Thursday, October 18, 2012


You say you want to go to Nepal,
or perhaps Peru—
you're always running around in your head
somewhere far away from wherever you are,
always inhabiting where you are not.

And I follow you,
with my eyes if not my feet, 
and listen to the names of distant places
whispered with yearning,
as if you’re trying eternally
to find home again,
or have given up altogether.

And I stay put,
forever hoping 
that if I remain still long enough
I may grow roots again
wherever I am.

Written at an Olfactory Poetry Workshop, inspired by L'Artisan Parfumeur's Dzongkha.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

"I remember you as you were"

I remember as you were last autumn.
You were the grey beret and the calm heart.
In your eyes the lights of the twilight fought.
And the leaves fell in the water of your soul.

Clinging to my arms like a climbing vine,
the leaves recognized your voice, slow and calm.
Bonfire of stupor in which my thirst burned.
Sweet blue hyacinth twisted about my soul.

I feel your eyes travel and distant is the autumn:
grey beret, a bird's voice and a house's heart
to where my deepest longings flew
and my kisses fell joyously like glowing embers.

Sky from a ship. Field from the hills.
Your memory is of light, of smoke, of the calm pool!
Beyond your eyes burned the twilights.
Dry autumn leaves twisted in your soul.

"Te recuerdo como eras"

Te recuerdo como eras en el último otoño.
Eras la boina gris y el corazón en calma.
En tus ojos peleaban las llamas del crepúsculo.
Y las hojas caían en el agua de tu alma.

Apegada a mis brazos como una enredadera,
las hojas recoían tu voz lenta y en calma.
Hoguera de estupor en que mi sed ardía.
Dulce jacinto azul torcido sobre mi alma.

Siento viajar tus ojos y es distante el otoño:
boina gris, voz de páajaro y corazón de casa
hacia donde emigraban mis profundos anhelos
y caían mis besos alegres como brasas.

Cielo desde un navio. Campo desde los cerros.
Tu recuerdo es de luz, de humo, de estanque en calma!
Más allá de tus ojos ardían los crepúsculos.
Hojas secas de otoño giraban en tu alma.

-- by Pablo Neruda
English translation by Charles W. Johnson