OCTAVIO PAZ modern haiku 36.1

January 21, 2012 § 2 Comments

A DAY IN THE CITY OF LAKES

:

:

The white palace

white on the black lake

lingam and yoni

:

As the goddess does the god

night has encircled me

:

The cool veranda

You are boundless, boundless

but surveyable

:

The stars they’re inhuman

This hour though is ours

:

Falling I rise

Burning I grow wet

Do you have only one body?

:

Birds skimming the water

Dawn comes to my eyelids

:

Filled with thoughts

immense as death itself

the marble looms over you

:

Palaces run aground

their whiteness is adrift

:

Women and children

roam through the street

fruit scattered about

:

Flashy rags or lightening?

A procession on the plain

:

Cold and jingling

on their wrists and ankles

bands of silver

:

In a rented suit a guy

goes to his wedding

:

Clean and draped to dry

among the stones clothes

you watch in silence

:

On the island monkeys

with red asses are screaming

:

Sun dim in the heat

Hanging from the wall

a wasp’s nest

:

My face is also the sun

of blackened thoughts

:

Flies and blood

fill the courtyard of Kali

A young goat flits about

:

Eating from the same plate

gods and men and beasts

:

Over the pale god

the black goddess

dances headless

:

Heat and the hour splits open

These rotting mangoes

:

Your face a lake

smooth, without thoughts

Out splashes a trout

:

Afternoon’s gone

Lights kindle over the water

:

A rippling in

the golden plain and a grotto

Your clothes nearby

:

Over your body in the shade

I am like a lamp

:

A scale made of

living bodies bound together

over the void

:

The water sustains us

The sky overwhelms us

:

I open my eyes

How many trees were born

just last night

:

What I’ve seen and wanted to say

the white sun blots out

:

:

El Dia en Udaipur translated by Chris Gordon

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