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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Coneja

I composed this piece in Spanish, as that is how it came to me. The syntax of the language, with poetry inherent, lent itself to the images I was trying to capture


 I hold a doctoral degree in science and my area of specialty is wildlife biology and population genetics. This poem desribes the brutal, yet elegant relationship that exists between predator and prey animals. The evening before I wrote this poem, I saw a great horned owl take a rabbit. Enough said.


ENGLISH TRANSLATION FOLLOWS THE ORIGINAL SPANISH


Published in The Algonquin,  (Spring 1998, Volume 1, Number 4)

CONEJA
Atravieso este desierto de nieve,
dejando huellas de luz encharcada; mi
paso solo un susurro
                                                                  suave
como entre amantes,
Un aro de árboles se levanta
                                                                  denudo
                                                                       
en súplica a una luna embaazada
hinchada con la noche,
Como si conjuado, tú apaecieses de
donde la necesidad aúlla:
                                                                  ¿Te inventé?
                                                                       
Memorizada, tu forma; perfección
passada, alma seca, como agua

                                                                        te bebo,
El latido en tu garganta, su vibración
confunde mis sentidos,

                                                                        Seperados
más que por la distancia, por la
esencia, por el significado;

                                                                        si pudiera ser tú.
Eres mi depradador, yo tu presa,

                                                                        Tu carne,
El tiempo parpadea, una pausa, una
extensión de alas, el ave de rapiña asciende,
¡Corre! ¡Huye!

                                                                        sensate perdida,
Una sinfonia de dolor, un crujir de hueso,
Un arranque de tendón;

                                                                        agonia exquisita,
salvaje dolor,
Mi sangra besa la tiera,

                                                                        una flor virgen
se abre roja contra una sábana blanca,
Carne en carne, la eternidad termina,

                                                                        Por fin
me conces.





Translation from Spanish to English

RABBIT
I cross this desert snow, leaving
prints of puddled light; my passing
only a whisper

                                                                       soft
as between lovers.
A ring of trees stand,

                                                                       naked
in supplication to a moon, pregnant
swollen with night.

As if conjured, you appear from a place
of howling need;

                                                                       Did I invent you?
Memorized, your form; perfection
perched, soul parched, like water

                                                                       I drink you.
The pulse-beat at your throat, its
vibration confounds my senses.

                                                                       Separated
by more than distance, by essence, by
meaning;

                                                                       I feel you.

You are my predator, I your prey,
                                                                       your meat.
Time blinks, a pause, a spread of
wings, the raptor ascends.

                                                                       Sanity misplaced.
A symphony of pain, a crushing of bone,
tearing of sinew;

                                                                       exquisite agony,

savage ache.
Blood kisses the ground,

                                                                       a virgin flower
blossoms red against a sheet of white
Flesh into flesh, eternities end

                                                                       At last
as one.











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