The Old Buenos Aires’ Shoeshine Man

Pietro Grieco

 

When he shines shoes,
speaks and gestures watermarks in the air,
it is habitual that his hands
resemble dreams of dreams unfulfilled–
But, what customer knows or guesses
behind that smile what polishes and burnishes
the tough desires of his memory?

 

Now, unshaved for days
on the sunny sidewalk of Florida Street
he sleeps. Yes, he sleeps in his summer smile
wrapped by the golden light of the winter sun.

 

Who is going to ask him to shine shoes?
The million people that daily flows past.
How? He has an infinite dream…
In it he runs now!
Runs and jumps on a prairie,
following swallows and countryside doves,
blue doves
while drunken orange blossoms perfumes,
caress his hair.

 

Even if the wax melts, the flannels fly
and the brushes walk,     who?
But who can awaken him
from such exclusive chimeral treasure?

 

Sadly, I never knew his name

 

 

Pietro Grieco

 

 Pietro Grieco is Doctor of Divinity, has an OBD in Administration Sciences, and a Master of Arts in Literature and Writing.  He taught at the Buenos Aires University and Belgrano University in Argentina, and  at the California State University San Marcos, CA.  Mr. Grieco wrote academic essays, poetry and seven books. Some of his articles on spirituality have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. He resides with his wife Blanchette in Spain.

 

 

The Scented Whiffs of Jasmine/ 확 퍼지는 자스민 향기

Ines Abassi

Translation by Olfa Drid

 

The texture of the cloak of night,
An azure dawn full of the breath of the sea.
And the scent of the white lilies of departure
Fills the heart, fills the soul,
Fills the city, heavily armed with daggers
Made of the silver of days.
Memories:
Memories stretch over time 
Upon each fall
From the edge of waiting.
Memories shimmer in the womb of night:
Agony,
A gasp like an ornament on your blue shirt.
Memories:
Twinkle on the eyelashes of dawn
Like a rhymed dream.
Memories, the strings of the spirit’s harp,
Right in the middle of a dream.
The night lifts the veil off its face,
Expectant and fertile,
Forming in the bowels of time
Ever since the step met its mate
In the wilds of chance;
Ever since the dance of wolves
Failed to stop in your blood
Scorched by mine;
Ever since the soul touched its soul
In the body of a poem,
And the rose of longing did not heal.
Searing:
It is the white extent
Embracing the flicker of two lights,
And the wafting breath of drifting jasmine
Under the windows of the night.
It is the heart courting the heart,
A stretch of memories,
And the same music of longing
Dancing with the letters of the alphabet,
Letters curiously leaping
From all corners of language.
The night is suffused
With the sound of violins,
Summing up the passion of yearnings
And the softness of light.
And…the heart,
Heaving with the blood of longing,
Has turned into a sea shell,
Concealing the buzz of language
And the conceit of words.
The heart, your heart,
A garden of longing shaded by orange blossoms
And the jasmine of joy.
The heart, your heart, is my pergola,
And your soul a post to which are tethered
The horses of the night;
The whispers of the timid dawn,
The sound of waves and the cries of gulls.
…..

From the pinnacle of the soul,
And passion,
I excised the fuzz of words from my speech
And swept the dust off these times.

퍼지는 자스민 향기

밤이 걸친 외투의 질감,

바다 숨결 가득한 푸른 새벽.

이별의 흰 백합 향기가

가슴을 채우고, 영혼을 채우고

낮의 은으로 만든 단검으로 중무장한

도시를 채운다.

추억들,

기다림의 모서리에서

하나씩 떨어질 때마다

추억은 시간 위에 펼쳐진다.

추억은 밤의 자궁에서 가물거린다.

고뇌,

너의 푸른 셔츠 위에 장식 같은 숨막힘.

추억들은

압운(押韻)된 꿈처럼

새벽의 눈썹에서 반짝거린다.

추억들, 꿈의 한 복판에서 울리는

영혼이라는 하프의 현들.

시간의 내장에서 형성되는

기대에 차 있고 비옥한

밤이 얼굴에서 베일을 들어 올린다,

우연의 황야에서

그 발걸음이 짝을 만난 이래 줄곧,

늑대들의 춤이

내 피로 태워져버린

당신의 피에 멈출 수 없었던 이래 줄곧,

시라는 몸에서

영혼이 그것의 영혼을 만지고

열망의 장미가 치료되지 않은 이래 줄곧.

불태움,

그것은 깜빡이는 두 빛을 품는

하얀 넓이이며

밤의 창문 아래

떠도는 자스민의 살랑거리는 숨결이다.

그것은 마음을 구애하는 마음,

추억의 확장이며

언어의 구석구석에서

기이하게 도약하는 글자들,

그 알파벳의 글자로 춤추는

열망의 음악이다.

빛의 부드러움과

연모의 열정을 요약하는

바이올린 소리로

밤은 가득하다.

그리고 … 그리움의 피로 울렁거리는

마음은

언어의 소란스러움과

말의 기상(奇想)을 숨기고

바다 조개껍질로 변했다.

그 마음, 당신의 마음이 나의 정자

그리고 당신의 영혼은 밤의 말(馬)들이

매여 있는 기둥.

소심한 새벽의 속삭임,

파도와 갈매기의 울음소리.

……

열정과

영혼의 정점에서

나는 내 말에서 말의 흐릿함을 잘라내고

이 시대의 먼지를 닦아냈다.

 

 

Ines Abassi

Tunisian poet and writer Ines Abassi was born in 1982. She is also working as a journalist in UAE. In 2004, her poetry collection Secrets of the Wind was published in Tunisia., which won the best selection of poetry same year. In 2007, Archive of Blind was published in Egypt, which won the CREDIF prize for the year 2007-2008. This prize was awarded by the Tunisian Ministry of Woman’s Centre for Search, Study, Documentation and Information on Woman. She has participated in numerous literary activities: first Arab Youth Literature Festival in Oman, Literature Festival in Jordan, Asian African Literature Festival in Jeonjou, Korea. Abassi has spent 6 months in Seoul joining in the Korea Literature Translation Institute’s residence program.  And she participated in SIWF 2010 (Seoul Internationnal Writing Festival).

Based on her residency experiences, she wrote a narrative book, Tales of Korean Shahrazad. This book, which was published in Lebanon, talks about Korean society, culture, history and habitudes. Currently, she publishes her poetry, writings and translations through a number of newspapers, magazines and websites including al etihad (UAE), al arab (London), al sahafa, alhayat athatkafia (Tunisia), al watan (Jordan), kitabat mouasira (Lebanon) and dubai al thaqafia (UAE).

 

 

 

 

Of Looking Glasses

Kristen Scott

 

I would drink the drink of strychnine

to push the hurt of you out of my mind

 

I never knew that look before

I never knew   orange

blossoms departed from your eyes

 

oh, to look at me in such venomous

strikes  –

I never thought to see that through

the roses of mine

 

could Shakespeare have written

such a fantastical ending

to a wide-eyed passion?

 

ah, the glorious dying from love

the fables and witchery of wonder

secret potions, eyes of newt, and

fairy dust.

 

but, alas, our love wasn’t born through the

looking glass – I just never knew

 

until now.

 

 

Kristen Scott- see author’s bio in additional works and on author’s page.

At the Party (for Saad, In Memoriam)

Olga Garcia

 

 
no one knows the color of my panties
their blues a camouflaged secret

basmati with cardamon and saffron
–an erotic dance in my nostrils–

Arabic   English   Spanish  
mingle around the kebab.
mint   grape leaves   and   baklava  
thrash away my despair

an oasis of jasmine and orange blossoms
ravished by a golden cooked light
as we are introduced

his hand ignites the Lilith in me
his neck   an offering of psalms to kiss
his mouth   an act of honey and sweet almonds
the Song of Songs   a tunic on me as i hear his voice

fate——his sensual eyes on me!

 

 

Olga Garcia was born and raised in Torreón, México. A Physics and Mathematics major, she writes poetry in English and Spanish. Her work has been published in local and international anthologies.A member of the Advisory Board of San Diego Writers Ink, she lives seven minutes away from the Tijuana-San Diego border.