Poems by Luis Eduardo Rendón (Colombia) ~ Poet and Program Coordinator of the Medellin International Poetry Festival ~ Spanish / English

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Luis Eduardo Rendón was born in Roque, Antioquia, Colombia, in June 1972. He has published the following poetry books: Harp at the Mercy of Invisible Hands, 1996; The Speed of Stones is Blue, 1997; Universal Gong Night, 1997; After the Spectral She-Wolf, 1998; Mercurio Square, 2000; Book of Presages, 2011; The Oldest and Purest Game Never Ends, 2014. The flame is sweet in its place is his last book (Unpublished yet).

He has belonged since his early years to the organization of the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, to the Prometeo Art and Poetry Corporation, and to the Editorial Board of Prometeo Magazine. He is the program coordinator of the Medellin International Poetry Festival.

For Medellin International Poetry Festival :

https://www.festivaldepoesiademedellin.org/es/Festival/

For Revista Prometeo:

https://www.festivaldepoesiademedellin.org/es/Revista/ultimas_ediciones/


~ INFANCIA – CHILDHOOD ~

From Luis Eduardo Rendón’s Poetry Book,

EL JUEGO MÁS ANTIGUO Y PURO NO TERMINA


English translation by G. Leogena

En el árbol genealógico

de la luz, la mirada

es la niña recién nacida


SOL EMPLUMADO

Al huir, derramó la noche

sus gemas de rocío,

y entonces surgió el colibrí


La piedra

esculpida por el agua

recuerda su infancia de fuego


Para volver

a la infancia

sólo conviértete

en la Tierra

con todo tu ser


El viento

es el padre

de los secretos,

los lleva

hasta las bocas


La lluvia,

mediúmnica,

rebosa de mensajes


El rayo

es el juego

de un dios

que no pudo

ser olvidado


En la infancia cabalgamos

relámpagos y aún perdura

ese resplandor


Noche, trébol

de las mil y una hojas


Pensamiento

jardín de relámpagos


El nado transparente

de las aves,

el vuelo transparente

de los peces


La eternidad

visita tu jardín,

como un colibrí

In the genealogical

tree of light, the gaze

is the newborn girl


FEATHERED SUN

In its escape, night spilled

its gems of dew, and so

burst forth the hummingbird


The stone

sculpted by water

remembers its childhood of fire


To return

to infancy

just become

the Earth

with all your being


The wind

is the father

of secrets,

he takes them

to mouths


The rain,

like a medium,

overflows with messages


Lightning

is the game

of a god

who could not

be forgotten


In childhood we rode

lightning and that brightness

still remains


Night, clover

of the thousand and one leaves


Thought

garden of lightning


The transparent swimming

of birds,

the transparent flying

of fishes


Eternity

visits your garden,

like a hummingbird


Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Poems by Milica Milosavljević (Serbia) ~ Award-winning Poet and Literary Reviewer ~ Serbian / English

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Milica Milosavljević was born in 1991 in Čačak. Her poems were published in the magazine for poetic research and activity “(sic!)”, “Književni Magazin”, “Beogradski Književni Časopis”, “Sent”, “Libela”, “Ars”, in the online poetry magazine “Enklava”, as well as the literary and cultural web portal “Strane”. In 2014, she won the “Milutin Bojić” library award which enabled her to publish a poetry book titled “Dark Intimacies” (Tamne intimnosti). In the same year, she was the winner of the festival for young poets “Days of Poetry” in Zaječar, which included her book “In the Zone of Temperate Continental Fears” (U zoni umereno–kontinentalnih strahova) in their edition. In 2019, she won second place at the Ratković Poetry Evenings for young poets. She is a student at the Department for Serbian Literature and Language with Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. As well as poetry, she writes prose and literary reviews. 

Years Dedicated To Illusions 

For long I believed that I was here 

to bring joy to others  

to freshen their lives with poetry, 

although no one felt the need for it, 

let alone its possible meanings 

all they wanted was to take part in this body and 

grasp its lustful reality 

by observing others 

leaving, their heart would, for a moment, 

pound harder 

if they would realize 

that from now on they will be 

my formal culprits for everything  

soon, their heart starts to beat 

in its usual rhythm 

gradually it starts to forget 

and I, since then, up till now, 

devotedly ponder 

every moment of our encounters 

like a scientist in front of a microscope. 

A Girl’s Dream 

I don’t want to be put on the horizon of hope 

like on a breathing machine 

I want to swim in the direction opposite to waiting 

one can become a slave even in brief 

safety relief encounters 

I see you a few years from now lying on a beach 

wearing a bikini and drinking a shake, he tells me 

forget writing 

you must live fuller, fishier 

you cannot simply become a fish, a fish-poet 

at the bottom of this low-calorie and no-yeast world 

you mustn’t show off your curves so as to surrender to others 

the cruelty you have intended for yourself 

don’t identify with the role of feeder of innocent horny 

pigeons 

they’ll fly just the same 

remember – it is your kind 

that is most prone to falling. 

Rebellion 

I grew up in a home 

where everything was poetry 

from lunch to airing the room 

from avoiding responsibility to awaiting a new sunrise 

there was no he-poet in the house 

there was she-poet 

but there were always poems 

when we grow up  

we will defend ourselves from these poems –  

my sister would say 

and my brother would say 

and I would say 

when we grow up 

there will be no poetry 

we will surround life from all sides 

and dance to the rhythm of uncertainty. 

(Translated in EnglishLucy Stevens) 

Poems by Mariela Cordero (Valencia,Venezuela) ~ Poet, Translator, Lawyer and Visual Artist ~ Spanish / English

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Mariela Cordero (Valencia, Venezuela, 1985) is a lawyer, poet, writer, translator and visual artist. 

Her poetry has been published in several international anthologies and she has received some distinctions, including, Third Prize of Poetry Alejandra Pizarnik, Argentina (2014) ; First Prize in the II Liberoamerican Poetry Contest Euler Granda, Ecuador (2015); Second Prize for Poetry, Concorso Letterario Internazionale Bilingüe Tracceperlameta Edizioni,Italy (2015); and First Place in International Poetry Contest AniversarioPoetasHispanos, Spain (2016). 

She is the author of the book of poems “ El cuerpo de la duda ” Ediciones Publicarte Caracas, Venezuela (2013). Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Czech, Serbian, Shona, Uzbek, Romanian, Macedonia, Hebrew, and many other languages. She currently coordinates the sections PoesíaVenezolana and PoetasdelMundo in the Revista Abierta de Poesía Poémame ( Spain ).  

Interruption of the Light 

When the lights went out 

Our hearts were inhabited by fateful fables 

the night-once beloved-was baptized 

by the sowing of panic 

We were close to one another 

And blood spread in the penumbra 

Like an alluring perfume. 

Many navigated by scent 

And desired to bathe in a convulsing red river 

When the lights returned,hours later 

We didnt recognize our faces 

Splashed with the bestial grins. 

Our land was filled with bodies, 

                                         mutilated, 

We listened to moans of pain, 

Saw our hands stained with blame 

And it was too late when we discovered 

That we,too,were fatally wounded. 

Translation by Aaron Devine 

Love the shadow 

Invasions of light are usually corrosive  

to what lives in the shadows. 

 It is easy to love the dark,  

the coldness with the smell of torrid vegetation.  

Peace and danger amalgamated  

in the mouth of the inviolable black horizon.  

Swim forever in an ocean woven of gloom,  

protected only by the irregular flapping 

 of birds dressed like the night.  

Without hurtful illuminations the meaning can be spilled, 

 you can embrace languid hopes  

and caress the symptoms of a rainy and exquisite love. 

 In the shadow we are all dark stars. 

A dream for the summer 

In your hand will dance an unexpected map, 

 invented to find  fountains and water accidents  

in the avenues of this city that is melting.  

The dawn will know how to hide its dew 

 when our thirst turns violent.  

 The night will lie hesitantly on the grass.  

Our only instinct will be to seek 

 under the skirts of the earth  

and kiss it until the center of its humidity. 

This season will blossom as a prelude to fire.  

Summer will be the liberation of the ardor 

 that always strikes us within. 

The unprecedented dance that will go out to heat the street and the bodies. 

The first. 

I am the first 

I’m at the beginning 

Of time 

In the middle of the gloom 

In the particle 

Of this sunset 

And to the edge 

Of the collapse. 

I am all 

And none. 

Public Body

I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body 

—broken— 

meekly unfurling 

over voracious ruins 

and breathing the smoke of burnt days. 

I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body 

without bloom 

that suffers 

stripped of respite 

the indelible tremors 

of the recently raped. 

I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body 

flush with bones 

                trained 

like knives 

that turn cruelly 

against whoever dares 

                maneuver 

a tentative caress 

across its devastated surface. 

This body 

does not recognize all that is not 

a bruise, 

an unclosable wound, 

or an abrupt act of depredation. 

I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a body 

—ravaged— 

that dances with massacre 

and, impregnated by the most wretched 

of the rabid pack,  

only knows to birth death. 

I don’t inhabit a country; I inhabit a public body 

so diminished 

that it’s hurt by my faint footsteps 

and tormented by the murmur of my hope. 

I curl into myself, 

into a tiny docile place 

lethargic 

from the irregular pulse 

of its fabled, bygone beauty 

as I devour 

each detail of its meager heat. 

I curl into myself 

and hope that morning 

astonishes us with proof 

that both 

this body I inhabit and I 

                —survive— 

the long night 

            of the pack. 

Translation by Aaron Devine 

RASA NYĀSA Featured Artist ~ Linda Ibbotson | Cork, Ireland ~

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Linda Ibbotson is a poet, artist and photographer from the UK, currently residing in Co. Cork, Ireland. Her poetry, artwork and photography has been published internationally including  The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Poethead, Levure Litteraire, California Quarterly, Itaca (featured Irish poet and translated into Romanian), časopis Harmonie (Czech  music magazine) Limelight ( Australian classical music and arts magazineBoyne Berries 27 and Live Encounters.  

A photograph was exhibited at RDS Dublin and an artwork print – Lismore Castle Gallery, Co. Waterford.  

She was invited to read at the Abroad Writers Conferences in Ireland. Her poetry has been read on radio and performed in France by Davog Rynne. 

She writes a poetry and arts blog ‘Contemplating the Muse.’  

https://wordpress.com/view/lindaibbotsonpoetandartist.wordpress.com

https://lindaibbotson.wordpress.com/

Like life, art to me is experimental and spontaneous. “

Whichever medium I work with I rarely have a preconceived idea of the final image. That to me is creative joy, albeit a little daunting! 

Art has the power to express silently. It is an emotive and at times a unifying experience, perceived uniquely by both the artist and observer.    

My preference is contemporary art and find it meditative. After working with acrylics I chose to work with an unusual mixed media. I submerged layers of tissue paper in water and acrylic paint, maneuvering playfully and intuitively, photographing with absorbing precision. In The Moon I also used a crystal which became illuminated by the sunlight as it played with natural elements of light and shadow, energizing the delicate and exciting images that emerged. The layers depict our vulnerability, sensitivity, strength and energy as in Wave.    

Botanical – This innovative, decorative artwork depicts these unprecedented times. It epitomizes our fragility and how swiftly we can become frozen. Stillness, silence, a gradual thaw forms the integral theme. The technique I use is to freeze flowers in a block of ice, including here, the beautiful white lilac Madame Lemoineand literally paint them with acrylic paint, photographing them simultaneously as they thaw, the oxygen bubbles add life, texture and interest. A print of this artwork was in an exhibition at Lismore Castle Gallery ‘Stories from Lismore and Beyond’ 31/07/20 to 11/10/20. 

Looking beyond the obvious. To feel rather than think is my intention along with the words of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington “You’re trying to intellectualise something desperately and you’re wasting your time. That’s not a way of understanding…” – Linda Ibbotson.

Poems by Alberto López Serrano (El Salvador) ~ Poet, Academic, Director of the International Poetry Festival ‘Amada Libertad’ and the Poetry Festival of San Salvador ~ Spanish / English

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Alberto López Serrano (El Salvador, 1983) is a teacher of English and mathematics. He is a Member of the Alkimia Cultural Foundation and coordinator of the project Wednesday of Poetry since January 2008. Alberto is the Manager of The Writer’s House — Salarrué Museum of the Ministry of Culture of El Salvador. He is the Director of the International Poetry Festival “Amada Libertad” and the Poetry Festival of San Salvador, apart from being a Member of THT.  He has participated in festivals, meetings and fairs throughout Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia.  He has published the poetry books: The ship is missing (2007), A hundred sonnets of Alberto (2009), And how impossible not to call your groin (2009), Mountain and other poems (2010), The horse tamer (2013) and Songs for my boys  (2014). 

VVLNERANT OMNES, VLTIMA NECAT 

Veinticuatro caballos corren sobre tu espalda. 

Algunos se desbocan, te rompen las costillas 

si aúlla la trompeta que puya sus caderas. 

¡Y creíste que el Pienso les calmaría el trote! 

Golpean sus ijares, duro, uno contra todos. 

Tu piel resiste apenas la bulla de los cascos. 

Algunos han piafado canciones suaves, lentas, 

y han mordido tus venas y el aire de tu cuello 

mientras sueña tu oído un azul sorprendido. 

Patean tus costillas de nuevo cada día. 

Veinticuatro caballos corren sobre tu espalda. 

¿Ninguno quedará después del arrebato! 

Uno tras otro, van desgranando tu espina. 

Uno tras otro, pesan y caes contra el piso. 

Uno tras otro, a diario regresan y te montan, 

se asoman a tus hombros y te escupen los ojos 

y drenan con sus lenguas los besos que no diste 

alguna noche verde. ¡Aquella noche verde! 

Los caballos dormían y la ciudad dormía… 

Pasan, pesan y pisan, te rompen las costillas 

si aúlla la trompeta que troncha sus caderas. 

Uno tras otro, irán cayendo sobre el lodo 

de besos y costillas. El último caballo, 

abajo, te dirá que subas, que estás listo.  

VVLNERANT OMNES, VLTIMA NECAT* 

Twenty-four horses run on your back. 

Some run wild, they break your ribs 

if the trumpet howls blowing their hips. 

And you thought that the feed would calm their jogging! 

They hit their flanks, hard, one against all. 

Your skin barely resists the noise of the hooves. 

Some have pawed soft, slow songs,  

and they have bitten your veins and the air on your neck  

while your ear dreams a surprised blue. 

They kick your ribs again every day.  

Twenty-four horses run on your back. 

Will none be left after the outburst?  

One after another, they are shelling your spine.   

One after another, they weigh and you fall against the floor.  

One after another, daily they come back and ride you,  

they peek at your shoulders and spit on your eyes  

and they drain with their tongues the kisses that you did not give  

some green night.  That green night!  

The horses slept and the city slept …  

They pass, weigh and step, they break your ribs  

if the trumpet howls cutting their hips.  

One after another, they will fall on the mud  

of kisses and ribs.  The last horse,  

Below, will tell you to ride him, that you are ready. 

*In Latin: They all hurt, the last one kills.  

******************************************************************

HELENA 

No es Helena quien te está esperando  

con dorados bucles en su alegre cara 

cuando subas alto en los muros derrotados. 

Verás la sombra de una idea, 

el fantasma de un perro desquiciado que te ronda. 

Te acercarás para sitiarlo 

y sus dientes de niebla habrán de traspasarte. 

No es Helena quien te espera. 

Debió quedarse en Pafos, Tiro o Menfis. 

Nunca estarás en Troya. 

Sus murallas siempre han de caer bajo el látigo ciego de tus días triunfales. 

No es Helena. 

Tampoco te amará morbosamente. No es Helena. 

Será la mordida de un recuerdo, 

la ficción de un encuentro que tú planeaste, 

una jauría de lobos sobre el tejado azul, 

en su boca negra verás a Casandra por fin muda en su advertencia loca, 

en su boca negra verás a Hécuba llorar amargamente por ti. 

No es ella. 

Un reflejo masticado, 

el eco débil de un grito contra el muro, 

el golpe sordo del caer los velos en el mármol, 

un lejano tambor que se congela, 

sombras que bailan cuando el aceite en la lámpara se está acabando. 

No. 

¿Y después de la caída? 

Hormigas devoran tu equipaje nuevo. 

Un brindis, 

y un perro sonríe como un dios dormido que no acepta libaciones ni jactancias. 

Cuando subas por las Puertas Esceas, 

cuando corras los velos para ver hacia abajo la llanura, 

cuando se queme la luz sobre tu cara 

y admires la sombra opaca de la idea que esperabas encontrar después del triunfo, 

sabrás entonces que no es Helena quien te está esperando. 

HELEN 

 It is not Helen who is waiting for you 

 with golden loops on her cheery face 

 when you climb high on the defeated walls. 

 You will see the shadow of an idea, 

 the ghost of a deranged dog that haunts you. 

 You will approach to besiege it 

 and its mist teeth will pierce you. 

 Helen is not waiting for you. 

 She must have stayed in Paphos, Tyre or Memphis. 

 You will never be in Troy. 

 Its walls must always fall under the blind whip of your triumphant days. 

 It is not Helen.  

 Nor will she morbidly love you.  It is not Helen.  

 It will be the bite of a memory, 

 the fiction of an encounter that you planned yourself, 

 a pack of wolves on the blue roof, 

 in their black mouths you will see Cassandra finally silent in her crazy warning, 

 in their black mouths you will see Hecuba cry bitterly for you. 

 It’s not her. 

 A chewed reflex, 

 the faint echo of a scream against the wall, 

 the dull thud of falling veils on marble, 

 a distant drum that freezes, 

 shadows that dance when the oil in the lamp is running low. 

 No.  

 And after the fall? 

 Ants devour your new luggage. 

 A toast!  

 And the dog smiles like a sleeping god who does not accept libations or boasting. 

 When you go up through the Escaean Gates, 

 when you run the veils to see down the plain, 

 When the light burns on your face 

 and admire the opaque shadow of the idea that you expected to find after the victory, 

You will know then that it is not Helen who is waiting for you. 

************************************************************

DIONISOS NO 

No me abrases, Dionisos. 

No tienes en tu voz la trampa de los días. 

Quisiera reinventar el calendario. 

Morder los meses, masticar relojes de arena. 

Quizás conjeturar un nuevo siglo de abandonos. 

Mejor sería que la noche fuera para siempre. 

Su estrellado arrullo nos vuelve siempre primitivos. 

El ruido lácteo de las cosas nos reclama y nos arroba. 

No haces falta, Dionisos, para el salto. 

No tienes en tu voz la trampa de los días. 

Déjame vaciar las cráteras de las horas, 

perseguir de nuevo las agujas y los números, 

vaciar los ojos y correr a tientas, Dionisos, 

perseguir las manos que me van halando hacia el desierto, 

vaciar las manos de palabras resecas, 

perseguir onagros dorados por los desiertos arenosos. 

Mejor tomaré el vino del acto de la oscuridad  

o al menos cantaré el poder del perro. 

NOT DIONYSUS 

 Don’t hug me, Dionysus. 

 You don’t have in your voice the trap of days.  

 I would like to reinvent the calendar, 

 bite the months, chew hourglasses,  

 perhaps conjecture a new century of abandonments. 

 It would be better if the night lasted forever. 

 Its starry lullaby always makes us primitive. 

 The milky noise of things claims us and enraptures us. 

 You aren’t needed, Dionysus, for the jump. 

 You don’t have the trap of days in your voice. 

 Let me empty the craters of the hours, 

 chase the needles and the numbers again, 

 empty my eyes and grope, Dionysus, 

 chase the hands that are pulling me into the desert, 

 empty my hands of parched words, 

 chase golden onagers through sandy deserts. 

 I’d better drink the wine from the act of darkness 

 or at least I will sing the power of the dog.  

Poems by ELIZABETH TORRES (Colombia-Denmark) ~ Poet, Multimedia Artist, Editor of Red Door Magazine and Director of Red Door Art Gallery ~ Spanish / English

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ELIZABETH TORRES (Madam Neverstop) was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1987. She is a Poet, Multimedia Artist, Translator and Speaker. Her work intertwines poetry, visuals and soundscapes, language and performance, combining visions and concepts across various art forms and media. Elizabeth is a prolific author of over 20 poetry books published in various languages, most of them which she also illustrated, who has travelled to 30 countries throughout her career as part of cultural events and projects. Elizabeth now resides in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she directs Red Door Magazine and a gallery under the same name and the art & culture podcast Red Transmissions. She is also project coordinator for other initiatives in Europe and abroad. Learn more at  :

www.madamneverstop.com 

The State of Things 

Grief and hunger and insomnia 

hangovers and migraines and Sundays 

a box of secrets under the bed 

you’d rather not discover yet 

the smell of rotten bananas in the hallway 

loud screeching of rats in the streets 

or is it anxiety 

summer and winter 

bad news on TV 

a desire beginning to take form 

between the eyelids. 

You can tell by the stench 

that you’re not doing marvellous 

but you are doing, 

and that’s miles ahead 

from anyone’s predictions. 

From: The Ways of the Firefly 
Moloko Print, 2020 

************************************************************

Luciferin’ 

Tipsy, soft bodied beetle 

known to produce a cold light 

from the lower abdomen 

to attract mates or prey. 

The form of the insect varies 

from day to day. 

In many species, 

both male and female have the ability to fly 

but in some 

the females are flightless. 

Most fireflies are quite distasteful 

(to eat) 

and sometimes poisonous 

to vertebrate predators. 

Sit down, honey 

pour me another drink. 

It would be difficult 

to find a friendlier insect 

on a warm summer night 

such as this. 

From: The Ways of the Firefly 
Moloko Print, 2020 

************************************************************************

Gettin’ on with it 

Seagulls soar through the sky with ease 

they know what to look for 

and where to find it 

they let out a screech here and there 

it paints the songs of the ocean 

with hints of comedy 

then they disappear in the horizon 

what is left is the galloping sea waves 

arriving and arriving 

but never really here. 

People tend to have ideas, 

they have solutions for problems you haven’t presented 

urgencies and timelines to tighten the shoelaces 

all under the pretence of affection. 

People worry so much about things that don’t concern them 

always finding neat tricks for your salvation 

people know no better than to intervene 

it proves their god-likeness 

and ample hearts. 

I soar through the streets with ease 

I know what to look for and where to find it 

I let out a screech here and there 

It stains the days with hints of sorrow 

then I get lost into the night 

what is left is the sparkles of fire 

arriving and arriving 

but never really 

here. 

From: The Ways of the Firefly 
Moloko Print, 2020 

RASA NYĀSA Featured Artist ~ María Elena Escudero Ortíz | Anserma- Caldas, Colombia ~

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María Elena Escudero Ortíz was born in Anserma- Caldas (Colombia) in 1958. She studied plastic arts in the school of arts called Eladio Vélez of Itagüí Antioquia. 

She has participated in the following collective expositions: 

  • Circulo de Bellas Artes. (Madrid 1994). 
  • Museum of religious art (Jericó –Antioquia 1996) 
  • Sala Ligia Pimienta. (Itagüí City Council 1998-2001-2009-2011) 
  • Seventh fair for Colombian Services (Florida-USA 2019) 

She has been teaching in various private and public sector institutions for 25 years, organising workshops for children in deprived communities. She has been teaching children with disabilities for 3 years. 

Poems by Filonilo Catalina (Peru) ~ Poet and Writer ~ Spanish/ English

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Filonilo Catalina (Peru) is a Writer and poet residing in Arequipa. He has published several books of poetry, among which the following stand out: Memoirs of a cutthroat (Arequipa, Triángulo Editores, 2000), The song of the cockroach (Arequipa, Triángulo Editores, 2003), Janaí, or to dance under the rain (Arequipa, Grita Ediciones, 2004), Poetry (Arequipa, Ediciones Cascahuesos, 2006), The Monster of the hills (Lima, Ediciones Copé, 2007), Stigmas (Arequipa, Cascahuesos Editores, 2011), Bird architecture ( Arequipa, Cascahuesos editores), First universal accident (Rupestre editions), POP ESÏA (Rupestre editions) and Perpetual Movement (Rupestre editions). His work has been recognized and awarded in different literary competitions. 

UNA CABAÑA Y UN PERRO 

Antes tenía una cabaña y un perro 

luego tuve un cerro 

ahora tengo un río 

un río que canta mientras duermo 

y una mujer 

(Su cuerpo combina con el mío 

como sus largas piernas con el río) 

Al fin / tengo manos / de eso sí estoy seguro 

y no porque estén pegados a mis brazos 

digo que tengo manos porque escribo 

Estoy convencido 

que lo único que podré ahorrar es el calor y el cariño 

y me alegro por no tener que matar a nadie 

por no ganarme el pan con la pena ni el hambre 

Pienso en lo que hay tras una ventana 

en lo que esconde un suspiro y 

la alegría del agua, el agua 

en ese su modo de andar que tiene sin mirar atrás 

Es una locura la seriedad 

cuando tu sonrisa crea 

el más grande parque de diversiones en la ciudad 

En todo final está el secreto del principio. 

A CABIN AND A DOG 

I used to have a cabin and a dog 

then I had a hill 

now I have a river 

a river that sings while I sleep 

and a woman 

(Her body matches mine 

like her long legs with the river) 

At last / I have hands / I’m sure of that 

and not because they are attached to my arms 

I say I have hands because I write 

I’m convinced 

that the only thing I can save is warmth and affection 

and i’m glad i don’t have to kill nobody 

for not earning my bread with grief or hunger 

I think about what is behind a window 

in what hides a sigh and 

the joy of water, water 

in his gait that he has without looking back 

The seriousness is crazy 

when your smile creates 

the largest amusement park in the city 

In every ending is the secret of the beginning. 

*****************************************************************

TURQUESA 

Mi padre no fue pescador 

(eso / también a mí me lo reprocharán) 

y no me hice a la mar 

pero soy azul turquesa 

me puse en el vientre de mi madre 

y esperé nueve meses para olvidarte 

en el río del olvido me bañé dos veces y 

eso no fue previsto por el viejo Heráclito de Efeso 

Cuando nací 

mi grito (más que llanto) 

anunció la tercera estación de mi madre 

mi vocación de equilibrista lo aprendí 

a punta de decirle adiós a mi padre 

que a pesar de no ser marinero 

siempre se estaba yendo 

el oficio de ilusionista 

(que ejerzo ahora con maestría y esmero) 

fue vital mientras crecía 

y el primer y único público que tuve 

fue mi propio corazón 

ahora he aprendido a decir fuego 

sin quemarme la boca 

mi padre no fue pescador 

no me hice a la mar 

pero soy azul turquesa. 

TURQUOISE 

My father was not a fisherman 

(that / they will also reproach me) 

and I did not go to sea 

but I’m turquoise blue 

I put myself in my mother’s womb 

and I waited nine months to forget you 

in the river of oblivion I bathed twice and 

that was not foreseen by the old Heraclitus of Ephesus 

When I was born 

my cry (more than crying) 

announced my mother’s third season 

I learned my vocation as a tightrope walker 

about to say goodbye to my father 

that despite not being a sailor 

he was always leaving 

the office of illusionist 

(which I now exercise with skill and dedication) 

it was vital while growing up 

and the first and only audience that I had 

it was my own heart 

now i’ve learned to say fire 

without burning my mouth 

my father was not a fisherman 

I did not go to sea 

but I’m turquoise blue 

********************************************************************

DON TORIBIO 

Si en un universo paralelo Yuri Gagarin 

hubiera sido don Toribio /él 

también hubiera atravesado 

el corazón del cielo 

claro / como dice la canción: “en su escoba” 

eso en un universo paralelo 

donde sabemos que X pertenece a un U paralelo 

la matemática nos diría que el conjunto es igual a Ф 

pero si tu mirada 

(por un viento, un pensamiento, una molestia o cualquier simpleza) 

hubiera chocado con mi mirada 

entonces 

una variable cualquiera 

(recalco “en un Universo paralelo”) 

hubiera hecho que mi corazón 

(sí, ese órgano músculo y hueco) 

habitara, aunque sea, por un segundo tu cuerpo. 

DON TORIBIO 

If in a parallel universe Yuri Gagarin 

it would have been don Toribio / he 

would also have crossed 

the heart of heaven 

of course / as the song says: “on his broom” 

that in a parallel universe 

where we know that X belongs to a parallel U 

mathematics would tell us that the set is equal to Ф 

but if your look 

(by a wind, a thought, an annoyance or any simplicity) 

would have collided with my gaze 

so 

any variable 

(I emphasize “in a parallel Universe”) 

I would have made my heart 

(yes, that muscle and hollow organ) 

will inhabit, even for a second your body. 

*********************************************************

MALÚ 

Decir Malú es la forma correcta de cazar el primer 

pájaro que anida la primavera 

Y las mañanas 

son un pretexto que ha inventado el sol para 

asomarse a los ojos de Malú 

Sólo para que se den una idea les diré: 

que Malú es la imagen de una flor empuñando 

otra flor (o sea una flor al cuadrado) 

que Malú es una selva endulzando esta amarga 

ciudad con sus repentinas aves 

que Malú tiene la distancia de todas las aves y 

que todas las aves se apellidan Malú 

que Malú es el final de los ríos 

que Malú es la consecuencia de las lluvias 

que si Malú cierra los ojos se me apaga el mundo 

Malú: 

para explicar la estación que provocas en mi cuerpo 

diría que tienes la belleza de una escalera en un planeta lejano 

o simplemente desataría mi corazón en plena calle 

Malú: 

para invitarte a salir 

tendría que romper mi alcancía de flores 

MALU 

Saying Malú is the correct way to hunt the first 

spring nesting bird 

And the mornings 

They are a pretext that the sun has invented for 

look into Malú’s eyes 

Just to give you an idea I will tell you: 

that Malú is the image of a flower wielding 

another flower (i.e. a flower squared) 

that Malú is a jungle sweetening this bitter 

city with its sudden birds 

that Malú has the distance of all the birds and 

that all the birds are called Malú 

that Malú is the end of the rivers 

that Malú is the consequence of the rains 

that if Malú closes his eyes the world will turn off 

Malú: 

to explain the season that you cause in my body 

I would say you have the beauty of a staircase on a distant planet 

or would I just untie my heart in the middle of the street 

Malú: 

to ask you out 

I’d have to break my flower piggy bank 

Malú, malú 

Malú malú 

Malú: 

Si estuvieras esta tarde conmigo te diría 

flaca, este mundo que no alcanza lo podemos 

estirar en una cama 

y tú 

me mirarías plantada en este mundo como un árbol 

extraño pero cálido 

Malú: 

si estuvieras esta tarde conmigo 

no tendrías más remedio que abrazarme 

abrazarme hasta encontrarte. 

Malú, malú 

Malú malú 

Malú: 

If you were with me this afternoon I would tell you 

skinny, this world that does not reach we can 

stretch on a bed 

and you 

would you look at me planted in this world like a tree 

strange but warm 

Malú: 

if you were with me this afternoon 

you would have no choice but to hug me 

hug me until I find you. 

“Perhaps this is the authenticity that distinguishes me, going as far as possible from the comfort zone, trying to be ironic, because the highest form of brutality is irony. “~ Piergiorgio Viti

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Piergiorgio Viti lives in Italy, where he is a middle school teacher. His poems are translated into Spanish (Jorge Aulicino and Antonio Nazzaro for Centro Culturale Tina Modotti in Caracas), Greek (Stavros Girgenis) and Romanian (Geo Vasile and George Nina Elian). In 2011 he published the first poetic collection, “Accorgimenti”, while in 2015, for Italic publishing house, “Se le cose stanno così” was released.  He also wrote for the theater : “The fable of Virginio and Virgilio”, with famous singer Tosca as protagonist and “Ray’s dreams” (dedicated to Ray Charles) with an important actor as Carlo Di Maio. He went on stage in the theater as author and acting voice for “The voice of man”, a tribute to the songwriter Sergio Endrigo. He also translated “The Preludes” by Alphonse de Lamartine with a reading by Ugo Pagliai and Paola Gassmann for “Armonie della Sera” festival. In 2016 he was part, together with other poets and writers, of the photographic-editorial project “Memory Card” (Hacca Edizioni), created by the photographer Rita Vitali Rosati. In 2019, for Pequod publishing house, he published “Aperto per inventario”, the third poetic book, which is also presented at the Salone del Libro (Turin Book Fair), with the cover by Ilario Fioravanti.  In 2020, he was the only Italian to participate in the international project “Infusions poétiques” by the artist Cécile A. Holdban, with 173 other poets from around the world.  Viti’s texts are also present and reviewed in blogs, literary sites and magazines (La Lettura, Atelier, Poesia, Zeusi, Segn, Poetarum Silva, Italian Poetry Center, Rai news etc.). He collaborates with  Poesia and Atelier magazines and he is the creator of Versus, a festival of poetic comparisons held in Recanati, which was attended by poets of national and international fame. Viti’s fourth poetic book is about to be published. In this Interview with Eleftheria Thanoglu, which was originally published by Grafeion Poiisis and Culturebook.gr, Piergiorgio shares his views on poetry and art.

1) Suppose you are face to face with yourself when you were a child and you have to introduce it to others. What would you say? Has something changed since then? 

P : This is Piergiorgio, the child who loves poetry, comics, Sampdoria football team and parmigiana di melanzane (a typical Italian dish). He speaks little and is afraid of the washing machine’s spin. 

No, not much has changed since then. Maybe I have fewer passions and more fears… 

2) How do you listen your poetic voice when you read some verses of yours? 

P : It is difficult to read your own texts. When you look for the right diction, the correct pronunciation of the words, the emotion, the experience that led you to write, seem to vanish. Conversely, when you let yourself go to the memory, you are always afraid of mumbling the words as if you had a chewing gum in your mouth. 

3) Which poet has influenced you the most? 

P : Many poets have influenced me and very different from each other. I mention three: Amelia Rosselli, who opened the doors to the poetry of the twentieth century, Raffello Baldini, dialect poet, probably the one closest to my chords, and Raymond Carver, because it made me understand how, even in poetry, a narrative dimension is possible, a dimension that Italian poets often lack. 

4) Poetry is unfair to the poet because it cannot nourish him. How do you face life, professionally speaking? 

P : Well, I did several jobs: tour guide, waiter, museum guide, promoter in shopping centers. Then, after university, I became a professor of Italian, history and geo at middle school and this is currently my job for 15 years. I wouldn’t mind living only with poetry, but after all, without school, without real life, perhaps my poetry would sound empty, false. The constraint of having to get up early and being, in some way, productive, reminds me of the beauty and gratuitousness of art. 

5) How do the stories you write about visit you? 

P : Normally I write early in the morning. Writing is my breakfast. The morning is the ideal time for reckoning with my past, with my present, with who I am, with whom I have been, with whom I have disappointed, with whom I have loved, etc. 

6) Where does your art differ from other poets’ art? 

P : Alessandro Ceni, who is a great Italian poet I admire, spoke of authenticity about my texts. I think it’s the right word. I don’t like frills, crochet, lace, but I go by sword, by foil. Poetry is a punch in the stomach, not a caress, I tell myself while I’m writing, trying to avoid rhetoric. 

Perhaps this is the authenticity that distinguishes me, going as far as possible from the comfort zone, trying to be ironic, because the highest form of brutality is irony. 

7) The fields of poetry and literature become often objects of dispute. How do you experience it? 

P : I don’t care. I set myself the goal of collaborating with those I respect and with those who respect me, the rest does not concern me. 

8)  Poetry is characterized of duration and a long route. How have you planned your own poetic route? 

P : The only things I plan are bill payments, where I have to be quite precise. I don’t plan anything. “Nothing is sure, but write” Franco Fortini wrote in a beautiful text. The same goes for me. 

9) In the future, where do you think you would find the portrait that you have been making? 

P : I will find this portrait translated in some specialized poetry magazine in Cambodia or South Africa, because also in Cambodia and South Africa I will be known as the poet who cheers for Sampdoria and loves parmigiana di melanzane. 

10) How do you define the poem that is durable in time? 

P : The poetry that lasts over time is the poetry that, after reading it, makes you look at the world in a different way, with different eyes. It is poetry that changes your perception of reality and sometimes turns it upside down. 

*********************************************************************

Original Credits :

Selection of poets for interviews by Sotirios Pastakas, a prominent Greek ; Preparation of Interview Script by Eleftheria Thanoglu, poet and journalist; and publication by Anthonis D. Skiathas, editor of the column for Grafeion Poiisis and Culturebook.gr

SOTIRIOS PASTAKAS – BIOGRAPHY 

Sotirios Pastakas was born in 1954 in Larissa, wherever he returned in 2013. He studied medicine in Rome and Psychiatry at Athens (Mental State Psychiatric Clinic). For thirty years he worked as a Psychiatrist in Athens. He published seventeen collections of poetry, a theatrical monologue, a book of essays and translations of Italian poets. In 2001 he co-founded the World Poetry Academy in the city of Verona, and in September of the same year received a scholarship from Hawthornden Castle, International Retreat for writers, near Edinburgh.  

He read poems in various International Poetic Festival (Sarajevo 2006 and 2011, San Francisco 2007, Rome 2010, Izmir 2012, Cairo 2013, Istanbul 2014, etc.) is a member of the Greek Writers Society from 1994 and has set up various print and electronic journals. Beyond editor but is a radio producer and teacher experiential writing. He has been translated into fifteen languages and the “Trilogy” book (ed. Presence, 2012) was released in the US in 2015, entitled “Food Line”, translated by Jack Hirschman and Angelos Sakis. His first book of short stories “Dr Ψ and his patients,” released in 2015 by publishing Ink. In December 2015 he was awarded the Annibale Ruccello Award for Poetry in the Third Festival of Teatro Stabia.  

On February 5, 2016 was declared the winner in the competition Ritratti di Poesia.140 (poesia tweet), the Fondazione Roma. In the spring of 2016 released a personal anthology of poems (1986-2016) in Italian “corpo a corpo” from Multimedia publications “Casa della Poesia”, that win the NordSud International Prize for Poetry/Pescarabbruzzo foundation in 2016. Others books publishing in Italy: Jorge, i Quaderni del Bardo Edizioni (2018), Monte Egaleo (art book), designer Marco Vecchio, Multimedia (2019). 

ELEFTERIA THANOGLU – BIOGRAPHY 

Eleftheria Thanoglou lives in Thessaloniki. Shehas published two poetic books. Poems of her have been included in Greek and international anthologies. She has written theatrical monologues for musical performances. Her poems have been translated in four languages. 

ANTHONIS D. SKIATAS – BIOGRAPHY 

Antonis D. Skiathas was born in Athens in 1960 and nowadays he lives in Patra. He studied Chemical Engineering with postgraduate studies in Art Restoration. He is a poet, anthologist of poems and literary critic. Antonis Skiathas has published 12 poetic books. Poems of him have been included in Greek and international anthologies, and have been translated into 15 languages. His articles and essays on poetry and history have been published in journals and newspapers. He is a member of the Greek Society of Writers and the Poets’ Circle. He was co–director of the literary journal Ελί–τροχος during the ’90s. He founded and is the administrator of the cultural action “Grafeíon Poiíseos”, Poetry Awards “Jean Moreas”, https://www.culturebook.gr/  and he is president of Greek Library of London. 

In 2020 he was selected depart med of culture in the European Union EUNIC, in order to represent Greece as a poet in the UK. He teaches poetry in the postgraduate program “Creative Writing” ( University of Western Macedonia – Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), he also teached poetry in the postgraduate program “Creative Writing” ( University of Western Macedonia – Open University of Greece). 

Poems by Gili Haimovich (Israel) ~ Poet, Translator and Visual Artist ~ Hebrew/ English

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Gili Haimovich is a prizewinning bilingual poet and translator in Hebrew and English. She won the international Italian poetry competition Ossi di Seppia for best foreign poet (2019) and awarded as an outstanding artist by the Ministry of Culture, (Israel, 2015) among other prizes. Both of her last books in Hebrew Landing Lights, (2017) and Baby Girl, (2014) won grants from The Acum Association of Authors and her second book Reflected Like Joy, (2002) won The Pais Grant for Culture. She is the author of three poetry books in English: Promised Lands (2020), Sideways Roots (2017), and Living on a Blank Page (2008), six volumes of poetry in Hebrew and a multilingual book, Note (2019). 

Her poems are translated into 30 languages including full length books in French and Serbian. Her poetry is featured in anthologies, festivals and journals worldwide such as World Literature Today, Poetry International, International Poetry Review, LRC – The Literary Review of Canada, Asymptote, Tok – Writing the New Toronto, New Voices – Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust and 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium as well as in major journals and anthologies in Israel such as The Most Beautiful Poems in Hebrew – A Hundred Years of Israeli Poetry and A Naked Queen – An Anthology of Israeli Social Protest Poetry. Gili also a visual artist, writing focuses arts therapist and a teacher  of creative writing in Israel and abroad.  

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רַק חוּט הַקַּו עַל הַנְּיָר מַחְזִיק אוֹתִי 

אִם אֶשְׁמֹט אֶת הָעֵט אֶפֹּל אֶל מָה שֶׁכָּתוּב עָלָיו 

כִּמְעַט כְּמוֹ גִּבּוֹר בְּסֶרֶט פְּעֻלָּה 

הַנִּתְלֶה בְּיָדָיו הַחֲסוֹנוֹת עַל צוּק גָּבוֹהַּ מֵעַל תְּהוֹם. 

אֲנִי אֲבָל לֹא שְׁרִירִית. 

 מַתְחִילָה לְהַחְלִיק. 

****

Only the thread of the line holds me on the page. 

If I drop the pen I’ll fall on what’s written here. 

Almost like an action movie hero, 

who hangs with his mighty hands on a cliff over an abyss. 

I, though, am not brawny. 

Starting to slide 

(Translated into English by Dara Barnat and the author )

************************************************************

קווים (או: ערב שירה עברית-יידית-צרפתית) 

גַּם כְּשֶׁאַתְּ כְּבָר זוֹכָה לִשְׁמֹעַ נֵבֶל 

זֶה מֵהַצַּד הַמְּסֹרָג, 

כָּכָה לָמַדְתְּ לֶאֱהֹב, 

אֲפִלּוּ אֶת הַצֶּבַע הַיָּרֹק, 

דֶּרֶךְ עַמּוּדֵי הַגְּשָׁרִים עַל נְהַר הַסֵּין. 

לִהְיוֹת כָּכָה, פְּשׁוּטָה 

גַּם בִּזְרוֹעוֹת, 

מַחְבֶּרֶת 

שׁוּרָה אַחַת 

****

Lines (or: Hebrew-Yiddish-French Poetry Reading) 

Even when you get to listen to a harp 

it’s on the grated side. 

This is how you learned to love 

even the color green, 

through the bridges’ columns on the Seine River. 

To be simply stretched like that, 

arms too, bridged from one side to the other, 

like one line 

in a notebook, 

although a ruled one. 

***************************************************************

חומוס ושמפניה 

אָהַבְתִּי כְּמִי שֶׁנֶחְנֶקֶת.  

נֶאֱהַבְתִּי כְּמוֹ הָיְתָה לִי זְכוּת. 

נִשֵּׂאנוּ בְּשָׂפָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ שֶׁלָּנוּ, 

בְּחָצֵר אֲחוֹרִית שֶׁשָּׁאַלְנוּ 

מֵאֲנָשִׁים שֶׁלֹּא בֶּאֱמֶת הִכַּרְנוּ. 

הָיוּ לָנוּ אוֹרְחִים שֶׁהִגִּיעוּ  

רַק מִתּוֹךְ הַסַּקְרָנוּת. וְעִם זֹאת,  

שִׁכְנַעְנוּ עַצְמֵנוּ שֶׁזֹּאת מִשְׁאַלְתֵּנוּ. 

אֶת שְׁאָר הַשִּׁכְנוּעִים הִשְׁאַרְנוּ לַחוּמוּס וְלַשַּׁמְפַּנְיָה.  

מָתְקָה אַהֲבָתְךָ אֵלַי, 

כְּמוֹ זוֹ שֶׁל דְּבַשׁ לְדֻבְשָׁנִית, 

אַךְ טַעֲמָהּ הָיָה כְּשֶׁל חוּמוּס מַתְסִיס. 

תָּרָה אַחֲרֵי מָתוֹק, 

הוֹתַרְתִּי לָנוּ  

לְהִסָּחֵף לְיֶרַח דְּבַשׁ סְפּוֹנְטָנִי. 

אָז כְּבָר מוּכָנָה הָיִיתִי לְהִסְתַּפֵּק 

רַק בִּדְבַשׁ 

גַּם אִם לֹא לְאוֹר יָרֵחַ. 

לַמְרוֹת הַפְּשָׁרָה,  

הַחֻפְשָׁה לֹא שָׂרְדָה, 

יוֹתֵר מִיְּמָמָה.  

נִדְרַשְׁתִּי לְיוֹתֵר מֵעִדָּן כְּדֵי לָדַעַת, 

יֶרַח הַדְּבַשׁ מְזֻיָּף הָיָה. 

כְּשֶׁלַּיְלָה קַר עָלָה 

טַעַמְךָ הִבְשִׁיל כְּמוֹ מַמְתָּק מָלוּחַ. 

וּכְשֶׁשָּׁנִים רַבּוּ, 

נִסִּיתִי טַעַמְךָ לַחְקֹק בִּי, 

טַעַם שֶׁל חוּמוּס וְשַׁמְפַּנְיָה. 

****

Champagne and Hummus 

I’ve loved like I’m strangled 

and been loved like I’m entitled. 

We got married in a language that is not our own 

in a backyard on loan 

from people we’re unfamiliar with. 

We had guests that came only 

out of curiosity. And yet, 

we convinced ourselves 

that this is what we want. 

We left the rest of the convincing 

to the champagne and hummus. 

Though you did love me, 

as the honey 

loves his honey bun, 

it tasted more like sparkling hummus. 

Seeking sweet, 

I did allow us 

to cast away 

to a spontaneous honeymoon. 

By then I was willing to reach 

just the honey without the moon. 

But even so, it lasted less than a day. 

It took me more than era 

to realize the honeymoon was fake. 

As night grew cold 

you tasted like a savory desert. 

As I grow old 

I will try to recall 

the taste of you, 

of champagne and hummus. 

********************************************************************

מבעד לעינינו המאוגרפות   

“הַחַיִּים שֶׁלָּנוּ פֹּה הֵם אַשְׁלָיָה”, 

אוֹמֵר הַחַלּוֹן בַּחֲדַר הַשֵּׁנָה, עֵינוֹ פְּקוּחָה תָּמִיד. 

מְסָרֶבֶת לְהֵעָצֵם, 

אֲנַחְנוּ יְשֵׁנִים בְּתוֹכָהּ. 

מִבַּעַד לְעֵינֵינוּ הַמְּאֻגְרָפוֹת 

אוֹר הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ מְסַמֵּא. 

פַּעַם הָיִיתִי הַזֹּהַר שֶׁלְּךָ, 

וַאֲנִי דּוֹהָה עַכְשָׁו  

בַּחֲדַר הַשֵּׁנָה שֶׁלָּנוּ 

(שֶׁהוּא בְּעֶצֶם לֹא שֶׁלָּנוּ. 

גַּם לֹא הַשֵּׁנָה). 

****

Through Our Clenched Eyes 

“Our life here is an illusion,” 

says the bedroom window, its eye always open, 

refusing to shut, 

so we sleep inside it. 

Through our clenched eyes 

the sunlight is glaring. 

Once I was your glowing light; 

now I’m dimmed  

in our bedroom 

(that’s not really ours. 

Nor is the sleep.) 

**************************************************************

כל המאוֹרות 

אֲנִי נִטְעֶנֶת מֵאֶנֶרְגְּיָה סוֹלָרִית 

אֲבָל עַכְשָׁו יֵשׁ לִי אוֹתְךָ וְאֶת הַיַּלְדָּה. 

אֲנִי מֻכְרָחָה לִמְשֹׁךְ אֶת כֻּלְּכֶם 

הַחוּצָה, עַל גַּבִּי 

רַק כְּדֵי שֶׁאוּכַל לְהִטָּעֵן. 

וְהַיַּלְדָּה הִיא שֶׁמֶשׁ קְטַנָּה, 

אֲנִי שֶׁמֶשׁ מְעַט יוֹתֵר גְּדוֹלָה, 

וְאַתָּה הַיָּרֵחַ. 

אֵלּוּ כָּל הַמְּאוֹרוֹת. 

אֵין מִלְּבַדָּם אֶלָּא חֲשֵׁכָה? 

אֲנִי צְרִיכָה לַחֲצֹב דַּרְכִּי הַחוּצָה, 

מִבַּעַד לְמַחְשַׁכֵּי הַבַּיִת, מְבוֹכֵי הַכְּבִיסָה, מַפְּלֵי הֶחָלָב וְהַבֶּכִי, 

לְהִטָּעֵן מֵאֶנֶרְגְּיָה סוֹלָרִית 

שֶׁתַּחְדֹּר אוֹתִי, 

תַּעֲבֹר לַיַּלְדָּה 

אוּלָם לֹא תַּחְרֹךְ אוֹתְךָ. 

אֵלּוּ כָּל הַמְּאוֹרוֹת, 

אֵין מִלְּבַדֵּנוּ אֶלָּא חֲשֵׁכָה

****

What Lights Up the Sky 

I am solar powered, 

but now I have you and our baby girl. 

I have to pull you all 

outside, on my back, 

just to be charged. 

And our baby girl, she is a small sun, 

I am a slightly larger sun, 

and you are the moon. 

These alone light up the sky. 

None other than them but darkness? 

I need to carve my way outside, 

through the dark corners of the house, 

labyrinths of laundry, 

waterfalls of milk and tears, 

to be charged by solar power 

that will go through me, 

to our baby girl, 

but not scorch you. 

These alone light up the sky, 

none other than us but darkness. 

****

The poems are written and translated by Gili Haimovich other than: Untitled (“Only the thread…”), Through Our Clenched Eyes, “What Lights Up the Sky that are translated by Dara Barnat with the author.