to be

A fathomless abyss is human pain!
Whose eye has ever pierced to its black depths?
To the shadowy gulf of times that are no more
incline your ear… Within there falls
the eternal tear! To the defenceless mouths
that in another age life such as ours
inspired, curious draw nigh…. A groan
arises trembling from the whitened bones!

Life is pain. And life persists,
obscure, but life for all that, even in the tomb.
Matter disintegrates and is dispersed;
the eternal spirit, the underlying essence
suffers without pause. It were in vain
to wield the suicidal steel.
Suicide is unavailing. The form is changed,
the indestructible being endures.

In thee, Pain, we live and have our being!
The supreme yearning of all existing things
is to be lost in nothingness, annulled,
deep in dreamless sleep… And life continues
beyond the frozen confines of the tomb.

There is no death. In vain you clamour for death,
souls destitute of hope. And the implacable
purveyor of suffering creatures ravishes
us to another world. There is no pause.
We crave a single instant of respite
and a voice in the darkness urges: ,,On!”

Yes, life is an evil
and an evil that never ends. The creating God
is the creature of another terrible God
whose name is pain. And the immortal
Saturn is insatiate. And space,
the nursery of suns, the infinite,
are the mighty prison, issueless,
of souls that suffer and that cannot die.

Oh implacable Saturn, make an end at last,
devour created things and then,
since we are immortal, ruminate our lives!
We are thine, Pain, thine for evermore!

but pity for the beings that are not yet,
save in thy mind that hunger stimulates. . .
Pity, oh God, have pity on nothingness!
At last be sated, that the eternal womb,
begetter of the seed of humankind,
turn barren and that life come to an end. . .
And let the world like a dead planet whirl
amid the waveless oceans of the void!

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera

the two slopes of time

The hair of that mountain
glistens with centuries,
frozen.

On this side of it,
and on the other,
it is the same; two slopes
of green mirrors.

I do not hurry;
I love to contemplate further from a peak of time
two slopes of mirrors.
When I want to, I say;
One is my body;
the other is my thought.

And it occurs to me to think:
one is the chain of habit,
the shadow of yesterday.
The other is freedom!

There I go!
My soul will go before the stars
that it has vaguely seen,
for it does not wear chains like them.
And eternity must lie in the future for me
and that is all,
because that is what thought believes,
in infancy,
and infancy is the only time when we are
truly prophets.

But the hair of time
glistens with centuries,
frozen.

Emilio Oribe

love’s madness

He seems as fortunate as the gods who
sits where he can look in your eyes, who listens
close to you, to hear the soft voice, its sweetness
murmur in love and

laughter, all for him. But it breaks my spirit;
sets my heart trembling in my breast.
For when I look at you for a moment, the voice dies,
I can say nothing,

but my lips are stricken to silence, underneath
my skin the tenuous flame suffuses;
nothing shows in front of my eyes, my ears are
muted in thunder.

And the sweat breaks running upon me,
a trembling seizes me all over, I am greener
than grass, and it seems to me that
I am little short of dying.

Sappho

poem of the soul

The nightingale hath no repose
For joy that ruby blooms the rose;
Long time it is that Philomel
Hath loved like me the rosy dell.

‘Tis sure no wonder if I sing
Both night and day my fair sweeting:
Let me be slave to that bird’s tongue
Who late the rose’s praise hath sung!

O saki, when the days commence
Of ruby roses, abstinence
By none is charged; then pour me wine
Like yonder rose incarnadine.

Sana’i

butterflies ride a flower

Butterflies ride a flower
under wings that grew
from the water’s song.

They dress in dreams
the wind cuts with a knife
along the sidewalks of the moon.

The breasts of butterflies are perfumed
by their secret liaisons with the sun.

They age gazing at the stars
owned by a vagabond.

They drink the rainbow that crossed
the back of a child in full flight.
When butterflies die
they migrate to your soul.

Roxana Miranda Rupailaf

horizonte

A sun without rays
spills on green mist.

The shaded riverside
dreams at the pace of a boat
and the unavoidable
bell measures melancholy.

In my spent soul
the sound of a small
silver drum.

Federico Garcia Lorca

wit

The stars shone…as if they were zero signs
written in the sky
which was like a hide black with the ink of darkness,
with the Moon as a piece of chalk,
by the Creator reckoning the extent of the universe,
because of the total emptiness (of the universe)
of transmigration…

Subandhu

the wine cup

Drink deep, boy-lover. Bacchus, bringer of
Oblivion, will soothe your hopeless love.
Drink deep, and as you drain the wine-filled bowl
Purge all the bitter anguish from your soul.

Meleager