Treasure Island

Warren Falcon

(04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

What Pablo Saw In His Final Dream - Una Cancion Por Pablo Neruda


for Jose - 'now he is with the Lamb'


translated from the Spanish of Raul Voz


'The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move in
the university of the waves.' - Pablo Neruda

'Power at its best is love seeking justice.' - a radical priest


When love

finally came

two birds

one near

one far


each my eyes
saw

one cawed

one was still


waves below
shook the high

rock from which
my house was wrest


Making my bed,
that grand ship of
many seas, its feminine
sails billowing in
salt winds out of
season, soldiers,
young, false with
righteousness not
their own, blew
in and frightened
the birds away

they did not come close
they were afraid of
their own guns

But not me

fearless I faced
pale young faces

the bullets tore
them more than me

their flesh being
bread still fresh,
oven warm (white
flour smeared upon
their reckless cheeks
crushed too soon
by women's hands
to dutifully bake)

and mine - flesh - mine
of the mountain patch
formed of Woman's hands

far where my Mother
toiled with me safe
upon Her back, my first
keel, the bow upon which
I first learned to kneel
to earth, to sea

I rocked in Her motion
rowing the faithful Earth
the yielding softness of
She to me (shipwrecking
all my my future hardness
eventually) my boy hands
not yet bleeding with pens
and poems

She fed me Her workers'
songs, of earth, songs
of fragrant sweat, bitter
herbs beneath Her feet
of copper and jade,
the little potatoes
yellow and purple ones
flavored stones softened
by Her presence, Her
sure toil, lullabies wooing
endless sky into each
tuber-swell shaping
clouds for Her eyes to
see to shade Her from the
intemperate sun to cool
the hard soles of Her bare
feet, no pesetas, only
songs, for shoes

The rich cords, veins
of the sun and the moon,
conjoined in Her labor,
hardened into the lead
of my first pencil,

the lap of my first page

And conspiring late
within me ran the black ink
of Her relentless tenderness


Never then broken by
threat of oiled guns
shining, the radiant
beauty darkening before
me of a sparkling morning
born of soft woolen waves
shyly attended by youths
too frail, too dispirited
to know what bullets really
mean, their bare feet soft
with obedience, their
leather boots polished,
lined up at the General's
door, another morning's
cruel ablation


Never then by black
boots broken, but broken
only by the poor, my poor,
the mountain patch without
voice or even these
two last birds of
shattered brine


Only I could see
behind frightened
faces beneath their
soldiers' caps
tilted to lure
forgetfulness
and sleep never
to be confessed

that my hands
little birds too
were extended to
them in welcome

my words to them
only seconds to go
(the waves were
counting on their fingers)
fire and smoke fierce in
little round mouths,
perfect circles,
rehearsals, the
barrels opening
theirs to mine

'Lads, aim for the silver
pen, the Pole Star of my
shirt pocket where you may
always kindly find the
Heart'

that one bird
for each their
tearful eyes
was yellow and
the other red
half-closed to
aim well at the
weft of cloth woven
of my Mother's earth
Her relentless tenderness
almost freed


song
of sea
of stone

of my
house
violently
untethered
from noun
and verb

foundered at
last without
pen and ink

done with 'say'

little sheep
of childhood play
the toy
tiny wheels

rolling waves

for feet fade

when love

finally came

two birds

one near

one far

each my eyes
saw

one cawed

one was still

waves below
shook the high

rock from which
my house was wrest

Submitted: Friday, July 13, 2012
Edited: Monday, November 05, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Por Pablo Neruda, para su compleanos (1904-1973) , nacido en Chile, acunado en los senos del mar, que crece en las ramas de los árboles en peligro de extinción de la selva de Parral, liberados por la pluma, buscó a los trabajadores libres en todo el mundo por su defensa de la poesía, cada uno un poema, cada mujer de un poema, cada niño y la niña nuevo aliento para hablar, a cantar un poema nuevo, libre de la suciedad de la injusticia...


'También recuerdo que un día, mientras que la caza detrás de mi casa para el pequeño objeto y los seres minúsculos de mi mundo, he descubierto un agujero en una de las tablas de la cerca. Miré a través de la apertura y vi un pedazo de tierra como la nuestra, descuidado y salvaje. Me retiré unos pasos, porque yo tenía una vaga sensación de que algo iba a suceder. de repente, una mano llegó. era una pequeña mano de un niño de mi edad. Cuando me acerqué, la mano era desaparecido y en su lugar había una oveja blanca.

'Era una oveja de lana que se había desvanecido. Las ruedas en la que había planeado se habían ido. Yo nunca había visto una oveja encantadora. Me fui a mi casa y regresó con un regalo, que me fui en el mismo lugar: un cono de pino, entreabierta, olorosa y resinosa, y muy valioso para mí.

'Nunca vi al chico nuevo. Nunca he vuelto a ver una ovejita como aquella. Lo perdí en el incendio. Y aún hoy, cuando voy más allá de una tienda de juguetes, me veo en las ventanas escondidas. Pero no es utilizar. Una oveja, como que uno nunca se hizo de nuevo. '

****Translation****

Born in Chile, cradled in the breasts of the sea, grown in the limbs of the endangered trees of the forest of Parral, freed by the pen, sought to free workers around the world by his advocacy of poetry, every man a poem, every woman a poem, each boy and girl the new breath to speak, to sing a new poem free from the dirt of injustice...


'I also recall that one day, while hunting behind my house for the tiny object and miniscule beings of my world, I discovered a hole in one of the fence boards. I looked through the opening and saw a patch of land just like ours, untended and wild. I drew back a few steps, because I had a vague feeling that something was about to happen. Suddenly a hand came through. It was a small hand of a boy my own age. When I moved closer, the hand was gone and in its place was a little white sheep.

'It was a sheep made of wool that had faded. The wheels on which it had glided were gone. I had never seen such a lovely sheep. I went into my house and came back with a gift, which I left in the same place: a pine cone, partly open, fragrant and resinous, and very precious to me.

'I never saw the boy again. I have never again seen a little sheep like that one. I lost it in the fire. And even today, when I go past a toy shop, I look in the windows furtively. But it is no use. A sheep like that one was never made again.'

- from Neruda's 'Memoirs, Confieso Que He Vivido'

Comments about this poem (What Pablo Saw In His Final Dream - Una Cancion Por Pablo Neruda by Warren Falcon )

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  • Romeo Della Valle (7/15/2012 7:47:00 PM)

    Excellent! A well crafted and poignant write full of rich imagery and penning words! 10+++ Thank you for sharing and keep it up! God Bless You! Love and Peace for always! Romeo from New York City! (Report) Reply

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