For Keeps · by Joy Harjo

Sun makes the day new.
Tiny green plants emerge from earth.
Birds are singing the sky into place.
There is nowhere else I want to be but here.
I lean into the rhythm of your heart to see where it will
take us.
We gallop into a warm, southern wind.
I link my legs to yours and we ride together,
Toward the ancient encampment of our relatives.

We hear the singing of our ancestors in their multitude of languages and sounds, sounds connected to their lands.

Where have you been? they ask.
And what has taken you so long?

That night after eating, singing, and dancing
We lay together under the stars.
We know ourselves to be a part of mystery.
It is unspeakable.
It is everlasting.
It is for keeps.


Voice of the Earth - or Protoplasm · by Adrian Arias

Cuando entro en el río
mi pequeño cuerpo tiembla
sé que estoy vivo
y no pueden los dioses arrebatarme esa sensación.

La historia de la creación aún no me considera un ser
porque soy una mezcla de sonidos de muchos lugares
una colección de aromas sin fruto
un arrebato de luces dispersas en el aire.

Pero ya sabemos como son los que escriben la historia
quieren catalogar los estornudos de los reyes
cuando no pueden explicar el origen de las raíces
y no consideran la migración de las mariposas un acto histórico.

A veces parezco un insecto a veces un enorme mamífero
me gusta mucho ser el aleteo de una ave y el silencio de una roca
comer del cielo su luz
y del tiempo la humedad.

Mi pequeño cuerpo no tiene límites
porque se transforma a cada instante
y nunca se sabe cuando empiezo
o cuando termino.

A veces soy hierba creciendo en la vera del camino
a veces soy montaña
soy pez y a la vez el agua
soy el clima y el silencio.

Mi cuerpo es abismo y tierra firme
soy el significado soy lo desconocido
fluyo entre tus ojos tus dedos tus labios
cuando tienes sed bebes de mi.

Cuando lloras por la belleza de un árbol soy tus lágrimas
y al mismo tiempo soy las venas del árbol
soy tu sangre y la hormiga
que no te has dado cuenta pasea por tu mejilla.

Soy la luz que te hace parpadear
el zumbido de cada color
la semilla invisible
que germina en todas partes.

Soy la pregunta sin respuesta
soy el sueño que no recuerdas
y al despertar
soy el aroma a tierra que sientes a tu alrededor

Y a lo lejos el murmullo del río
es mi pequeño cuerpo que tiembla cuando entra en él
porque estoy vivo
igual que tu.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

English translation by Adrian Arias

When I enter the river
my small body trembles
I know I'm alive
and the gods can't snatch that feeling from me.

The history of creation doesn't yet consider me a being
because I am a mixture of sounds from many places
a collection of fruitless aromas
an outburst of lights scattered in the air.

But we already know how those who write history are
they want to catalog the sneezes of the kings
when they can't explain the origin of the roots
and don't consider the migration of butterflies a historical act.

Sometimes I look like an insect sometimes a huge mammal
I really like being the flutter of a bird and the silence of a rock
eat from the sky its light
and of time the humidity.

My small body has no limits
because it is transformed at every moment
and you never know when I start
or when I finish.

Sometimes I am grass growing on the side of the road
sometimes I am a mountain
I am a fish and at the same time the water
I am the weather and the silence.

My body is abyss and firm ground
I am the meaning I am the unknown
I flow between your eyes your fingers your lips
when you are thirsty you drink from me.

When you cry for the beauty of a tree, I am your tears
and at the same time I am the veins of the tree
I am your blood and the ant
that you have not noticed, walk down your cheek.

I am the light that makes you blink
the buzz of each color
the invisible seed
that germinates everywhere.

I am the unanswered question
I am the dream you don't remember
and upon awakening
I am the smell of earth that you feel around you.

And in the distance the murmur of the river
It is my small body that trembles when it enters it
because I'm alive
Like you.


The Harp · by Pablo Neruda

Only the music moved. Milks, feathers, skins,
names and smoke–nothing else was, neither night
nor the day, as the planets emerged from the music’s
eclipse to a rustle of music like drapery.
All at once hot and cold curdled into a drop,
the great press of the universe took form
in the lava, a mane in the ashes, dawn slithering down,
hardness transfigured itself into hardness
under the drizzle that once was a part of the sky,
as the diamond conceived its symmetrical frieze in the snow.
Sound grew primordial then,
a world’s lonely music
congealing and plunging and trying its changes: the meteor’s
shape, shapes of the harp and the zither, the silence, the stone.

Chile’s great seaboard, frozen into its winter,
washes the weeks in the rain.
Listen: that solitude turning to music again
as all seems to widen and fail past my knowing–
air, time, and the rains, a thing in the waves and the feathers.
And oblivion wakes for the harp. 

English translator unknown

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

El original en español
El Arpa

Iba sola la música. No había plume, pelo
leche, humo, nombres, no era noche ni día,
sola entre los planetas naciendo del eclipse
la música temblaba como una vestidura.
De pronto el fuego, el frío cuajaron una gota
y plasmó el universo su extenso escaparate,
lava, ceniza hirsute, resbaladiza aurora,
todo fue trasmigrando de dureza en dureza,
y bajo la humedad recién celeste
estableció el diamante su helada simetría.
Entonces el sonido primordial,
la solitaria música del mundo
se congeló y cayó convertida en estrella,
en arpa, en cítara, en silencio, en piedra.

Por la costa de Chile, con frio, y en inviemo,
cuando cae la lluvia lavando las semanas,
oíd: la soledad vuelve a ser música,
y no sé, me parece, que el aire, que la lluvia,
que el tiempo, algo con ola y alas,
pasa, crece. Y el arpa despierta del olvido.


To a Wrinkled Boulder · by Pablo Neruda

A wrinkled stone
polished
by sea, by air,
by time.
A giant rock, shaken
by a cyclone, by a volcano,
by a night
of seafoam and black guitars.

Only a
royal
stone
in the middle
of time and earth,
triumph
of immovability, of harshness,
majestic like the stars
facing
all
that stirs,
alone
profound, dense and pure.

Oh solitary statue
rising
from the sand!
Oh naked bulk
where ash-colored
lizards climb,
that drink
a goblet
of dew
in the dawn,
stone
against seafoam,
against changing sky,
against spring.

Infinite stone erected by
the pure hands of solitude
in the middle of the sand!

Translated by
Maria Jacketti, Dennis Maloney, and Clark Zlotchew

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

A Una Peña Arrugada en español

Una piedra arrugada
y alisada
por el mar, por el aire,
por el tiempo.
Una piedra gigante, estremecida
por un ciclón, por un volcán,
por una
noche de espumás y guitarras negras.

Sólo una
piedra
soberana
en medio
del tiempo y de la tierra,
victoria
de la inmovilidad, de la dureza,
seria como los astros
frente
a todo
lo que se mueve,
sola,
profunda, espesa y pure.

Oh estatua solitaria
levantada
en la arena!
Oh volumen desnudo
donde trepan
lagartos cenicientos
que beben
una copa
de rocio
en el alba,
piedra
contra la espuma,
contra el cambiante cielo,
contra la primavera.

Piedra infinita levantada por
las manos puras de la soledad
en medio de la arena!


Voices of Earth · by Archibald Lampman

We have not heard the music of the spheres,
The song of star to star, but there are sounds
More deep than human joy and human tears,
That Nature uses in her common rounds;
The fall of streams, the cry of winds that strain
The oak, the roaring of the sea's surge,
Might of thunder breaking afar off, or rain
That falls by minutes in the summer night.
These are the voices of earth's secret soul,
Uttering the mystery from which she came.
To him who hears them grief beyond control,
Or joy inscrutable without a name,
Wakes in his heart thoughts bedded there, impearled,
Before the birth and making of the world.


SONNETT XVI · by Pablo Neruda

I love the handful of the earth you are.
Because of its meadows, vast as a planet,
I have no other star. You are my replica
of the multiplying universe.

Your wide eyes are the only light I know
from extinguished constellations;
your skin throbs like the streak
of a meteor through rain.

Your hips were that much more of the moon for me;
your deep mouth and its delights, that much sun;
your heart, fiery with its long red rays,

was that much ardent light, like honey in the shade.
So I pass across your burning form, kissing
you—compact and planetary, my dove, my globe.


WE Two, How Long We Were Fool'd · by Uncle Walt Whitman

WE two, how long we were fool'd,
Now transmuted, we swiftly escape as Nature escapes,
We are Nature, long have we been absent, but now we return,
We become plants, trunks, foliage, roots, bark,
We are bedded in the ground, we are rocks,
We are oaks, we grow in the openings side by side,
We browse, we are two among the wild herds spontaneous as
any,
We are two fishes swimming in the sea together,
We are what locust blossoms are, we drop scent around lanes
mornings and evenings,
We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals,
We are two predatory hawks, we soar above and look down,
We are two resplendent suns, we it is who balance ourselves orbic
and stellar, we are as two comets,
We prowl fang'd and four-footed in the woods, we spring on
prey,
We are two clouds forenoons and afternoons driving overhead,
We are seas mingling, we are two of those cheerful waves rolling
over each other and interwetting each other,
We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious,
impervious,
We are snow, rain, cold, darkness, we are each product and
influence of the globe,
We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again, we
two,
We have voided all but freedom and all but our own joy.


YES! THIS DAMN UNIVERSE! · by Michael McClure

YES! THIS DAMN UNIVERSE!
An ever-flowing, eternal, closed up,
open system—a dial of vibratory flows
from end to front—a technicolor timeless object—
STARS—STARS—NEBULAE—AND SWIRLS
of growing energy that fantasizes self.
A LIVING STATUE OF A SONG!
(Amoeba daydreams Metazoa.
Helium imagines Milky Way!
Or start from either end.)
ALIVE AS THE SEA!
When it all begins


My Hands · by Octavio Paz

My hands
Open the curtains of your being
Clothe you in a further nudity
Uncover the bodies of your body
My hands
Invent another body for your body


The Real Secret of the Forgotten Stars · by Lady Dosis

Stardust and sunlight
Bright essence of luminous
fleshy miracles

You forget

I see
you
forgetting

You blazing glorious rays
of sleek skin and satin
Looking to me from soft eyes
of earth-minds

You will shine
as bright as the brightest star
illuminating skies
from interstellar cloud to
galactic stars
nourishing creation
nourishing the universe
Mirroring light
from ancient waters to plasmatic seas.

Return to your radiant element,
my dear Earth wanderers,
the pale blue dot awaits
in the belly of the great mystery

Forget not,
You are
Ancient Cosmic Stardust
Remember yourself
And we will remember you