunda y externa, como un patrón soñado de papeles,

Como hay en la división de la Gracia

Durante los días de la canícula en agosto

– sin prueba. Con final abierto. Y, antes de darte cuenta,

Ello se pierde en el vapor y en la cháchara de las máquinas de escribir.

.

Ha estado tocado, una vez más. Creo que vivas para

Provocarme hacerlo, en tu nivel; pues no estás allí

O has asumido una actitud distinta. Y el poema

Ha dejarme – tiernamente – al lado de ti.

El poema

Es tú.

. . . . .


Elizabeth Bishop: “Un Arte” / “One Art”

Elizabeth Bishop_the poet as painter_Interior with Extension Cord_Watercolour gouache ink

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979, Massachusetts, U.S.A.)

One Art

.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

.

Then practise losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

.

––Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

.

(1976)

.

. . .

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979, Massachusetts, EE.UU.)

Un Arte

.

El arte de la pérdida no es algo complejo para dominar;

tantas cosas parecen metidas con la intención

estar perdidas que su pérdida no es un desastre.

.

Pierde algo cada día – acepta el revuelo de

llaves de puerta, perdidas, y una hora torpemente gastada.

El arte de la pérdida no es difícil a dirigir.

.

Pues entrena perder más allá – y rápidamente:

lugares y nombres, y donde estaba habías querido viajar.

Ningunos de estos jalarán el desastre.

.

Perdí el reloj de mi madre. Y mira como fue

mi última, o penúltima, de tres casas bien amadas.

El talento de soltando amarras es posible perfeccionar.

.

Dejé correr dos ciudades – algunas encantadores.

Y, aun más vasto, unos reinos que poseía – dos ríos, y un continente.

Les extraño, pero no fue un desastre.

.

Aun mi pérdida de ti – con tu voz chistosa o un gesto que me encanta –

no habré mentido. Es obvio que

el arte de la pérdida no es algo duro para aprender,

aunque se parezca como (¡Escríbelo!)

el desastre.

.

(1976)

.

. . . . .