La Rosa Separada

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

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I

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.

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The Next Last Time

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
Even harder.

Irony

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.
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World

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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.

 

 

 

 

Anticipation by Amy Lowell

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.

Juxtaposed

Happy national poetry day 2019! This year the theme is change, or so I am told. So in the poetic spirit here is a poem I wrote a few months ago about things changing. It is totally bonkers, I was going totally mad when I wrote it, but things change and get easier and despite its total weirdness, I really quite love it.

Things I learned today:

That cupboards with different doors on 
Are still the same but
Look like different cupboards
Just less unhinged.

That looking back can help you look forward and 
That I haven’t changed much,
Sadly.

I realised 
You are the first person that I have loved so completely
But maybe you won’t be the last… 

I have learned that at one point in my life, 
Someone else really thought they loved me and that love was and can and should be exciting
But somewhere along the line I settled for safe.

Fuck that. 

I was reminded that 
You are not the first person to quote me poetry
Or, 
Even, the first person the write me poetry,
Although, yours is, or was, more meaningful and beautiful than any that came before.

I found out that my virginity cost me 110 euros.
This made me laugh –  
I must have been worth the price
At least once,
Although I’d pay
The price for you a thousand times over.

I see 
I have become fitter, thinner, more, or less, assured with age.
I have become braver, yet 
I still don’t have the courage to say 
To your face,
Exactly what I want.

I still try to hide when I cry.

I realise I can throw things away
That mean whole lifetimes 
Because they are broken and taking up room and I also know that
I can fill that void with something else
That wants to belong.

I need to belong.

Did you know,
Tiny splinters hurt more than you realise and
So does the cold?

But, 
I am reminded, that despite this,
I am kind,
That I do not always start the fight
But will probably try to finish it…
This made me laugh.

Apparently, 
And I take this with a pinch of salt
For I feel misunderstood,

I am a bad influence.

I cannot believe it.

I am juxtaposed,
I suppose?
Who knows…

Moonlit Apples by John Drinkwater

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.

Self-Portrait at 38 BY JENNIFER TONGE

There are lots of ways in which I can relate to the speaker of this poem who thinks that Courbet ‘might capture’ her. I’d like to think he’d paint me as ‘L’origine du Monde’:A scandalous gift for someone important to keep hidden behind a green curtain.

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An unused portion of ‘L’origine du Monde’ by Gustav Courbet

Hair still Titian,
but Botticelli’s grip has loosened—

not now Rubenesque,
and probably never;

Ingres approaches,
but Courbet might capture me.

Could I be surreal?
It seems almost likely—

bells in my ears
and fortresses under;

cones have been set on my eyes.
My spring is gone

and summer’s upon me,
rude in its ripening.

I’m espaliered, strung wide and tied,
pinioned, and thus can I fly.