Vida. (Life) A Poem by Antonio Arboleda (English & Spanish)

Image: Calle Santo Domingo, Lorca (Spain), showing the house where Antonio was born and his mother, Lucia, in the balcony of their flat.
 
Life
 
To my father, Antonio Martínez Manzanera, who passed away on 28 March 2021
 
You leave behind a trail of victims.
 
How many voices,
unique children
delivered to your light,
did you end up strangling
with your own hands, Life?
 
You kept up the appearances
deceiving those humans
who believed themselves
boundless,
who felt accepted by the matter
of an uncanny universe
that turns out to be
just a sad arrangement
of rough stones and gases,
a universe that enslaves you,
Life,
as its precarious
exotic whim,
forcing you to leapfrog
through chosen planets,
and drag yourself
in travelling theatres
for your vanity,
and your honour,
Life.
 
My thinking carbon molecules,
the impression of my spirit,
are not members
of any ruthless club
of inert particles,
of empty energies,
of graceless big bangs
with no purpose,
with no story to tell.
 
Life,
if there exists a divine mystery,
sweet and tragic,
mother, parricide,
redeeming saviour,
defying the dark,
clumsy ways of physics
that must be you,
Life,
That must be you.
 
 
 
Vida
 
A mi padre, Antonio Martínez Manzanera, fallecido el 28 de marzo de 2021
 
Dejas a tu paso un reguero de víctimas.
 
¿Cuántas voces únicas,
hijas paridas en tu luz,
terminaste ahogando
con tus propias manos, Vida?
 
Tus apariencias engañaron
a más de uno,
que se creyó sin límites,
aceptado por un universo
que resulta estar hecho
de pedruscos y gases,
por un universo
del que no eres más
que lacaya en precario,
Vida,
capricho excéntrico
que de salto en salto se arrastró
por planetas elegidos,
teatros ambulantes
de tu vanidad,
y de tu honra,
Vida.
 
No es mi carbono pensante
ni el espíritu de mi impronta
miembro de ese club despiadado
de partículas inertes,
de vanas energías,
de big bangs
sin propósito, ni narrativa.
 
Vida,
si existe un misterio
y una divinidad,
dulce y trágica,
madre, parricida,
salvadora y redentora,
desafiando las artes oscuras
ramplonas
de las físicas
y las químicas
esa,
Vida,
eres tú.

 

Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Antonio (Tony Martin-Woods) started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change 100tpc.org/. Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda at the University of Leeds. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. http://www.artemispoesia.com/ .

He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Crítica y Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons the Nation Paperback , Goddess Summons the Nation Kindle Edition , is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English, available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms. Editor’s note: further information bio & academic activities can be found at this link: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/languages/staff/91/antonio-martinez-arboleda

 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules, Next Arrivals and Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Poem by EVA MARÍA CHINCHILLA on a homage supplement published in “Cuadernos del Matemático” Nº 56-58, dedicated to Leonard Cohen,Translated from Spanish by Robin Ouzman Hislop & Amparo Arróspide

          We are the lesser who will never be able to write
          a good love poem than those of us who will never
          be able to write a love poem in time.

 
 
I love your temperature. That’s what I love,
not you
 

Gentle, gallant, it keeps the milky warmth of a blade of wheat
offering itself at dawn
breaking earlier than myself, heralding
— from its delta-
 
the descent of dreams
 
I love your eyes. For their sea, for their fairy
for their
id
 
and whilst each time i shatter the image of blue cliches
you invade that which has no colour, each time leaving it within
that which i’ll never
discover
 
not you
 
I love your caligraphy. Remains of eternity, my inheritance
that you pretend as yet yours
 
voice that sweetly swathes me
and tungsten. Impossible firefly, there
I love your caligraphy because it cleanses each time the wound of having thought i knew you
 
(and the treasure of the hidden note in the third stanza, when id
shipwrecks
where we read
because it cleanses each time the wound of having thought i knew you
 
to read again now
 
because it gently opens the wound whether i knew
how to love
despite not knowing
 
I love your caligraphy because it lets me recognise you
a balm which you prepare for me, it says
 
to recognise has been to know
 
so
 
there exists the possibility that i have
you, that´s what your caligraphy says, it says my
my love for you
that i have not yet known,
 
it extends before my eyes and on my skin bares – a code so familiar as to be indeciph–
sunsets and a bond of views without other qualification than their
certainty
 
this breeze that rustles my skin, carouses my blood, tempers
and forgives me
me, you, me
 
 
 
 

          Somos menos quienes nunca lograremos escribir
          un buen poema de amor que quienes nunca
          lograremos escribir a tiempo un poema de amor

 
 
Amo tu temperatura. Es lo que amo,
y no a ti
 
Suave, donosa, guarda el calor lácteo de la espiga. Se entrega de madrugada, antes
que yo amanece y anuncia
–desde su delta—
 
la bajada de los sueños
 
Amo tus ojos. Por su mar, por su hada
por su
id
 
y mientras yo destrozo cada vez la pantalla de los tópicos
del azul, invades lo que no tiene color, lo dejas dentro cada vez jamás
encontraré
 
no a ti
 
Amo tu caligrafía. Restos de eternidad, herencia mía
que simulas tuya aún
 
voz de tela que me arropa
y wolframio. Luciérnaga imposible, ahí
 
amo tu caligrafía, porque desinfecta, cada vez, la herida de haber creído conocerte
 
(y la nota del tesoro escondido de la tercera estrofa, cuando naufrague
id
donde hemos leído
porque desinfecta, cada vez, la herida de haber creído conocerte
para ahora leer
 
porque abre con suavidad la herida de si supe amar
lo que conocía
a pesar de no sabr que lo
 
amo tu caligrafía porque me deja reconocerte
un bálsamo que tú preparas para mí, dice
 
reconocer ha sido conocer
 
entonces
 
existe la posibilidad de que te haya
a ti eso dice tu caligrafía, dice mi
te amo a ti
que yo no he sabido saber,
 
extiende ante mis ojos y en mi piel expone –en un código tan familiar como indesci—
amaneceres y miradas en unidad, sin otro calificativo que el de
 
indudables
 
esa brisa se extiende por mi piel, navega por mi sangre, me templa
y me perdona
 
a mí, a ti, a mí
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eva Chinchilla, evachin. Poet. Author of Años Abisinios (2011), Verbo rea (2003), and a third poetry book currently in production. Participant in anthologies such as La noche y sus etcéteras. 24 voces alrededor de San Juan de la Cruz (2017), Hilanderas (2006) o Estruendomudo (2003). She is also a board member of poetry magazine Nayagua, which is a publication by the José Hierro Poetry Foundation, where she was a teacher from 2007 to 2016. Member of the Genialogías Association and the 8que80 collective of female poets; co-editor of Diminutos Salvamentos poetry collection. She walks along the haiku and flamenco lyrics paths. A philologist (hispanist), with a degree free master in continuous training and questioning. Born in Madrid (1971).
 
 
Eva Chinchilla, evachin. Poeta. Autora de Años abisinios (2011), Verbo rea (2003), y un tercer poemario en prensa; incluida en antologías como La noche y sus etcéteras. 24 voces alrededor de San Juan dela Cruz (2017), Hilanderas (2006) o Estruendomudo (2003). Forma parte del consejo de la revista de poesía Nayagua, que se edita desde la Fundación Centro de Poesía José Hierro de Getafe, donde fue profesora desde 2007 hasta 2016. Integrante de la Asociación Genialogías y el colectivo 8que80 de mujeres poetas; coeditora de la colección diminutos salvamentos; andariega del camino del haiku y de las letrillas flamencas. Filóloga (hispanista), con master sin titulación en formación y cuestionamiento continuos. Nació en Madrid (1971).
 
 
 
 
 
 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
 
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
 
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)