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Love Sonnet XVII
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I do not love you like coral or topaz,
or the blazing hearth’s incandescent white flame:
I love you as obscure things are loved in the dark,
secretly, in shadows, unnamed.

I love you like shrubs that refuse to bloom
while pregnant with the radiance of mysterious flowers;
now thanks to your love an earthy fragrance
lives dimly in my body’s odors.

I love you without knowing how, when, why or where;
I love you forthrightly, without complications or care:
I love you this way because I know no other.

Here, where “I” no longer exists, nor “you” ...
so close that your hand on my chest is my own,
so close that your eyes close gently on my dreams.

Keywords/Tags: Neruda, translation, Spanish, love, sonnet, rose, topaz, coral, dark, shadow, obscure, secret, fragrance, hand, chest, eyes, close, dreams
Aaditya Mar 2019
Red
Your cherry coloured lips used to
bring the coral blush on my cheeks.
But now it boils my crimson within,
leaving my face all scarlet with rage.

You were the apple of my eye,
as precious as ruby to me.
But now, wine and water seem the same,
and jam never tastes as sweet.
What changed, dear Rose?
Why have you faded?
shamamama Jan 2019
"What's your birthstone?  
I don't know, Oh, I know--it's rock."

Black rocks baking in the sun
dot this beach
Like chocolate chips in the dough
They call to us
Come climb,
Come hop on us
Find treasures hidden behind and between
All our dark shadows,

Lying as still as stone
A large rock shape,
Oh, it's grayer
and duller,
and there's sand sprinkled on it,
And it's moving!
It's Living Rock,
The monk seal napping
from its morning meal.

Yes- we watch others walk right by him
caught in their words,
Unaware of the living amongst the rocks,
Living Rock doesn't care
His belly is full

Gray sleek shape
massaged by the wind
with feast in your belly,
So mighty tired!
You taste your sleep for days,
Clouds cover the day's starlight you seek,
Your body begs for light, and yet
Nobody can wake you from your slumber
Not even the high pitched voices
of children playing
nor the fishing lines in and out of the tide

What of your dreams
Oh Large Gray Rock
Do you dream of the ocean tossing
Fish  into your mouth?
Or of the warm sun coming
to bake your skin?

The salt water dances up your nostrils,
You lift your head in mild protest
Then let it rest on your
Ancient bed of coral and shell bones
My feet love to dig into your bed

No insomnia for you sea creatures,
Maybe I should count monk seals
Instead of sheep when I want to sleep,
Your body clock measures time
Not in days or hours
But in meals, in hunts
In fullness, in emptiness
Your sleep is well earned
My friend

We can learn from you.
You bask, dream,
Then awaken renewed
To taste your ocean again,
Rock, monk seal, ocean,  beach, renewal
faeri Dec 2018
I'm not a pretty sunset on the beach
With small waves and a spring breeze.
My waves are high
They rumble fiercely.
No coral reef but a bed of rocks that guards ***** and sea urchins.
But I'll still love you more than the waves will ever love the shore.
K Balachandran Nov 2018
Past coral garden,
Dive to the depth of blue night;
Blissful oblivion!
I
K Balachandran Aug 2018
Gobsmacked I peer at,
The coral garden, you are;
Magic feast for soul!
K Balachandran Jan 2018
a scuba diver,
stunned by coral display,
forgets his way back!
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