|Against rhetorical and ornate verse,
There is the verse natural. Here a storm:
There a dry stone. Here a golden bird
On verdant branches shining as a nasturtium
Amongst emeralds. There the fetid, sticky track
Of a worm: its eyes, two bubbles of mire,
Its brownish belly, engorged and filthy.
Above the free, far higher and alone,
In the steel-blue sky there is a fixed star,
And beneath it a red furnace is burning,
Furnace whose arduous fires boil the earth.
Flames, flames that fight, with gaping holes for eyes,
And tongues for arms, and manly blood for sap,
Sharp-pointed like a sword: the sword of life
That sets the blaze that finally wins over,
Fire by fire, the expanse of earth!
The fire climbs, feeds from within, aborts.
Man starts in fire and ends in a wing,
And across his triumphant stride, the impure,
The evil, the cowardly and the vanquished,
As snakes, cur dogs and double-toothed crocodiles,
From here and there, from everywhere amassing,
From under the soil sustaining him ,
From inside the brook that sates his thirst,
From atop the anvil where his bread is struck,
They bark at him, together sink their teeth
Into his feet, throw dust, throw mud in his face,
And all else that will blind him on his way:
So ought noble poetry to be: the same
As life: both star and cur dog: here
The cave bitten by the fire; there the fragrant pine
On whose branches a nest sings by moonlight.
Other poems by Josi Marti