ballad

Standard

Ballad
Sonia Sanchez

	      (after the spanish)


forgive me if i laugh 
you are so sure of love 
you are so young 
and i too old to learn of love.

the rain exploding 
in the air is love 
the grass excreting her 
green wax is love 
and stones remembering 
past steps is love, 
but you. you are too young 
for love 
and i too old.

once. what does it matter 
when or who, i knew 
of love. 
i fixed my body 
under his and went 
to sleep in love 
all trace of me 
was wiped away

forgive me if i smile 
young heiress of a naked dream 
you are so young 
and i too old to learn of love.




Photo by Ochir-Erdene Oyunmedeg on Unsplash

absence

Standard

Absence
Claribel Alegría

Hello
I said looking at your portrait
and the greeting was stunned
between my lips.
Again the pang,
knowing that it is useless;
the scorched weather
of your absence.

Translation

Ausencia

Hola
dije mirando tu retrato
y se pasmó el saludo
entre mis labios.
Otra vez la punzada,
el saber que es inútil;
el calcinado clima
de tu ausencia.

Photo by Rúben Marques on Unsplash

lightly

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To Go Lightly
Ángela Hernández Núñez

In innocence, eternity is possible.

But I have loved in haste,
with the attentiveness of objects that fly away.
I find myself saying, close the doors.
I find myself saying, love you ought to leave.
I find myself touching lines in the stone.

I think about the women who waited,
not for Ulysses, but for ordinary men.
Those who laid siege to cities,
beyond the great width
of their own hearts.

I have loved after and during the storm.
I carry a burden of light:
it turns the air to ashes.

Translation

Andar ligero

Screen Shot 2020-06-21 at 10.33.13

Photo by DDP on Unsplash

here

Standard

Here
Octavio Paz

My footsteps in this street
echo in another street
where I hear my footsteps
passing in this street
where

Only the mist is real.

Original

Aquí

Mis pasos en esta calle
Resuenan
En otra calle
Donde
Oigo mis passos
Pasar en esta calle
Donde

Sólo es real la niebla

Photo by Goran Vučićević on Unsplash

all you shining stars

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All You Shining Stars
Christian Wiman

Three kinds of hair in the brush one love
has left on the kitchen counter.
Four kinds of cries when it occurs as one
to blow off school and go to the mountains.
And later, over the river, when the upturned duck
never turns over, five kinds of silence.

Always our elsewheres are also here,
like tributaries so intuitive they seem
almost incidentally literal, tiny trickles
in wildernesses too immense to enter,
the cold clefts and the drastic drops,
cliffs of unthinkable ice.

Three kinds of sleep in the hum home
down the dark valley back to New Haven.
Four kinds of dreams behind the headlights,
the world springing into being ten feet at a time.
Five kinds of time when one love wakes up
and wonders where we are, and one wonder
wakes up another, and another, and another.

Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash

lines written

Standard

Lines Written In the Days of Growing Darkness
Mary Oliver

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

Photo by yukari harada on Unsplash

everlasting self

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The Everlasting Self
Tracy K. Smith

Comes in from a downpour
Shaking water in every direction —
A collaborative condition:
Gathered, shed, spread, then
Forgotten, reabsorbed. Like love
From a lifetime ago, and mud
A dog has tracked across the floor.

Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash