I spent a while this evening reading Pablo Neruda, losing myself in his love and anguish, completely breath-taken and to the point of tears. I know that words lose a lot in translation, but a true poet can convey feeling so basic to humanity that their messages transcend the barriers of language and time.
I have never had his talent nor his insight into human nature, but I did write poetry once upon a time. I have decided it’s time to force myself to write more often, but for now, I scrounged up something I wrote back in ’06. As I tell anyone who reads anything I write…be gentle in your criticisms! (I’m no Neruda!)
Silk words tumble from lovers’ tongues
to bedsheets and twist themselves
up in the covers.
in a bed full of arms that grasp,
reach and stretch
as man and woman unite,
gasping together in biorhythmic harmony.
Faces morph as time pulls
lovers’ smiles into frowns.
Terms once of endearment
Man pulls from woman
and likewise woman from man
each annoyed at life’s rough nature
and a little sad
that love is not a paint
that can cover all the cracks.
Dishes smash in anger;
storms brew in once genteel hearts.
Emotion all in motion all building all stirring all wild until
silence–as silent as the grave–
and as fitting
as man sinks to his knees at her headstone.
Nothing more can be said
so he hopes he said it all–
that he loved her even when he was angry,
that she was sexy even when overweight,
that he couldn’t live without her
(not that he could never
but that true lovers should never
be forced apart by a cruel Death).
As he tuckers himself
into his bed at night,
he thinks of whispered words
and his passionate playmate,
As his life seeps away–
breath by breath by breath–
he takes shelter in being one breath closer
to the mortal lover of his immortal love.
At the moment of death,
he realizes as his heart slows,
pulls away the less important aspects of life
and who was wrong
and who was right
that one Saturday night doesn’t seem to matter.
But handfuls of words are tossed back at his failing body
from a youth
d e e p within,
stirring and yearning for the
physical (display of love).
One last gasp from a dying man
softly to the pillow beside him.