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.
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.
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.
Another little treasure…
No matter why, nor whence, nor when she came,
There was her place. No matter what men said,
No matter what she was; living or dead,
Faithful or not, he loved her all the same.
The story was as old as human shame,
But ever since that lonely night she fled,
With books to blind him, he had only read
The story of the ashes and the flame.
There she was always coming pretty soon
To fool him back, with penitent scared eyes
That had in them the laughter of the moon
For baffled lovers, and to make him think —
Before she gave him time enough to wink —
Her kisses were the keys to Paradise.
Not just a treasury but a very precious little treasure too. Published in 1947, the poems may no longer be quite so modern but they are still certainly beautiful. Here is one I particularly liked …. ‘deep is the silence.’
| Moonlit Apples
At the top of the house the apples are laid in rows,
And the skylight lets the moonlight in, and those
Apples are deep-sea apples of green. There goes
A cloud on the moon in the autumn night.
A mouse in the wainscot scratches, and scratches, and then
There is no sound at the top of the house of men
Or mice; and the cloud is blown, and the moon again
Dapples the apples with deep-sea light.
They are lying in rows there, under the gloomy beams;
On the sagging floor; they gather the silver streams
Out of the moon, those moonlit apples of dreams,
And quiet is the steep stair under.
In the corridors under there is nothing but sleep.
And stiller than ever on orchard boughs they keep
Tryst with the moon, and deep is the silence, deep
On moon-washed apples of wonder.
I love you like the promise
That only tomorrow can bring
When today has become lost,
Where yesterday means nothing.
It was a year ago today and I don’t think I can remember any day where I have woken up with such excitement to see someone. As days go, it was pretty perfect. There was you, me, a bit of Shakespeare and whole lot of night…
If I could take back all the misery I have caused for one more night like this I would because when I was with you, you only made me happy.
Are You Still There?