Monday, June 1, 2015


Love's Cutting Edge

When I look at you, mountain or tiny rose,

when I hold you, blue mountain pressed to my heart,

butterfly that comes as lightly as love,

like two royal lips spread out on the sky.

When I look at your soft form stretched out,

your faithful dream where even the smiles are true,

body that seems to me a heap of ripened wheat,

golden harvest that sleeps on the ground like happiness. . .

I see your young face smiling without fear

while thin clouds pass before it,

and your skin feels the high-flying birds

like feathers that brush you gently and smile.

Yes. Lying down you never imitate a held back river,

nor a lake with the sky finally resting in its depths.

Nor are you a sweet hill that comes to life

whenever the moon makes the earth's softness shine.

Your arm that lies resting on the grass

could be, yes, it could be something warm, inviting,

a sweet light that blends with moons

or cool stars as the night comes on.

Who are you calling?

The earth turning like a slow head

leaves its wake or long, silver hair,

leaves a murmur  of voices or beloved words

that the stars hear, like a water flowing out.

All of your crystal, or love,

all the mystery that rolls on unaware of you,

all the joy that comes is speaking gently in your ear

while your mouth surrenders like a half-open sea.

Tell me: Who kisses like the stars?

Who feels a steely moon at the back of the neck?

Who understands that light is a shiny blade

that slices in two whenever earthly lovers kiss?


World Alone
(Mundo A Solas)
translated by Lewis Hyde and David Unger
Penmaen Press 1982

( The Birdhouse dedicates this poem
to Lisa & J.D. and the month of June )