Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Prageeth Ekneligoda: Still Missing After a Month

The motherland

This house of thick colonial walls
and a very nineteenth-century patio with azaleas
has been crumbling down since several centuries.
As if nothing were happening persons come and go
from one collapsing room to another,
they make love, they dance, they write letters

Bullets often whistle or maybe it’s the wind
whistling through the hole in the broken-down ceiling.
In this house the living sleep with the dead,
they ape their customs, they repeat their grimaces
and when they sing, they sing their failures.

Everything is ruins in this house,
the embrace and the music are ruins,
destiny, all mornings, laughter are ruins,
as are tears, silence, dreams.
The windows show obliterated landscapes,
flesh and ashes get mixed up in the faces,
words are jumbled up with fear in the mouths.
In this house we are all buried alive.

ría Mercedes Carranza
© Translation: 2004, Nicolás Suescún

María Mercedes Carranza was born in Bogotá in 1945, the same city where she took her life in 2003. From an early age onwards, she was surrounded by poetry because her father, the poet Eduardo Carranza, met his friends (among whom were Dámaso Alonso and Pablo Neruda) in his living room to sing verses to life.

© Poetry International Web
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