Saturday, July 16, 2016



I touch your feet in the shade, your hands in the light,

and on the flight your peregrine eyes guide me

Matilde, with kisses your mouth taught me

my lips came to know fire.

Oh legs bequeathed the creaminess of perfect

oats, the battle spread,

its heart a meadow,

when I pressed my ears to your breasts,

my blood pounded out your Araucan syllable.


If they put

a boat

near a Chilean,

he jumps in,

he exiles himself

and is lost.

The rich man

heads to Vesuvius,

and won't face

the maternal

heights, the high

Andean flame,

he flies to Broadway,

to the Mayo Clinic,

to the Moulin Rouge,

the poor

Chileno, with his only


crosses into Neuquen, the

forsaken territories of Patagonia,

he likes the lunary

shorelines of Peru,

he sets his hunger down

in Colombia,

migrates as he can,

changing stars like shirts,

the Chilean

is a crazy woman

with mutinous eyes,

an amiable heart, sky-blue skin

or he's the traveling salesman

with his wine, guitars,

water pipes

or he could be the sailor

who gets married

in Veracruz and never comes back

to his island,

to his fragrant oceanic Chiloe.


Spring day,

a long Chilean day,

a long green lizard


on the amphitheater of snow

facing the navy blue.

Sun and water against

your green skin,

the resuscitated land

breathes behind your shield,

nodding off,

you lose your grip

but recover,

the pollen

stains you


the cicadas

buzz by,

a bird

aims its bill at you,

you go on fully alive,

a fragrant

green creature

with a golden tail,

you give

and take sustenance,

you sing

and we sing of you,


clear day

and you aren't even aware

that meantime

yellow beetles

are scrambling

up your head,

and violins

are taking wing

in your wind,

you don't know

who dies today,

you don't recognize

the mourners

trailing the cortege,

you don't know, can't conceive

of those evicted from their homes

last night, the woman

who lost her job,

the ring

slipping from the fingers

of the mother

as it clangs in the pawnbroker's drawer

like a lost cricket dying,

at ease

among so many


the hub

of germinations,


in the wispy

spring of Chile,

you take it easy,


the sea's froth

like a sacred robe

nears and falls back

from your body,


the sky crowns you,

the ocean's chorus

etches into stone the song

of your praises,

among spiny thorns

of the cactus, the corolla burns,

the world is born again.

In the motherland of Chile

in spring

the voice,

the irregular theogony,

a bright abundance,

from green days lazing in the snow,

I draw out

this one day,

its face to the sea salt.


P A B L O     N E R U D A
F O R R E S T    G A N D E R

Then Come Back
The Lost Neruda Poems

Copper Canyon Press 2016