Saludos / Ramón Palomares


Greetings, precious bird.
And don’t abandon the feathers’ gold
among those clouds
and don’t lose the song in the dominion of thunder.
In case you pass from the sky
and remain a prisoner of the stars.

How much has been lost from journeys,
how many waves crashed into the cliffs,
while your wings
stole fulgencies from the powerful dog of the sky.
And how much of rains,
of summer, of grass turned red
by the implacable season.
Or of grey, fog and continuous ghost
facing the young man in love with ships.
The lost neighbors,
the weeping of friends
I have seen dried in handkerchiefs
by forgetting and irremediable passing.
Not to mention the girl
whose chest until yesterday was so smooth
and was later seen
as an exquisite branch.

But, traveling friend,
how can we recount the losses,
sales that have been made,
new acquisitions?
And if the modest family
sells their provincial possessions
and buys comfortable apartments,
haven’t we sold the heart
and over and over
changed the opinions of our consciousness
to better understand the news of the week?
And while you over the past year
would give yourself to the aromatic skies of the north,
here the deaths and births
would change the ropes of the ship
and make the old man stumble.
And while you stole from that dog
the beautiful fulgencies,
the gold for majesty in your wings,
the changes of city,
the arrivals to love,
the songs of a hopeful cloud
that would drown us in desires
were painting new and strange figures
on the ship’s keel.

And meanwhile there was nothing
but the incessant shine
and the incessant beating of those wings
above foam and cities,
above countrysides and distant plains;
beyond the towers established by the fall of the nights.
There was nothing beyond those absorbed eyes,
fixed toward the north or south,
the tail firm,
in the manner of a rudder,
and the impulse
and the path indicated by a thread.
And the sky, and the aromas
of dead or recently opened flowers
and the changing airs.

And for you there was only, traveling friend;
the departures, the returns
found those pupils
still, serene, spread out
amid the races played by the sky.

For you there is barely time to sing
in the delicious garden
and to shake your wings in the pond
where the wind has not been able to conquer.


{ Ramón Palomares, El reino, Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores, 2001 }

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