Para formar tan hermosa
esa boca angelical,
hubo competencia igual
entre el clavel y la rosa,
la púrpura y el coral.

Mintiendo sombras del bien,
en ella el mal se divisa,
por lo que juntos se ven
ya la apacible sonrisa,
ya el enojoso desdén.

Y en los senos abrasados
engendra con doble holganza,
o con tormentos doblados,
cada risa una esperanza,
cada desdén mil cuidados.

Cual las conchas orientales
en tu boca, y por vencerlas
muestra en riquezas iguales,
cuando desdeña, corales,
y cuando sonríe, perlas.

Y si con sombras de bien
tal vez el mal se divisa,
es porque en ella se ven
guardar la miel de su risa
las flechas de su desdén.

Si a mí su rigor alcanza,
al ver su hermosura, siente
el corazón doble holganza;
y aunque un desdén me atormente,
déme una risa esperanza.

¡Bien haya la dulce boca,
que sólo sus frescos labiosThe-First-2
el aura pasando toca;
que haciendo el ámbar agravios,
su miel a gustar provoca!

¡Oh, bien haya cuando ufana
dando enojos a la rosa,
muestra su cerco de grana,
fresca como la mañana,
como el azahar olorosa!

Y si acaso dulcemente
suelta plácida congojas,
ya es el rumor del ambiente,
ya el susurro de las hojas,
ya el murmurar de la fuente.

Si alegres sones respira,
las aves del prado encanta;
y si a vencerlas aspira,
con las que gimen, suspira;
con las que gorjean, canta.

Tu miel, aroma y colores,
rinde en amante oblación,
flor, ante cuyos primores,
mustias é inútiles flores
las flores del valle son.

El néctar más regalado
deja que de amores loco
beba en tu labio abrasado;
para una abeja es sobrado
lo que para muchas poco.

¡Mas ah!, que vertiendo quejas,
me esquivas tu dulce miel;
en vano de una te alejas
si ves que miles de abejas
poblando van el vergel.

¡Ay de la rosa encarnada,
que en su seno de carmín
niega a una abeja la entrada!
Tantas la acosan al fin,
que queda sin miel, y ajada.

¡Ay de las cándidas flores,
si alzan su capullo tierno
del estío a los ardores!
¡Ay del panal si el invierno
lo hiela con sus rigores!

Dame los gustos sin tasa,
pues ves que el sol estival
las tiernas flores abrasa;
mira que amarga el panal
cuando de sazón se pasa.

Ríndete a mí placentera:
no te rinda con agravios
de abejas la turba fiera:
que herir esos dulces labios
herirme en el alma fuera.

De ese tesoro las llaves
dame, y sus dones ardientes
libaré en besos suaves,
sin que lo canten las aves,
ni lo murmuren las fuentes.
-Ramón de Campoamor

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Admiration…

Always, I am amazed by you.
Day and night you never fail to,
Make me see the integrity in you.
I am blown away by your strength,
Really…
And what’s more..you…
Take that strength and use it for good.
I love how you are just.
Only you have won my full respect and trust,
Nobody else…

 

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photo cred: Beth Johnston

Guest Poet: Alfonso Camín

La partida

Era yo un niño de alma blanca

cuando di al viento mi primer cantar,

y con el alba y el zurrón al hombro,

baje del monte familiar

hacia la costa donde me esperaban

la emoción del abismo y el abrazo del mar.

Atrás quedaba el monte abuelo,

la casa blanca como un vetusto palomar,

la higuera madre y el parral caduco,

el olor a resinas del pinar,

la barbechera y el oropel de alondras

y la copa opulenta del pomar,

y la sombra del castañedo

y el corpulento robledal…

-Alfonso Camín

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Superstition?

Superstition,
What is in a word?
It started in the 13th century,
As a deifnition for
A false religious belief,
Or irrational faith in supernatural powers.
The word superstitio
means prophecy,
soothsaying,
dread of supernatural,
And even…
excessive fear of the gods,
and pagan practices.
They also saw it was,
A religious based fear or ignorance,
Which is incompatible with truth.

Superstitions are unstable,
And false.

With all the fake news and fear,
To me it is unclear,
Whether half of what we hear is true,
Or just clothed in superstitious hue.
How do we know what is real,
When all around us we feel,
The push and pull of ideology,
And a focus on individuality.

If our societies will stop declining,
It will be because of a unifying,
Embracing of the truth,
Instead of the latest media spoof.

At the bottom of it we ask,
What is behind the mask?
How can we tell what is real,
And beyond what we feel?

Guest Poet: Robert Burns

Address to a Haggis
Poem

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang ‘s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

– Robert Burns

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Temptation

The tempter makes me writhe,
With misplaced desire,
Inside my mind.
Sometimes, I fall..
And lose sight,
Of the greater LOVE,
That is better than any human love.
How quickly I lose sight of what is best,
And settle for what is less.
Regret and pain are in my eyes,
When I see the way I hurt my love.
When I fall short,
He is jealous and in pain..
How much more do I have to gain,
By walking on his steps again?
I gaze into those eyes of fire,
And suddenly I am gripped with a greater desire.
How do I explain his gaze?
I cannot say, dear reader,
How this works…
But the lesser pleasures cannot compare,
To the greatest PLEASURE and WHOLENESS,
That is my Lover.

Guest Poet: Charles Bukowski

The New Place

I type at a window that faces the street
on ground level and
if I fall out
the worst that can happen is a dirty shirt
under a tiny banana tree.

as I type people go by
mostly women
and I sit in my shorts
(without top)
and going by they
can’t be sure I am not entirely
naked. so
I get these faces
which pretend they don’t see
anything
but I think they do:
they see me as I
sweat the poem like beating an
ugly hog to death
as the sun begins to fail over
Sunset Blvd.
over the motel sign
where hot sweaty people from
Arkansas and Iowa
pay too much to sleep while
dreaming of movie stars.
there is a religionist next door
and he plays his radio loud
and it seems to have
very good tubes
so I am getting the
message.
and there’s a white cat
chewed-up and neurotic
who calls 2 or 3 times a day
eats and leaves
but just looking at him
lifts the soul a little
like something on strings.
and the same young man from the nudist
magazine phones and we talk
and I get the idea
that we each hang up
mildly thinking each other
somewhat the fool.

now the woman calls me to dinner.
it’s good to have food.
when you’ve starved enough
food always remains a
miracle.
the rent is a little higher here
but so far I’ve been able to
pay it
and that’s a miracle too
like still maybe being sane
while thinking of guns and sidewalks
and old ladies in libraries.
there are still
small things to do
like rip this sheet from the typer
go in and eat
stay alive this way.
there are lots of curtains here
and now the woman has walked in
she’s rocking back and forth
in the rocker behind me
a bit angry
the food is getting cold and
I’ve got to go
she doesn’t understand that
I’ve got to finish this thing
but it’s just a poor little neighborhood
not much place for Art,
whatever that is, and
I hear sprinklers
there’s a shopping basket
a boy on roller skates.
I quit I quit

for the miracle of food and
maybe nobody ever angry
again, this place and
all the other places.

-Charles Bukowski

un-mural