Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Faith in Life

(English translation of Fe de Vida by Antonio Colinas)

Wait close by the sea in which ideas were brought into being
and be empty of ideas. (And so have them all.)
Be only the breeze at the top of the tall pine-tree,
the scent of orange blossom, the night of the orchids
in the forgotten coves.

Just stay watching the bird that passes by
and does not return; stay
waiting for the yellow sky
that burns and is freshened by flashes of lightning
that leap from island to island.
Or contemplate the white cloud
that, being nothing, appears content.
Stay floating and rocking to and fro,
on top of the waves that pass,
like a lost oar.
Or follow, like dolphins,
predetermined time’s direction.

Be like the moment when ships on January nights
are lulled to sleep between narcissists and lighthouses.
Leave me alone, not with the light of knowledge
(that was born and raised in this sea)
but simply with the light of this sea.
Or with its many lights:
those of burning gold and those of cold green.
Or with the light of all the blues.

But. above all, leave me with the white light,
the one that burns and defeats the wounded men,
the tense days, the ideas like knives.
Be like an olive tree or a pool of water.
Someone holds me in their palm
like a handful of salt.
Or of light.

Close your eyes in the fragrant silence
so that your heart – at last! - can see.
Close your eyes so that love will grow in me.
Let me share the silence
and the solitude of the verandas,
the hospitality of open doors; leave me alone
with the full moon of nightingales in June
watching over the trembling water in the last remaining springs.
Allow me the freedom that is lost
on the lips of a woman.

For more translations of poems by Antonio Colinas, go to Translations.

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