Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tres por Uno, Pablo

artwork: ralph murre

Talking to Neruda's Ghost
by Sharon Auberle

So Pablo, how is it,
over there where you are?
I want you to know
we miss you here,
miss your glorious gusto,
your fragrance of ink,
sea and flowers.
We miss your odes
to plain things:
salt, artichokes,

Do you remember your ode
to watermelon?
I dream of licking the rivers
of juice from your lips, Pablo.
And your socks, Pablo,
I would have learned, gladly,
to darn them, though
I am a woman who hates to sew.

I think I could have loved you.
Yes, there was Matilde,
your sun and moon,
your beloved, without whom,
you said, you would die.

I can live with that.

But Pablo, please,
say we go on, say
that you and Matilde
are out there tonight,
hands filled with clay and words,

    you are shaping
          poems into stars
              to fling across the sky.

by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Did she slake your thirst
and fill your poet's heart
with flowery words
to spill across the empty page,
a river of green ink,

Did you see the rainbows
in her eyes and pray
she'd never leave you,
as you had left the others?

Did you watch with wonder
when she twined the blossoms
of the bougainvillea
into tangled locks
and feel your soul
was laughing at the moon?

Did you listen for her footsteps
on the spiral stair,
waiting for her return
so you could breathe again?

Did you ever think
someone could love you
so completely?

How I Met Pablo Neruda
by Estella Lauter

It was by accident.
Walking in Mexico City
I saw a poster about a reading
at the National Stadium.   
A tribute to Pablo Neruda. 
Like something that might
happen in a Greek ruin
not in North America.
I had to bear witness.  

My Cuban friend guessed
from their dress and speech
that people came from all over
Mexico and South America,
and they knew their man.
When the readers spoke his lines
a steady whisper surrounded us
as if the poems were a rosary.   

Suddenly from the center came a chant,
Neruda esta aquiNeruda esta aqui.

In New York, Security would have dragged
the visionaries out of there in minutes. 
But no.  The readers waited.  People wept quietly.  
When the voices hushed, the program resumed.   

No one was frightened by this spirit. 
Neruda was there.  He was expected. 
We were glad for him.
Esta bien.

~ "Talking to Neruda's Ghost" and "Matilde" have previously appeared in Quill & Parchment; "How I Met Pablo Neruda" was first published in Wisconsin People & Ideas