FACING THE SEA
From "Las Mayoas", Ibiza
To Carlos Bousoño
Transparent calm. Facing the reddish
Earth, dried up down to its bowels,
With an aridness now scorching,
The Mediterranean sprawls. There's short pine,
Savin, agave, and thyme grows
And faithful rosemary, so severely
They hardly smell if not of saltpeter.
The north wind burns. The afternoon's dying.
Truth of obedience, of offerance,
Of downfalls, attritions
Facing the pure blue sea turning
Emerald green at the shore. Old and new
Erosion. Sheets, plates, cornices,
Cliffs and breakwaters, sharp
Angles, striations, splendor of rock
With its thousand-year permanence. Here
The truth of stone: never mute
But in its inner reflecting,
In the trembling of a constant
Harvest, perforining its sure labor,
Its sober secret tenderness beside
The sea, which is too much creature,
Too much beautv for man.
Old Latin sea that doesn't sing today,
Hardly speaks, whispers, prisoner
Of its unrelenting power, with
Feeble pulse, without waves,
Almost in clairvoyant silence
While the sky darkens and, dry
And dense, the last chance for love
Arrives. Between stones, among waves,
What is surrender and what, supremacy?
What lulls us, what torments us:
The glassy sea or the desolate earth?
Translation by Louis Bourne