Monday, March 16, 2015

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda [Fabreeze]

from The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, ed. Mark Eisner:

Ode to a Watch in the Night

In the night, in your hand
my watch glowed
like a firefly.
I heard
its ticking:
like a dry whisper
it arose
from your invisible hand.
Then your hand
returned to my dark breast
to gather my sleep and its pulse.

The watch
went on cutting time
with its little saw.
As in a forest
fragments of wood,
tiny drops, pieces
of branches or nests
without changing the silence,
without ending the cool darkness,
from your invisible hand
the watch went on cutting
time, time,
and minutes fell
like leaves,
fibers of broken time,
little black feathers.
As in the forest
we smelled roots,
somewhere water released
a fat drop
like a wet grape.
A little mill
was grinding the night,
the shadow whispered
falling from your hand
and filled the earth.
earth, distance,
my watch in the night
was grinding and grinding
from your hand.

I put
my arm
under your invisible neck,
under its warm weight,
and in my hand
time fell,
the night,
little noises
of wood and forest,
of divided night,
of fragments of shadow,
of water that falls and falls:
sleep fell
from the watch and from
your two sleeping hands,
it fell like the dark water
of the forests,
from the watch
to your body,
from you toward countries,
dark water,
time that falls
and runs
inside us.

And that’s how it was, that night,
shadow and space, earth
and time,
something that runs and falls
and passes.
And that’s how all the nights
go over the earth,
leaving only a vague
black odor.
A leaf falls,
a drop
on the earth
muffles its sound,
the forest sleeps, the waters,
the meadows,
the bells,
the eyes.

I hear you and you breathe,
my love,
we sleep.

[translated by Stephen Mitchell]

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