Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blind Tides — Inspired by Pablo Neruda

Swallowed by indigo night,
small sails whipped and torn as ocean swells 
in wild movements, demanding only stuttered circles 
and jagged angles instead of granting us blessings of true north, 
where you wait, counting undiminished moments, 
pale and weary from dawn's incessant weeping.

Invisible are curséd stars we would navigate by — 
this sextant, merely a worthless invention held in indignation, 
taunted by an unforgiving grasp of torrential voices
calling to us, secret whispers from beyond the veil.

You there, far from searching eyes, bent by distant winds, 
an ancient archipelago battered by violent seas,
your scars borne proudly as pale ribs heave 
yet another breath in murmured prayer — 

your quiet endurance is insufferable, 
unbearable in its grace, an unwilling sainthood 
none of us deserve.

Even dreams of death are unending 
as storms of sorrow brew and rise in the east. 


Author notes:

Inspired by the following excerpts by Pablo Neruda:

"singing has the color of damp violets"  

— quoted from "Nothing But Death" by Pablo Neruda, translated by Robert Bly

"Ay, Love is a journey through waters and stars,
through suffocating air, sharp tempests of grain"

— quoted from "Carnal Apple, Woman Filled, Burning Moon" by Pablo Neruda

"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."

— last stanza from "Still Another Day: I" by Pablo Neruda, translated by William O'Daly