SageGreenJournal.org voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...

John Casquarelli

Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

John is s the author of two full-length collections: On Equilibrium of Song (Overpass Books, 2011) and Lavender (Authorspress, 2014) and Chairperson of the Santa Fe chapter (The Santa Fe Poetry Trails) of the New Mexico State Poetry Society (NMSPS).

 

Luis Figueredo, John Casquarelli's grandfather, was a poet, musician, and businessman in Havana, Cuba, where he typed out his collection of  poems in 1963. Luis was also the grandson of Perucho Figueredo, composer of  “La Bayamesa” (the Cuban National Anthem).

 

Havana Dialogue

is John's current project combining his grandfather's poems in Spanish with his own responses, in English.

 

from Havana Dialogue

by John Casquarelli & Luis Figueredo

 

I.

 

Claro de luna que mi camino alumbra

Con el suelo por alfombra y por luz la estrella,

Tu guías mis pasos en la penumbra

Llevando mis pensamientos hasta ella.

 

En el silencio de la tranquila noche

El canto de la chicharra parece sinfonía,

Que en mis oídos suena con derroche

De música grata y de alegría.

 

Canta la lechuza en la distancia,

Sóla vaya, mal acompañada, digo,

Y sin temor por mi camino con arrogancia

Bajo el claro de luna sigo.

 

De mis pasos la cuenta he perdido,

En el cielo aún la luna brilla,

Aquella estrella doquier me ha seguido

Y en el horizonte surge otra lucecilla.

 

Nuevo amanecer y nueva esperanza

Despuntan del horizonte en el confín,

Por el camino sigo mi andanza

Bajo el claro de luna y la estrella hasta el fin.

 

II.

 

I pull the curtains down and imagine

That you’re next to me sprawled in

Sunflowers. Not like one of those

CGI lifeless Sunday matinees that do

 

Nothing to cultivate our fetishes.

There are worlds that we share,

Which have yet to be defined.

Battered cars, the old apartment

 

My father said was my first home,

My indecision between water and

Whiskey, and watching the daylight

Pass without answers to my questions

 

In the humidity of palm tree July

Summers, vibrating in red hemispheres.

We admit we would do it all again.

To be that poem both here and nowhere

 

In time. To be symmetrical with the dim

Light in the cavern, looking up and

Thinking it’s enough to let the words

Greet us under sheets and laughter.

 

 

from Havana Dialogue

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