To See Him Again
Never, never again?
Not on nights filled with quivering stars,
or during dawn's maiden brightness
or afternoons of sacrifice?
Or at the edge of a pale path
that encircles the farmlands,
or upon the rim of a trembling fountain,
whitened by a shimmering moon?
Or beneath the forest's
luxuriant, raveled tresses
where, calling his name,
I was overtaken by the night?
Not in the grotto that returns
the echo of my cry?
Oh no. To see him again --
it would not matter where --
in heaven's deadwater
or inside the boiling vortex,
under serene moons or in bloodless fright!
To be with him...
every springtime and winter,
united in one anguished knot
around his bloody neck!
The Shining Host
In vain you try
To smother my song:
A million children
In chorus sing it
Beneath the sun!
In vain you try
To break my verse
The children sing it
I am not alone
The night, it is deserted
from the mountains to the sea.
But I, the one who rocks you,
I am not alone!
The sky, it is deserted
for the moon falls to the sea.
But I, the one who holds you,
I am not alone !
The world, it is deserted.
All flesh is sad you see.
But I, the one who hugs you,
I am not alone!
dame la mano y me amarás.
Como una sola flor seremos,
como una flor, y nada más...
al mismo paso bailarás.
Como una espiga ondularemos,
como una espiga, y nada más.
pero tu nombre olvidarás,
porque seremos una danza
en la colina y nada más...
give me your hand and dance with me.
A single flower, and nothing more,
a single flower is all we'll be.
singing the tune together with me,
grass in the wind, and nothing more,
grass in the wind is all we'll be.
but losing our names we'll both go free,
a dance on the hills, and nothing more,
a dance on the hills is all we'll be.
Mis libros / My Books
Books, silent books of the shelves,
alive in your silence, burning in your stillness;
books, those who console us, are the velvet of the soul,
and although being so sad they give us joy!
On a busy day, my hands surrendered;
but, upon the arrival of night they look for them, lovingly,
in the space on the wall from where as faces
those who lived look at me reassuringly.
Bible, my noble Bible, wonderful outlook,
where my eyes long rested,
you have in your Psalms the most ardent lava
and in your river of fire I light up my heart!
You sustained my people with strong wine
and upheld them amongst men,
and my fortitude comes just by saying your name,
because I come from you, I have broken my Fate.
After you, only the great Florentine,
with his wide shriek pierced through my bones.
Towards his voice, as a reed, I still lean;
Through his fantastic inferno like redness, I go through.
And to refresh in dew covered moss
the lips, burned again in the Dantesque like flames
I search fort he Little Flowers of Assisi, always fresh
and on that sweet velvet my chest remained!
me ha arrojado la mar en su ola cae salmuera.
La tierra a la que vine no tiene primavera:
tiene su noche larga que cual madre me esconde.
y de alarido, y quiebra, como un cristal, mi grito.
Y en la llanura blanca, de horizonte infinito,
miro morir inmensos ocasos dolorosos.
si más lejos que ella sólo fueron los muertos?
¡Tan sólo ellos contemplan un mar callado y yerto
crecer entre sus brazos y los brazos queridos!
vienen de tierras donde no están los que son míos;
sus hombres de ojos claros no conocen mis ríos
y traen frutos pálidos, sin la luz de mis huertos.
al mirarlos pasar, me desciende, vencida:
hablan extrañas lenguas y no la conmovida
lengua que en tierras de oro mi vieja madre canta.
miro crecer la niebla como el agonizante,
y por no enloquecer no cuento los instantes,
porque la noche larga ahora tan sólo empieza.
que vine para ver los paisajes mortales.
La nieve es el semblante que asoma a mis cristales;
¡siempre será su albura bajando de los cielos!
de Dios sobre mí; siempre su azahar sobre mi casa;
siempre, como el destino que ni mengua ni pasa,
descenderá a cubrirme, terrible y extasiado.
the line where the sea dashed its wave at me.
The land I came to doesn’t have spring:
it has its long night, in which I find no mother.
and howling; breaks, like a mirror, my shout.
And in the white prairies, the infinite horizon,
I gaze at the dying of immense sorrowful sunsets.
so far that only the dead have gone further?
The dead, so alone, study an ocean hushed and grow stiff,
frozen the arms of the dead, in the arms of those they love.
come from lands where my loved ones never have been;
their bright-eyed men don’t know my rivers
and bring forth pale fruits without the light of my orchards.
upon seeing them pass, falls, conquered:
they speak strange tongues and are not moved
by the words that my ancient mother sings in lands of gold.
I watch the mist form and grow like death throes,
and so as not to go mad I don’t count the seconds,
because the long night now so lonely begins.
I that came to see the mortal lands.
The snow is the semblance that appears in my mirror;
its whiteness will ever be, ever under the heavens!
of God upon me; ever her bridal wreath laid over my house;
ever, like a fate that never fades nor comes to pass,
she will descend to cover me, terrible and ecstatic.
Mapuches / Araucaos
We’re passing, passing
through the old Araucanía
that we neither see nor mention.
Without knowing it, we’re passing
through a kingdom of the forgotten,
who we deride as banal mestizos
or fantasies, although our faces
continue to declare them present.
Something’s approaching, coming near
like a fast word—
not a fleeing stag
but an alarmed Indian woman.
Carrying a little Indian boy on her back,
she keeps flying. Panic!
—Tell me, why does she run away,
shrouding her face?
Call her, bring her back, run,
for she looks like my mum.
—She won’t come back, little one,
she passed like a ghost.
Running after her, no one will catch up.
She fled because she saw
strangers, white people.
Little one, listen: they were
owners of forest and mountain,
of all the eye can see
and all the eye can’t reach,
of herbs, of fruits,
of Araucanian air and light,
until the arrival of those owners
of horses and rifles.
—Don’t talk about it now, no,
shout, whistle, bring her back.
—She’s already lost, my son,
swallowed up in the Forest-Mother.
Why are you crying? You’ve seen her,
though not a trace of her remains.
—Say what they’re called, say it.
—They’ve even lost their name.
They’re called Mapuches
and what they don’t want
is to see us, to hear us talk.
They were dispossessed
but they are the Old Country,
our first birth-cry
and our first word.
They’re a long, ancient chorus
that sings or laughs no more.
Name them yourself, say it with me:
Keep going: they fell.
Say more: tomorrow they will return.
Leave it there, one day you’ll see her
returned and transfigured,
coming down from Quechua country
to Mapuche country,
to look and to remember
and to embrace in silence.
They could never meet
to look into the other’s eyes,
to love each other and to trace
the shapes of their souls
on their faces.