An Easter Island poem for Easter time by a poet whose timeless poems are fascinating for their beauty and their power.
La Rosa Separada – a translation of poem 1
Easter Island and Pablo Neruda
Today is that day, the day that carried
a desperate light that since has died.
Don’t let the squatters know:
let’s keep it all between us,
day, between your bell
and my secret.
Today is dead winter in the forgotten land
that comes to visit me, with a cross on the map
and a volcano in the snow, to return to me,
to return again the water
fallen on the roof of my childhood.
Today when the sun began with its shafts
to tell the story, so clear, so old,
the slanting rain fell like a sword,
the rain my hard heart welcomes.
You, my love, still asleep in August,
my queen, my woman, my vastness, my geography
kiss of mud, the carbon-coated zither,
you, vestment of my persistent song,
today you are reborn again and with the sky’s
black water confuse me and compel me:
I must renew my bones in your kingdom,
I must still uncloud my earthly duties.
The next last time
I spoke to you
Was the next last time
I looked into your eyes
And for the next last time
Got lost in them again.
That next last time
Should have been longer
So that for the next last time
When you kissed me,
When you kissed me…
It could have turned into the next last time
You felt my hands searching
For the next last time
To Touch you,
For a next last time to
Take you in my mouth and
Make that next last time
I went for a walk this evening, trying to clear my head but life seemed to have other ideas because I found these poems, or maybe ramblings, folded up and forgotten in the pocket of the old coat I was wearing. Who knows how long they have been there or even why they ended up there and I can’t even remember when I wrote them but I know who they are about. Whilst they are not particularly good, I like the rawness and the truthfulness of them written up like this. It suits my mood.
There’s this solitary house,
Forever yours and mine
A dream, a life, a dinner burned,
A bottle of good wine.
It’s a world of games you lose; I win
We play into the night
With open hearts and mouths and bodies
We let each other in.
And in the morning sunshine
There’s tea with sugar side by side,
We smile and tidy house but
There’s sadness that I hide.
Soon you’ll leave
I’ll watch you as you go
Unsure of all the many things
I thought I used to know.
And I’ll stay, I’ll wait, as the day unwinds
Praying that you will be back,
Down that long and difficult track.
Dreams are funny things – subconscious realisations of what you want, explorations of how you are feeling, things to chase, fear…
Like the fear that what might have been will only ever be the sweetest dream.
With those thoughts in mind, here are some poems that I could have written this morning even though I wrote them a long time ago now…
I have been temperate always,
But I am like to be very drunk
With your coming.
There have been times
I feared to walk down the street
Lest I should reel with the wine of you,
And jerk against my neighbours
As they go by.
I am parched now, and my tongue is horrible in my mouth,
But my brain is noisy
With the clash and gurgle of filling wine-cups.
Did you walk down to the river today,
To sit on the bench and watch the swans swimming,
The lazy herons, the muddy dogs playing.
Yet not hear anything, a world working in mute
Because my words weren’t being spoken?
Did you see the brightness of the sun?
Have time for a cup of coffee?
Yet not feel the warmth of either,
Because my warm hand wasn’t in yours and
It wasn’t my warm gesture that brought the coffee?
Ilya Repin: Tempation of Christ
Created: 19th or early 20th century.
You gave me up.
By Wednesday I became ash,
A cold, grey snow of
Melting into nothing on the wind.
You took back your lent heart
And for forty days and forty nights
Retreated into the desert, deserting me,
For silent penance and prayer.
Pray for me
Your daily devotional.
You are my chosen one.
I am the worshipper at your temple
Or else I must be the devil
Who would, all things give to you,
If thou would only fall down and worship me.
The madness of love and what it can do to you…
Love Sonnet XI
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue