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.
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?
Tracks in early morning dew
Your four, to my two.
We run, you in front, no care,
Me behind. Just there.
You don’t need to look back to see
Where I am. You know me,
Hear me when I call you back
Know the things I often lack,
A touch, a voice, someone to be with
Nothing to take, only things to give.
What better love is there than this
Glossy black, requited bliss?
Sometimes you need a bit of help with the words…particularly when it’s hard to put just how you feel into words! So thank you EBB. I can only apologise for the butchery of this beautiful poem.
How do I love you? I couldn’t count the ways.
There is no depth or breadth or height
To my love for you when out of sight,
Only being. Only grace.
I try, and fail, to love you to the level of your everyday’s
Most quiet need, from sun rise to sun spent.
I love you, not freely but, with abandonment,
Not purely, but wickedly, as I wait for your praise.
I love you with the passionate grief,
Of my childhood’s broken faith,
The more than love, I seemed to lose like belief
With my lost saints – I love you,
Not only with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my strife–
But in every silent space and, if you choose,
I shall but love you forever, beyond death, beyond life
I see the red carpet, polished floorboards,
The sash windows with shutters varnished open forever,
I see the stone porch laced with wisteria,
The hat stand,
The mosaic tiles.
I see the gallery,
The front stairs that rise gracefully up
Below the solid handrail.
I see the roof,
The front lawn,
The woods where we walked on Sundays.
I can hear the exact way the glass rattles in the door as it shuts,
The way the gong rings for dinner,
The clock that ticks and chimes, ticks and chimes from the shadows.
I can hear your whistle moving from room to room but
I can’t see your face.
This scene is lifeless,
No one lives here anymore.