Thursday, September 27, 2007

goodness gracious!

by Miguel Hernández

(In Orihuela, his town and mine, like lightning
death took Ramo Sijé, whom I so loved)

I wish I was the gardener whose tears
water the earth you fill and fertilise,
my closest friend, so suddenly.

With my useless grief nourishing the rains,
the snails, and the body’s organs,
I shall feed your heart

to the wasting poppies.
Grief bunches up in my ribs
until just breathing is painful.

A hard punch, a frozen fist,
an invisible, homicidal axe-blow,
a brutal shove has knocked you down.

Nothing gapes wider than my wound
I cry over this disaster, over everything,
and feel your death more than my life.

I walk over the stubble of the dead,
and without warmth or consolation from anyone
I leave my heart behind, and mind my business.

Death flew off with you too soon,
dawn dawned too soon,
you were put into earth too soon.

I won’t forgive lovestruck death,
I won’t forgive this indifferent life,
I won’t forgive the earth, or anything.

In my hands a torrent of rocks
is brewing, lightning, vicious axes,
thirsting and starved for catastrophe.

I want to carve up the eath with my teeth,
I want to break up the earth chunk by chunk
in dry fiery mouthfuls.

I want to mine the earth till I find you,
and can kiss your noble skull,
ungag and revive you.

You’ll come back to my orchard, and my fig tree:
high up in the blossoms your soul
will flutter its wings, gathering

the wax and honey of angelic hives.
You’ll come back to the ploughs’ lullaby
of lovestruck farmhands.

You’ll bring light to my darkened face,
and your blood will have to pulse back and forth
between your bride and the bees.

My greedy lovesick voice
calls your heart, now crumpled velvet,
to a field of frothy almond sprays.

I call you to come to the flying souls
of the milky blossoms because
we have so many things to talk about,
my friend, my very best friend.

You were like the young fig tree
by Miguel Hernández

You were like the young
fig tree by the cliffs.
And when I passed by
you filled the sierra with sound.

Like the young fig tree,
resplendent and blind.

You are like the fig tree.
The old fig tree.
I pass, and silence
and dry leaves greet me.

You are like the fig tree
that lightning struck old.

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