Divine Beasts

Henri-Rousseau-1140x642

Painting by Henri Rousseau

Divine beasts

.

Weeks amble by, anteaters,

oblivious of us, the observers and consumers of time.

They have stepped out of Neruda’s poem:

Algunas Bestias.

Out of the fecund jungles

of South America.

They are happy to find the reddish-brown domes

of anthills

in the dormant winter veld

of Gauteng.

.

With strong claws they slash open

anthills, they dash their whiplike tongues inside,

gorge themselves on termites, which we call ants.

.

What about the hours and days

that are fleshed in Pablo’s other animals?

Will they thrive here?

Will the guanaco, rarefied as oxygen,

with its gold-flecked boots,

and compassionate eyes,

be able to graze on the dead grass?

.

And the anaconda?

Will it turn into an ordinary python,

and lose its divine powers?

Shall we invite the wondrous animals

to our everyday lives?

Yes, we should.

.

Our leopard, reclining in a camel thorn tree,

is thinking Roman thoughts.

Impalas flee from him,

but worship him,

the god of life and death.

.

Algunas Bestias

Pablo Neruda

.

Era el crepúsculo de la iguana.

Dersde la arcoirisada crestería

su lengua como un dardo

se hundía en la verdura

About kruger01

Poet, author, translator Grandfather of five. Bonsai grower.
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