Night

Dibujo uno
de Claudia Torres (Mariposa Amarilla / Yellow Butterfly, Ediciones Navegante, Austin, TX, 1996)

La tarde teje su silencio
en los pequeños bordes de las casas.
Esconde aristas abruptas
al son de la noche espesa.

Las vigas abrazan las soleras y sus tejas.
El amarillo de los rayos se encoge
hasta volverlas nada.

El ovillo azul intenso
se convierte en zumbido titilante,
suspira la luz de la mañana.

El ojo anhela;
apenas un reflejo en la profundidad interna
que batalla los sentidos.

El miedo salta victorioso.
Hace suyo el momento.
Tiembla, treme, tiembla.

El susurro es un largo grito sin ruido.
__________

Sketch #1

Evening weaves its silence
along the narrow borders of the houses.
It conceals sharp edges
with the advancing sound of dense night.

The rafters tighten their grip
on crossbeams, roof tiles.
The last yellow rays dwindle,
return to nothing.

Skein of vivid blue becomes
an arousing hum, the light
of morning on its breath.

The eye hungers:
scarcely a single glimmer
in the deep core
at war with the senses.

Fear leaps up,
overwhelms the moment.
Trembling, quaking, trembling.

A whisper is a long scream without a sound.
__________

Claudia Torres is a linguist and a native of Tegicigalpa, Honduras, born in 1951. In the above poem, I like the images of weaving, and the way its synaesthesia evokes a confusion of emotions perhaps best understood by someone who grew up under a dictatorship, where a midnight knock might mean two, almost opposite things.

Another poem by Torres, “Caballero de Noche / Gentleman of the Night,” includes the following explanatory note: “Gentleman of the Night and Love for a Day are the literal translations of flowers that are common in the author’s native country of Honduras.” This time I’ll put my translation first.
__________

Gentleman of the Night

Shy caresses
all over my skin,
scent of cinnamon,
of guava.

In my tangled hair
there dreams
the dry stroke
of a tender hand.

Gentleman of the night,
love for a day,
lemon tree in blossom,
unpollinated orchid.

You went away,
and it was killing me.
__________

Caballero de Noche

Sobre de la piel
caricias hurañas,
olor de canela,
guayaba.

En el pelo
enredado sueño
el sonido seco
de una mano tierna.

Caballero de noche,
amor de un día,
limonero abierto,
orquídea fallida.

Te fuiste,
y yo me moría.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

4 Replies to “Night”

  1. Claudia,

    I loved finding your poems online. I wanted to see how you are doing and what is happening in your life.

    Blessings,

    Teri Grier

    1. Dave:

      I was pleasantly surprised to find my poetry in your page, thanks for your selection. I would greatly appreciate if you give my email to friends who ask it. They were close friends with whom I lost contact. Also, I would gladly help you with any request about writers in Honduras.

      Claudia Torres

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