for MarcThis is how, while darkness
drew my profile with its little finger
I have learned to see past as Montale saw it,
The obscure thoughts of God descending
among a child’s drum beats,
over you, over me, over the lemon trees.
-Ilya Kaminsky, Praise
The rain falls lighter now and I gaze
At the dark descended onto our town.
From this mountain shelter I saw
The old mango tree struck down
By fierce lightning from the east,
Thunder rumbling in the heart
Of the guardian of the land, who thrills
To the meeting of the drought’s last sigh
And rush of rain brought by the northerlies
This 9th month of my return to my language.
I will go home to my folks, bringing fruits
From hills I had planted to marvelous trees
I had met in my travels in other lands
On this revolving earth: fragrant pears,
Their fresh flushed cheeks, bright lemons,
Yellow and thirst-quenching in hot season.
I will traverse the town’s old cemetery
Where ancestors sleep in edgeless night.
I will not wake them in their supreme repose,
Transient like them, I’m simply passing through.
I trust that beside the well which had been dug
By my elders, a storm lamp had been placed,
Lighting up the path towards home, the lamp-
Lighter minding the first law of neighborliness:
To help one another as best as one can in daily
acts of living, for if the lamp were put out, unlit,
Someone passing by might stumble or slide,
Fall into the neighborhood well and die.
I will stop, draw and drink the living water,
Thank the neighbor for this abiding light.
Translated from Binisayà by Marjorie Evasco.
- 109: NO THEME 12with C Maling & N Rhook 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C Lowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones