OCTAVIO PAZ modern haiku 36.1

January 21, 2012 § 2 Comments




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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