Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Duet With My Father

Last year I quietly leafed through a very old, dog-eared book of poetry of my father's. I noted down one or two before hurriedly shelfing it once again. But this year I began from the first page of his scrawling words, entranced by his language- English and Spanish alike. What I found stunned me gently, like looking in the mirror and seeing something that wasn't there before.

Several months ago, I published a poem on here entitled "Meditation on Distance". And in the midst of my father's writings, I unearthed a poem - written long ago - with the same metaphor.

I've never been fond of poetry. But I'm realizing that sometimes blood takes precedence - just sometimes - over will.

I present to you here my father's poem first in English, then in his original Spanish, and then my own.

Straws in a River

Like straws in a river
our lives meet
by the shore
hidden in the silver shadows
of the moonlight.
We feel our time in the pulse
of the water.
But then with the dawn
a new day
a new break
the rain suddenly agitates
the surface of the water.
We separate towards new
waterfalls and riverbanks
Like straws in a river
the water pulls us apart.

Pajitas en el Rio

Como pajitas en el rio
nuestras vidas se encuentran
A veces,
por la orilla
escondidas en las sombras de plata
de la luna.
Sentimos el tiempo en el pulso del agua
Pero entoces con el alba,
un nuevo dia,
la lluvia agita el agua
y nos separamos
hacia nuevas cascadas,
cataratas y orillas.
Como pajitas en un rio
El agua nos separe una
ves mas.

Meditation on Distance

The waves of this world
cover me
wash over me
bathe me, drown me
and you and me
we’re just like driftwood
riding and drowning
amidst the waves of this ocean
crying and shouting

to hear one another
vying and grasping
to catch a glimpse
of one another
and when at last

we touch
but for one breath
one caress
we let go
of one another

amidst these waves
that cover us
wash over us

bathe us, drown us
and I continue to yearn
for that moment
when I breathe
and you're here.

No comments:

To write is to dare the soul. So write.