Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘poems

Virgin wilderness, Pablo Neruda, blood, wind, libertad, Americana

Two huasos (Argentine cowboys gauchos), ride with fury; they rear up in front of the garden.

With one hand, one of the uncles carries little Pablo Neruda behind him on the rump of the horse (ride pillion); the other uncle is carrying a tied up sheep.

They gallop full wind to the sun set, to the shadow of a large tree with a crackling bonfire.

The muchachos fire their guns in the air; an uncle slid the sheep’s throat; the creamy blood is collected; Pablo drinks a cup full.

Songs on love, corazon, and guitar strumming fill the air.


I saw shadows, faces sprouting

Like plants around our roots, parents

Singing romance in the shadow of a tree

Running among the wet horses.

Women hidden in the shadow

Of masculine towers,

Galops whipping the light,

Rare nights of anger, dogs barking.


Chili is a continent in longitude, spanning a length as vast as from Norway to Senegal in Africa. Chili extends from the tropics all the way down to Antarctica and squeezed naturally between the Andes mountain chains to the Pacific.

All kinds of climates can be experienced when riding the rail from north to south.  Chili was never subjugated by any king or a colonial power.

Whitman, Thoreau, and Melville chanted the wilderness of North America: the background of these chants was a world already made, in a state of exploitation for profit.

Neruda is chanting a wilderness with peasants and workers toiling on a savage world to be made.

White, black, and Indian, in utter poverty, have no time to compare the color of their skins; they want to get out of the same life of misery.

The South Americans chant liberty and freedom in every moment and at every occasion. Neruda is the son of “a silent, mother of clay“:


What I saw first were the trees,

Ravines adorned in flowers, wild beauty,

Humid territory, forest ablaze,

And winter behind the world, overflowed.

My childhood, those wet shoes,

Tree trunks broken,

Fallen in the jungle, devoured by lichen.

Pablo was born in 1904 as Ricardo Neftali Reyes Morales.

He used his pen name (pseudonym) Pablo Neruda because of the Check poet Jan Neruda.

His mother died of tuberculosis shortly after he was given birth.  Pablo’s dad Jose Reyes remarried Rosa Opazo who took care of Pablo as his real mother.

Jose Reyes constructed railways:


My dad sneaks out in the obscure dawn.

Toward what lost archipelagos these trains are howling?

Later, I liked the smell of coal in the fume;

The burned oil, and the precise frozen axes.

Suddenly, the doors rattled. It is my dad.

The centurions of the railway surround him:

Their wet coats inundate the house with steam.

Reports invade the dining room; wine bottles are emptied.

I capture the suffering, the crying, the dark scars, men with no money,

The mineral claws of poverty.

This part is a short biography for anyone interested.

Pablo moved to Santiago in 1921 and studied French literature. Since 1927 he was successively appointed consul in Rangoon, in Sri Lanka, then Batavia (Java) where he married the first time with Marie-Antoinette Vogelzang (Maruca; a Dutch).  Pablo was then consul in Singapore, Barcelona in 1934. His daughter Malva Marina was born in Madrid.

Pablo is consul in Madrid in 1935. The Spanish civil started and Garcia Lorca is assassinated. Neruda writes his first political poem “Chant to mothers of assassinated militiamen” and was relieved of his official functions.

In 1937, Neruda founded in Paris the Hispanic American Group to aiding the Spanish republicans.

By 1938, Neruda’s father died and he started “Chant to Chili”. Neruda is dispatched to Paris in 1939 to facilitate the transfer of 2,000 Spanish refugees to Chili.  Neruda is again appointed consul in Mexico.

In 1945 Neruda is elected Senator to the mining northern region and he adhered to the Communist Party.

President Videla persecuted Neruda who had to flee into exile in 1949 through the Andes mountains.   Neruda travels to the Soviet Union, Poland, and Mexico. He  receive the medal of Peace.

Neruda is back to Santiago in 1952 and built his house “The Chascona“. Neruda marries a third time with Matilde Urrutia and they went in a long trip to Europe. In 1960 Neruda is in Cuba after the success of the revolution of Fidel Castro and writes “Songs of gesture”.

In 1966 Neruda is invited in the USA for a series of reading; the Cuban poets and writers sign a letter proclaiming that Neruda has sided with the imperialist enemies.

Neruda is candidate to be President in 1969 but withdrew in favor of Salvador Allende; he is appointed Ambassador in Paris and receive the Nobel Prize of literature in 1972.

A military putsch kills Allende in September 1973. Neruda dies three days later at the age of 69, most probably assassinated .

I made you up inside my head.

Sylvia Plath and Pablo Neruda poems

The only Sylvia Plath’s poem, Mad Girl’s Love Song:
“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

Pablo Neruda, 

“Your Laughter”

“…Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,

laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,

when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,

but never your laughter
for I would die.”


Iconic Marlene Monroe? She does write poetry?

Here are 5 particularly poignant fragments from the book.

On travelling by bus to Salinas:

I was the only person
woman with about
Sixty Italian fisherman…such charming gentleman…
And (they hoped) fish were
Waiting for them.

Some could hardly speak English.
Not only do I love Greeks (illegible)

I love Italians.
They’re warm, lusty and friendly as hell—

I’d love to go to Italy someday

On sailors:
I saw a lot of lonely young sailors

Who looked too young to be so sad.

They reminded me of
young slender trees still growing and  painful

On trees:
Sad sweet trees—
I wish for you—rest
but you must be wakeful

On love:
My love sleeps besides me—
in the faint light…
but he will look like this when he is dead
Oh unbearable fact inevitable
yet sooner would I rather his love die
than/or him?

And marriage:
I guess I have always been
deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife
since I know from life
one cannot love another,
ever, really

Are there “Songs for Women”?

Note: re-edit of Jan. 2003 post Songs for Women. I had posted many stories on women I was lucky to know, and called these stories “Songs”


My songs are for the divorced women, widowed and singles with children.

Still sexually and determined active unmarried women.

My songs are of the short stories  kinds

Lacking imagination, of a grateful man,

Short on feelings.


Songs for women, who were my teachers in matters of love,

Loving and feelings unknown to me,

Much of feelings still a mystery to me.

Songs of remembrances, for my own sake,

Trying to connect the strings of feelings among these relationships.


Each song has a single heroine and a single name, as it should be.

Names of children of these mothers are sometimes added when recalled,

My way of praying forgiveness for my lack of attention to them,

For most of the duration of the relationship.


My way to say that I am sorry for failing to consider

The integrity and totality of the heroine’ s life.

My way of admitting that the deficiencies were all mine,

A man from the outside looking in

And ignorant of the new rules in this old game.


Songs for the women, who gave the best of their loving to men,

So Man could grasp the essence of life.

Songs for women, who need to be married for love,

With a man capable of learning a new gamut of feelings,

With a man thankful of discovering a wealth of emotions,

With a man becoming whole lest the cynicism of old age creeps in.


From all kinds of literatures I like short stories best.

The shorter the better

The perfect short story should generate two strong emotions:

It should make you cry laughing,

It should make you cry hating or loving

Same difference.

A few poems by Marlene Monroe

Here are five particularly poignant fragments from the book.

On travelling by bus to Salinas:
I was the only person
woman with about
sixty Italian fisherman…such charming gentleman…
and (they hoped) fish were
waiting for them. Some
could hardly speak English
not only do I love Greeks
(illegible) I love Italians.
they’re warm, lusty and friendly as hell—I’d love to go to
Italy someday

On sailors:
I saw a lot of lonely young
sailors who/ they looked too
young to be so sad. They reminded me of
young slender trees still growing & painful

On trees:
Sad sweet trees—
I wish for you—rest
but you must be wakeful

On love:
My love sleeps besides me—
in the faint light…
but he will look like this when he is dead
oh unbearable fact inevitable
yet sooner would I rather his love die
than/ or him?

And marriage:
I guess I have always been
deeply terrified to really be someone’s
since I know from life
one cannot love another,
ever, really


I want to walk clean beaches: (Oct. 2015)

Stretches of hundred of miles with no discontinuity

It just hit me that I would love as a life dream wish to walk endlessly on clean beaches.

Beaches that belong to the public as a constitutional right.

Virgin beaches that no machines ravage them to excavate the sand for construction.

I want to keep walking and sleeping on beaches.

Lie down and watch the night stars, listening to the sea birds and the endless waves singing their relaxing melodies.

Just keep walking on an interminable beach, a natural reserve for mankind to step on and feel free.

Should I learn to fish too for survival purposes? Everything in due time.

I like to have a list of virgin beaches that proud and nature loving nations preserved from the vultures of modern time.

How ugly it is that people think that building just on the seashore is a privilege that no one else should share.


Chinchilla, hamster, guinea pig, and … (August 24, 2009)


I care for two dogs,

Cats, a chinchilla, a hamster, a guinea pig,

Two turtles, and a rabbit.

They are Not mine;

I care for them by default.

If I could dispose of Noah’s cargo

Then I’ll burn it down.


Nieces and nephews got attached growing up

To their favorite pets for a couple of days.

A few pets enjoyed longer friendship before grown ups moved out.

The youngest niece is still receiving pets as gifts

For her many real and faked birthdays.

If I could dispose of Noah’s cargo

I’ll start by tearing at Noah’s beard

Till this old fart bleeds.


Dogs can be forgotten for a couple of days;

They will stay cool and lick your hands:

They can always search the nearby waste bins.

The variety of rodents can squeal their head off;

I may gather now and then a few green leaves from my small garden.


Cats are a pest; they keep rubbing at your legs

And walking between your legs

Until you are ready to offer your own flesh for feed.

Turtles can be forgotten for months;

They will still be moving at a steady slow pace.

I have a mind of carrying my home or tent on my back

And roam the wilderness.

I might survive carrying my talisman on my back.


Someone else could feed and care for Noah’s cargo

If I were rich.

I don’t even get paid for all these hassles:

I am the default guy.

A few days ago I realized that,

In my isolation,

To whom else could I lord it over?


If I were rich

I’ll hire male and maid servants to care for Noah’s lot;

I’ll employ independent contractors for cheap.

If the hired individuals turn out not diligent and obedient,

As most of Noah’s cargo behave,

I’ll turn them loose.

They may howl or beg.

They can die of starvation.

I wouldn’t care:

Collective reading to commemorate: Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish

ANSAmed posted this March 10, 2014

Italian cities to commemorate Palestinian poet Darwish

In collective reading on 13/3, ‘Poetry against Oblivion’

Eleven Italian cities will be celebrating the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish on the day of his birth with poetry readings, in part to raise awareness about the ‘disappearance’ of his works from Italian bookshops.

On March 13, collective readings will be held in Bari, Milan, Messina, Naples, Cagliari, Florence, Macerata, Rome, Salerno, Turin and Venice of some of the works of the poet, who died in 2008 and is considered one of the most important poets in the Arab world.

His works can still be found in Italian libraries but not in bookshops since the main publisher of his works – the Milan-based Epoché – shut down in early 2013.

The initiative by the cultural association Arabismo has been named ‘Poetry against Oblivion. Poetry Readings for Mahmoud Darwish’.

A number of bookshops and libraries of Bologna, Modena, Mestre and Venice will take part, including with a series of multilingual installations of Darwish’s books.

Note:  Trailing a butterfly

Are you Dating an “ARAB” GIRL? From where exactly?

Is she harder to convince and more complex to understand than the ones on the big screen?

Pictures, photo-shoot, videos that have convinced you of her delicate and timid nature?

  published this Feb. 5, 2014 (selected as one of the top posts today)



Don’t date an Arab girl

She is not oppressed, like those caricatures on the news

Her long, flowing hair has not grown dark and strong to guide your eyes

To her curved figure, which exists not to twirl into shapes

That she many enchant you to the beat of the group vigorous Debke dance.

The Arab girl is born

With a fire in her belly and

Has inherited the strength of her fore-mothers.

Don’t date an Arab girl for she carries the Middle East on her shoulders

Every war and every invasion pushes her to tears

And she fights those tears back

To replaced with a brave face for her brothers and sisters;

Starving, homeless and grieving.

Don’t date an Arab girl, she inspires revolutions with her passions and her protest

She will come home late: she stays amongst the dissenters until

She can feel the winds of change.

Don’t fret, the Arab girl is protected from the cold

by the Kaffieh around her neck; she is the one sharing her last droplets of water

to quench the parched mouths, dried shouting for freedom in the midday sun.

Don’t date an Arab girl, she will fill your shelves and your mind with poets

Qabbani, Said and Mahfouz.

The rivers Euphrates, the Jordan and the Nile run through her veins.

The spirit of Cairo, Algiers and the West Bank satiate her heart.

Don’t date an Arab girl, you will too often hear her sigh in longing

for the sound of the Muezzin in the morning, the taste of ‘real’ olives,

the smell of freshly baked bread and for the feel of the sun’s rays

Biting the nape of her neck in the late afternoon.

Do date her because you believe in her struggle, when you can match her passion

and feel her pain.

Date her because you can hold her as she wavers

under the load she carries

As the strength of her mother fails

For a short moment.


This poem was inspired by the Arab women I know and the Arab women I don’t know but still look up to.

Cover art is by Lalla Essaydi and the poem’s form was inspired by Charles Warnke and Adi Zarsadias

She Says, He Says (1998)

1.   All right, communication research

Has gone a long way to resolving

A most frustrating, untenable balance

Between the sexes.

He says, she says can be explained

By the connection/status bipolar between genders:

She is seeking connection and support in conversation.

She knits webs of small networks

Of friends; small but very close.

He is jockeying for status:  Who’s one up

And who’s one down in the hierarchy.

He likes to speak to captive audiences.

2.   She likes to convey images of dependence,

Of understanding, of relating to others.

He likes to provide information and solutions.

He likes to project images if independence

And freedom of choices.

He is most able in telling stories.

They say the difference in perspectives is

Acquired learning.

It seems true.

Let me dare advance that

This acquired learning is

Premeditated to compensate for the

Genetic superiority of women.

3.   Men have always known,

From the beginning of time,

Who is the master and the rock.

How women manage to do it

Was the mystery.

Men knew it

But refused to acknowledge it.

The more men were sure of that knowledge

The angrier they were,

The more restricting the rules,

The stiffer the punishments.

4.   Why women are superior to men

Is a taboo subject.

I am telling you:

Women think long-term and act short.

She sets her goal and works steadfastly

Laying one brick at a time,

Building the most intricate plan.

5.   Skip the research and save your hard earned money.

Tell me:

Why men feel awkward, dazed and puzzled

When their peers heap on them glories

Of dreams come true?

False assumptions,

False glories.

Dreams are too long-term to be true to men.

Man has been saying over and over again that

Behind a great man is a woman.

Planning for him, for her goal.

6.   All right, we have been studying the mechanisms

Of conversation between women, men

And mixed men and women groups.

The connection/status dimension

Explains beautifully most of the misinterpretations

In communication between the sexes.

Sure, no one is going to change

His communication behavior because

He does know how it works.

Sure, no one is going to change

His planning behavior simply because

He does now know the basics.

7.   Say “I love you” more than once.

Say “I like you” more often.

True or false, just say it.

Who cares for more grieves,

When an extra moment of happiness is handy?

It is but one life that we live.

Yes, we are all seeking interdependence

In different shades and flavors.




November 2022

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