We lost this wonderful soul a few days ago, Enrique Servín the philosopher, poet, and languages lover. He was master for many, so I give him tribute by posting his poems as master poet in this issue. I am adding my tribute at the end of the page, which talks about him.

Poems by Enrique Servín


Rainbow

Stop the car and look at that rainbow. It’s not often
you get a chance to see one like this one.

And the rainbow floats, high up, above
made up of light.

A bridge between this world
and this same world.

Letting us dream
that things like reconciliation, the heights
perfect beauty
are indeed possible.

And people saw there ancient thresholds
and in the places whence it springs up
–always unattainable–
they saw the treasures of the earth.

But there is no treasure
other than this burning rainbow, the valleys
wet with rain
and mountains.

Endless clouds.


Thundering

Thundering.
And from the sky
air, leaves, the gazing
of the ones standing here
renew. (They all renew.)

How tall become, then, our horizons
how little matters, then, the frailness of all things
Past end future. The nothingness we are.

Dark music: the desert air is turned into
all-distant waters. Invading.

And what we call eternity
Is cyphered in the lightning, and in an ¬¬–equally– remote and
darkest fragrance.


April once again

It’ll be April soon, for one more year.
The air
the sun
the soil
the sweetest rain
will just repeat themselves
as they have done it for so long.

Yourself: you will be going back
to your old ways.

So be prepared, on time, for the emergency.

And the emergency will be
to fall in love with someone once again
to build up, out of nothingness, tall trees
to pull up chants, out of sheer stones.

To be the fiercest fire, devouring
yourself
in the attempt.


Moons


Luna:
6. F. Espejo cuyo tamaño permite ver a las personas de cuerpo entero

Diccionario de la Real Academia Española


Go and look at yourself in the moon, an old voice would tell me, and “the moon”
was the golden ship of a mirror, very high in front of me, that would come close
from that wall. Of iridescent edges and woods even much older
than the voice of that aunt that would always sway and smile to others.

The mirror left.
Men came to take it down and covering it with cardboard and paper
carried it from the living room. There was a long hallway in that house.
So that moon left. Something definite.
Because the aunt had died before, and I no longer remember how.
Distant images of pieces of furniture departing. Some relative that sought
a vase, a crystal ornament as a keepsake. Not more.

And now all of that is imprecise and hushed. Memory’s dust.
And the moon is now only that of the sky, forever.
Beyond my dreams and memories. Beyond the body that
is no longer a child’s.

The slow, alien, moon.

Coldly, it is only a change in the use of words. Language
also grows old; that is unimportant.

But language is alive, it plays, and there is no nostalgia
in the fortuitous metaphor by which the moon, that of the sky,
becomes once more a mirror:
Sea of Rains, Ocean of Storms, Sea of Tranquility
where up close
there is but dust and silence.

Aerial silver, the moon
of distant silence.

That slow moon of the sky, in the high afternoon.



Illegal Alien

I’m in another country, say the maps,
History, or some other detail:
Strange faces, laughter that laughs
with a foreign accent.

This place, it is true
could never be my city.

But if I stick a shovel in the earth
the earth, moist from winter
opens just as back there, and the worm
rolls about with no country,
because it loves life.

And flies, identical, also land
on garbage heaps.

And the reed bed, and the cold wind
speak a tongue that I can understand.



Translated by Robert Ransom


Lament of the crocodile who eats a mermaid


What a horrible taste. Especially the head.
Because waist down it was not disagreeable.
A soft white meat, a rather light and tasty flavor.
Not much difference
with those large golden fish
that I sometimes can catch before they reach the sea.

But the rest of the body, what a complete disaster.
How visceral and inconsistent. Indeed how bilious.
And must one speak about that heart of hers, so decomposed
or of its salty blood?
But the worst was the head, so strong and pungent.
Woe is me. How much bitterness and sorrow
I carry now in my gullet.

Poor thing.
It must have been so tough enduring such a life, so much divided
between the tail divine, iridescent and mighty
and the oppressive head, that by its heavy load
tended to drag her to the chasm.

—And then the crocodile
let fall one of those tears that have made it so famous—.



Postscript:

My tribulated crocodile on various occasions has been accused of misogyny, when in reality he is, of course, a misanthrope. All things considered he could even pass for a feminist misanthrope, given that he delegated the representation of the entire human race—as the exclusive keeper of reason and the indisputable inventor of technology and progress—to the person of one dazzling mermaid.
Apart from this, and from a strictly literary point of view, what could’ve been achieved with a word as masculine as it is cacophonous as Triton? But come now, militants of the world: crocodiles do not cry and mermaids do not exist.


Translated by Robert Ransom 



A promise



I will not flee from you
fountain or chaos, veneer, or wind.

As long as precariously
equilibrium holds together this truth
made of humble woods
I will obey under the fires of dawn or of late afternoon
—happenings, dreams, desire—
the inscrutable voice of whatever you want me to be.

I surrender to the wind
in front of the light of this unfathomable landscape.

Translated by Lilvia Soto

Aphorism


As under the snow
when the atmosphere is filled with stars
of floating water, white and crystal-pure
the world hides much more beauty
than we will ever be able to understand.

But those stars
light out and dissolve
as soon as they touch our hands.

Translated by Lilvia Soto

My tribute to the Master

I know, you can read this given line Enrique Alberto Servín Herrera (Enrique Servín), (as you can read any language in this world)-

“असतो मा सद्गमय तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय मृत्यो: मा अमृतं गमय”

I saw you first in China, at Beijing airport, I think, it was 7 .5.2016. First edition of Twin Rivers International Poetry Week at Suiyang, Guizhou. We were among a few, who came via Beijing. When I came out of Airport, I was much tired, when I came out with the reception team, I found you near a bus, with a small box in hand, You welcome me with a smile – oh, you came from India, So nice to meet you.

I don’t know, how I reacted, but you started praising Indian culture, philosophy, and spirituality.

I thought, you are one among many, who have the wrong idea about spirituality, who came to Ghats and think that rituals are spirituality, or poverty is religion,

I bluntly asked you, how much you know about Indian spirituality.

You were not defeated, but said – I try to read Geeta, etc. I want to read in original Sanskrit, and one day, I will learn

Now, I am a bit convinced, this man is not shallow, as he knows that the translations are very different then original text.
But till now, I never meet an intellectual poet, except Dr. Ayyappa Paniker, Most of the poets I meet in such festival are butterfly, some are like Honey bee, who always drunkard in their own words, and many are like flowers, just giving fragrance, but You were among very sharp and intelligent.

Later we had a conversation about Hinduism, I talked about how different stages of Indian philosophy from Richa to Upanishad to Purana, you were  listening to me with care. And it looks that you are satisfied, you told me, "we may have more communication about many things, What you said, was my observation also, but I never got anyone, who talk in details. "
So our communication started towards a good friendship, We could not find other poets in the hotel. In Beijing, it is difficult to find someone, who can speaks in English, but to my surprise, you could speak in of Chinese and find out that what is the system for the dinner, and other plans regarding festival.

I asked you- Do you know Chinese? You replied- I learned many languages, and Chinese is one among them, I was now impressed, though it was your first visit to China. I was wondering, how much this poet from Mexico knows about the world. Later I came to know that you are a linguistic as well as philosphor,
For most of us, Mexico is a land of workers, migrants and hungry people, who are rushing to America, We know about Mayan Civilization, but very little,
When I asked about your country, You said- See India and Mexico are almost same, we have the baggage of olden civilization, ancient philosophy, but our present is confusing, we are poor, because of mismanagement.

Later in our festival, You keep asking me about many things which impressed me – like Kutiyattam, (not Kathakali like many ask) You could sing a few lines of Subba Lakshmi. You could recite many hymns in Sanskrit.

And at last day, like a child, you were happy after seeing wonderful beauty of twin river," I am astonished and asking myself, is it true that I am in so much beautiful part of the world?"

Here I could see innocent purity in you.

I remember a child in you, when returning from Beijing, we climbed on china wall, I was terribly tired and sad that I am not enjoying like you all, but seeing you I felt that how proud you felt walking on the wall. I learned a new face of you, when you started talking to taxi driver in Chinese, and asking about the Chinese Opera, the young driver was very intelligent, and knew many lines of Opera. It was surprising to see you singing the lines with the driver with almost same note, Oh God, what a poet you are!
He not only knows about Chinese literature but knows how to sing Opera, which is one of the most difficult singing .
I must say, you explained to me about Chinese ancient poets, I was such an ignorant.

I learned from you that you are like an Amrit Pot, which is eager to get more and more Amrit .You never show your intellectual strengths to show off.

I am a kind of person, who never write back to poets, as most of them do, as I don’t like to create poets lobby like many are making. So I never communicate with you.

I got your message, just two months before kritya2017, in which you wished to come to India, as it is his dream to see this land. So you politely asked me, “if I can join kritya festival.“

I liked your work but was hesitating, as kritya cannot pay travel expenses. So I wrote back to you -"if you can manage his tickets."
You agreed immediately as you had many flying points, which can be convert into a ticket.

Thus you came to kritya festival in Trivandrum. Though I was working hard, so i couldn’t communicate, moreover you were not a kind of poet, who want attention. After the festival, we had a big seminar, I had to invite a few poets to take part in it.
With my previous experience, I selected you, and later when I read your paper, it was fantastic, that I wanted to use your article in my upcoming book, with your permission.

You wrote to me that you want to have a kritya kind of festival in your country, you want to invite Arundhati Roy as well, and moreover, you wanted my poems, translated into Spanish.

I remembered that you told me that –Rati, your poems are very different from your outer shape, they have deep philosophy, I will translate them and make my people understand poetic philosophy.

Your words were sufficient for me, but we again never communicate much, as I never wanted to disturb your journey of knowledge.

Yesterday Bas Kwakman send me a message about the saddest news in this world, I was shocked, and not able to react.

The thief who hit on your head was the enemy of knowledge. He not only steal your car but stolen light of knowledge from this world. I was expecting more and more research and work from you dear poet friend

I don’t have words,

I am sure, you will be learning many languages of Gods, by now.

They say that God calls dearest one, but I don’t like this.

Don’t keep quiet friend, make noise in heaven also, so we have a different world,

Rati Saxena


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