Margaret Reckord, Jamaica
a cold radiance
that made all
who loved her
leave her alone
they might -
hers was the single
to the moon.
TO MY UNKNOWN FRIEND
Irina Ratushinskaya, Ukraine & Russia(translated by David McDuff)
Above my half of the world
The comets spread their tails.
In my half of the century
Half the world looks me in the eye.
In my hemisphere the wind's blowing,
There are feasts of plague without end.
But a searchlight shines in our faces,
And effaces the touch of death.
And our madness retreats from us,
And our sadnesses pass through us,
And we stand in the midst of our Fates,
Setting our shoulders against the plague.
We shall hold it back with our selves,
We shall stride through the nightmare.
It will not get further than us - don't be afraid
On the other side of the globe!
Juana De Ibarbourou, Uruguay(Translated by Marti Moody)
If I die, don't take me to the cemetery.
My grave is opening
right at the surface of the earth, near the laughing
clatter of some birdhouse,
near a fountain and its gossip.
Right at the surface, love. Almost above ground
where the sun can heat my bones, and my eyes
can climb the stems of plants to watch
the sunset, its fierce red lamp.
Right at the surface. So the passage
will be short. I already see
my body fighting to get back above the soil,
to feel the wind again.
I know my hands may never calm down.
The ghosts around me will be dim, juiceless, but my
will scratch like moles.
Sprout seeds for me. I want them growing
in the yellow chalk of my bones.
I'll climb the roots like a grey staircase, and watch you
from the purple lilies.
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