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A Poem for Summer June 21, 2011

Posted by The Typist in Odd Words, Poetry.
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An excerpt from Mutra by Octavio Paz

Like a too-loving mother, a terrible mother of suffocation,
like a silent lioness of sunlight,
a single wave the size of the sea,
it has arrived noiselessly and in each of us has taken its
place like a king
and the glass days melt and in each breast is erected a
throne of thorns and live coals
and its dominion is a solemn hiccup, a crushed breathing
of gods and animals with eyes dilated
and mouths full of hot insects uttering one same syllable
day and night, day and night.
Summer, enormous mouth, vowel made of fumes and
panting!

This day wounded to death creeping along the length of
time and never finished with dying,
and the day to come, now scraping impatiently at the
no-man’s-land of dawn,
and the rest waiting their hour in the vast stables of the year, this day and its four pups, morning with its crystal tail
and noon with its one eye,
noon absorbed in its light, seated in splendor,
afternoon rich in birds, night with its bright stars armed
and in full regalia,
this day and the presences that the sun exalts or pulls
down with a simple wingblow:
the girl who appears in the street and is a stream of quiet freshness, the beggar raising himself up like a feeble prayer, a heap
of garbage and whining canticles,
red bougainvillea black through darkness of red, purple
in accumulated blue,
women bricklayers carrying stones on their heads as if
they carried extinguished suns,
the beauty in her cave of stalactites, the sound of her
scorpion’s scales,
the man covered with ashes who worships the phallus,
dung and water,
musicians who tear sparks out of daybreak and make the
airy tempest of the dance come down to earth,
the collar of sparkle, electric garlands in equilibrium at midnight, the sleepless children picking fleas by moonlight,
fathers and mothers with their family flocks and their
beasts asleep and their gods petrified a thousand years ago, butterflies, vultures, snakes, monkeys, cows, insects
looking like madness,
all this long day with its frightful cargo of beings and
things slowly being stranded on suspended time.

– Octavio Paz

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