Category Archives: poetry

Hacía el universo interior by Rubén González Lillo


Hacía el universo interior


La vida que he vivido no significa nada.

El cuerpo que yo he sido no es el cuerpo que ahora soy.

Las emociones que he vivido no las puedo vivir hoy.

Los recuerdos del pasado no me sirven para nada.

La vida que he vivido no la puedo vivir hoy.

Las alegrías del pasado no tienen ningún valor.

Los amores que he amado no son el verdado “Amor”.

Los caminos que he transitado no son el “Camino”.

La vida que he vivido no significa nada.

Los dolores padecidos no me pueden dolor hoy.

El pasado no lo puedo vivir hoy.

Y aquí y ahora, sentado en el cojín negro,

Ya no me queda nada.

Sólo puedo mirar hacía adentro,

Hacía el universo interior,

Para darme cuenta de que todo

Se une en la postura del zazen.


            Rubén González Lillo

Naomi Shihab Nye on writing things down


Naomi Shihab Nye on writing things down:

Sit down with a notebook for about seven minutes a day, or if you prefer, for about three lines a day that belong to you, three lines that come out of your experience. Three questions you’re asking, or three details you’re wondering about. It’s good to have a regular time period when you do this. So sneak it in on a regular basis and your mind will feel very rich, and suddenly all these things will be recognized that have been gathering in your mind. This way you’ll become more flexible with language and at the end of a month you’ll have 90 lines that belong to you. Any one of them has the possibility of growing into a story, into a poem, into an essay or into some research you do at school. You have no idea where the little things you write down in your notebook can go. I don’t mean a diary where what you eat for breakfast, what the weather was like etc., although you could include that if you want to.

If you write things down you can grow into them later, believe them later, and sometimes something will come out of your pen and paper and you won’t be sure you understand it. But if you go back to it, it can perhaps mysteriously continue to guide you for years to come. So, by simply focussing and calming down to write a few words that may come from ‘somewhere else’ rather than from yourself, you may later discover that they can guide you.

So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye


So Much Happiness

by Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records . . .

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

Karl Ove Knausgaard: poem written after the death of his grandmother


Poem by Karl Ove Knausgaard written after the death of his grandmother

I found this in part five of  his six-part autobiography


Growing Wild


Your eyes are gone from the day

you’re gently faded out

My thoughts like mirrors

I lose control

Feel you within

Soft nights fall over me

My eyes are plunged in darkness

I want to fly

Want to believe in miracles

Feel you within

I shy from light and darkness

Who knows what you see

Who knows what will happen

Silence, silence

growing wild

The days crumble, disappear

Leaving no trace

I am always awake, waiting

Feel you within

feel you within

I shy from light and darkness

Who knows what you see

Who knows what will happen

Silence, silence

growing wild


Karl Ove Knausgaard: Some Rain Must Fall, pp. 289-90

Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett


Daedalus by George Barker




Like the enormous liner of his limbs
and fell.
Remain behind, look on
What’s left of what was once in blighted remains.
That imponderable body
Smote my desire, now smitten
I lift his head, his death dampens
The moist palm of my hand like handled fear
Like fear cramping my hand
and stand.
Remain behind, entertain posthumous fear.


Come where no crowds can trouble us divert us
No acrobats hawkers bottles or street musicians
No towering necks like buildings overlook
Intimate revelation.

I take your hand
And steadily lead you
Across morning haunted lawns in earlier
Days, and show
With a reversal of our growing older
How it began, what caused, the germ of time.

Where florid in the night pregnant nightdresses
Proceed sedately down unlighted stairs
Like people. And in the garden
Large lake unreal. Hark, I hear visitant
Swans, and the moths in the trees
Like minor caverns humming. There he draws
Antennae from paralyzed spiders, weapons
In his warlock fingers brandished: or runs
Engendering the eventual major strength like engines
Preparant. I cannot discern you in the leaves or in the
Undergrowth, when starting down the steep hills
He flies precipitate: Spectre, Spectre, where
If among these early places lie you, do you lie?

He fell, not then. Recently sure has fallen from that high
Platform. Formed in fearlessness, has fallen
Like through thought’s clouds through fear, as You stood
Waiting with wanting breast to catch, he in his fall
Evaded. Passed towards a grave straight through.
Of Course You Knew, for saw his comet face
Approaching downward like irresistible.
I mourn him. Him I mourn, from morn to morning.


Where once he trod
I cannot tread;
From the home he is gone from
I am prohibited:
We cannot be
While he is gone from being;
While he is not with being
I am as well miserably unloving;
Totally bereft I too am totally absent,
Appearing here, although
Bruisable and buriable seeming, am too bruised
In my dead
To buried.
Spectre who spreads
Internal dissension,
Dividing the unit army of the body
To coward forces,
Since I have brought
To these private places
Sick with his not being, with his recalled
Reverberant fleet blooms of doing and coming,
Empty with his going, since accomplished, entertained,
Shown choicest hothouse blossoms, phenomenal
Plants he acted on the air like dances lasting,
Since he is not here but where you know with doom—


Where wander those once known herons
Or rabbits here
With shattered entrapped forepaws pitiable in crimson
Killing have known,
And seven-year-old boys locked among ominous
Shadows, enveloped
Have known, and are
At the unmerciful onrush of determined seas
Gathers small craft
There the acquainted faces of the dead sailors
Sight that sees
Where those once known herons fled in fear, to where I
Like lonely herons
The abandoned heroine


Go. With mild gradual descent
Burden the memory
Not as he fell, in anger, in the combat
With forms invisible intactual fought
On that mortal rooftop: not with celestial
Speed brought down, in meritorious
Defeat no beating, but like lamed
Herons or birds in wounded slope
Descending down to lamentable homes
In scraggy caves, borne down by death, I come
Drawn down to earth, and underneath
The earth, like one drawn under
Lethal water by an unknown weight
Unseen invisible, but not unknown is fear.

Walking Around by Pablo Neruda



Walking Around

by Pablo Neruda


Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.
Sucede que entro en las sastrerías y en los cines
marchito, impenetrable, como un cisne de fieltro
navegando en un agua de origen y ceniza.

El olor de las peluquerías me hace llorar a gritos.
Sólo quiero un descanso de piedras o de lana,
sólo quiero no ver establecimientos ni jardines,
ni mercaderías, ni anteojos, ni ascensores.

Sucede que me canso de mis pies y mis uñas
y mi pelo y mi sombra.
Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.

Sin embargo sería delicioso
asustar a  un notario con un lirio cortado
o dar muerte a una monja con un golpe de oreja.
Sería bello
ir por las calles con un cuchillo verde
y dando gritos hasta morir de frío.

No quiero seguir siendo raíz en las tinieblas,
vacilante, extendido, tiritando de sueño,
hacia abajo, en las tripas mojadas de la tierra,
absorbiendo y pensando, comiendo cada día.

No quiero para mí tantas desgracias.
No quiero continuar de raíz y de tumba,
de subterráneo solo, de bodega con muertos
ateridos, muriéndome de pena.

Por eso el día lunes arde como el petróleo
cuando me ve llegar con mi cara de cárcel,
y aúlla en su transcurso como una rueda herida,
y da pasos de sangre caliente hacia la noche.

Y me empuja a ciertos rincones, a ciertas casas húmedas,
a hospitales donde los huesos salen por la ventana,
a ciertas zapaterías con olor a vinagre,
a calles espantosas como grietas.

Hay pájaros de color de azufre y horribles intestinos
colgando de las puertas de las casas que odio,
hay dentaduras olvidadas en una cafetera,
hay espejos
que debieran haber llorado de vergüenza y espanto,
hay paraguas en todas partes, y venenos, y ombligos.

Yo paseo con calma, con ojos, con zapatos,
con furia, con olvido,
paso, cruzo oficinas y tiendas de ortopedia,
y patios donde hay ropas colgadas de un alambre:
calzoncillos, toallas y camisas que lloran
lentas lágrimas sucias.

On Drinking Wine by T’ao Ch’ien


On Drinking Wine

by T’ao Ch’ien (365-427)


I built my hut in the midst of men,

And yet there’s no clamour of carriages and horses.

You ask how that can be?

If your heart is distant, your place becomes remote of itself.

Picking chrysanthemums by the eastern hedge,

Distantly, I see South Mountain.

At sunset, the mountain air is fine

And flying birds return together.

In this there is a true meaning

I want to explain but have forgotten the words.

Darkness at Noon by Natalia Gorbanevskaya



Natalia Gorbanevskaya


Darkness at Noon

Here, as in a painting, yellow noon burns,

like grief, the air itself is incorporeal,

and in the utter silence, a winged army,

the crows in Crow Park hover.

But the mouldering leaves of years past

cling to my elbows, to the palms

of my hands that reek of cigarettes,

and the bare shrubbery claws my tangled curls.

I have wandered so far from home,

like a plane from its aerodrome,

which in dense fog strays into the dark…

Am I living, dead,  leaves  or grass?


Natalya Gorbanevskaya – A Female Voice

Fraser Taylor, Rose Twice, 1996, oil on canvas, 122 x 152

Fraser Taylor, Rose Twice, 1996, oil on canvas, 122 x 152