On the Language of Pablo Neruda



You write another language. You whisper hunger

and skin awakening to kisses. You blow on my heart.

You send me dreaming among doubtful colours

and close my teeth on ash, salt and poppies;

their taste lingers on my soul’s tongue.


You speak another language. When poetry found you

and broke your heart loose on the wind, it blew,

circumventing time, slip-streaming the earth’s

circumference to this other southern continent;

there urgently, gently, it whispers in my ear.


You teach me another language. You have come,

marking the atlas of my mind with the mouths of estuaries,

mapping coordinates on uncharted seas. You have come,

showing me the anguish of how nets cannot hold water,

and how they blossom with seething shoals of silver.


© Dael Allison


Published in Five Bells Spring 2005 Vol 12 no 4