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Triangles | Poem by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda
translated by Jodey Bateman

Three triangles of birds crossed 
Over the enormous ocean which extended 
In winter like a green beast. 
Everything just lay there, the silence, 
The unfolding gray, the heavy light 
Of space, some land now and then. 
Over everything there was passing 
A flight 
And another flight 
Of dark birds, winter bodies 
Trembling triangles 
Whose wings, 
Frantically flapping, hardly 
Can carry the gray cold, the desolate days 
From one place to another 
Along the coast of Chile. 

I am here while from one sky to another 
The trembling of the migratory birds 
Leaves me sunk inside myself, inside my own matter 
Like an everlasting well 
Dug by an immovable spiral. 
Now they have disappeared 
Black feathers of the sea 
Iron birds 
From steep slopes and rock piles 
Now at noon 
I am in front of emptiness. It’s a winter 
Space stretched out 
And the sea has put 
Over its blue face 
A bitter mask. 

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