Chestnut Tree

english translation

Chestnut Tree

original Spanish poem



En esa vida
Más alta.
Siempre en esa quietud
En que te manifiestas.
En ese ahí que veo y que no alcanzo.
Siempre en ese silencio
Que nunca nada pide sino estar
Para ser desnudez,
Hojas, flores y frutos.  Para ser
Consuelo y paz para el que mira.  Árbol,
Hermano con quien sueño
Fusionarme algún día


The House

english translation

The House

original Spanish poem

La Casa


De mi casa, piedra tras piedra,
Soporto la demolición

René Char

Fue la casa el primer
Espacio del que fui desposeído.
La marca del exilio allí estaba presente.
Del lugar primordial fui despojado
Y ahora cuando pronuncio
Conventino, laurel,
Cortinal, campocasa,
Sala, cocina, escalerón, alcoba,
Cerezo junto al río,
Mi voz expresa al aire las heridas
De la caligrafía de la ausencia.
Otros ámbitos luego
Acogieron mi estar en el espacio,
Mas ninguno fue cifra
Del lugar primordial que me fue dado
Para habitar el mundo.
Hoy no existe esa casa
Que me acogió en la tierra,
Que recibió el inicio de mi aliento;
Sólo el peregrinaje de lugar en lugar
Y un espacio en la luz de la memoria
Que da sentido al mundo y que nos salva:
El lugar primordial,
La casa que fue reino,
Exilio del lugar es mi palabra.
Cuando se ha conocido
El espacio indeleble del jardín,
Toda la vida es búsqueda
Para volver a hallarlo.



José Luis Puerto

José Luis Puerto (b. 1953) was born in the village of La Alberca, in the Sierra de Francia of Salamanca Province. Graduating from the University of Salamanca with a degree in Romance Philology, he served as secretary to Rafael Alberti. In addition to his many volumes of poetry, he has edited several anthologies, translated Portuguese poetry, and produced works of ethnography focusing primarily on folk legends of Northern Spain. He has taught in Sevilla, Segovia and León, where he now resides with his wife María.


Michael Bradburn-Ruster

Michael Bradburn-Ruster, a native of Carmel, California, has published poetry, fiction, translations, and scholarly essays in international journals including Able Muse, Sacred Web, Cincinnati Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Perigee, Broken Bridge Review, Marginalia, Berkeley Poetry Review, Rain City Review, Damazine (Syria), and Antigonish Review. He is a frequent contributor to Poetry Salzburg Review, and was a featured reader at the Monterey Bay Poetry Festival.


The Two Old Nags

english translation

The Two Old Nags

original Scots poem

The Twa Cummeris

Rycht airlie on Ask Weddinsday,
Drynkand the wyne satt cumeris tway;
The tane cowth to the tother complene,
Graneand and suppand cowd scho say,
“This lang Lentern makis me lene.”

On cowch besyd the fyre scho satt,
God wait gif scho wes grit and fatt,
Yit to be feble scho did hir fene,
And ay scho said, “Latt preif of that,
This lang Lentern makis me lene.”

“My fair, sweit cummer,” quod the tuder,
“Ye tak that nigertnes of your muder;
All wyne to test scho wald disdane
Bot mavasy, scho bad nane uder;
This lang Lentern makis me lene.”

“Cummer, be glaid both evin and morrow,
Thocht ye suld bayth beg and borrow,
Fra our lang fasting ye yow refrene,
And latt your husband dre the sorrow;
This lang Lentern makis me lene.”

“Your counsale, cummer, is gud,” quod scho,
“All is to tene him that I do,
In bed he is nocht wirth a bene;
Fill fow the glass and drynk me to;
This lang Lentern makis me lene.”

Off wyne owt of ane choppyne stowp,
They drank twa quartis, sowp and sowp,
Off drowth sic exces did thame strene;
Be than to mend thay had gud howp
That Lentrune suld nocht mak thame lene.


William Dunbar

William Dunbar (c. 1456 – 1520) trained as a Franciscan novice in addition to studying at the University of St Andrews, Oxford, and Paris. He served as an ambassador and court poet of King James IV, for whom his work epitomized the ideals of the “Northern Renaissance.” His most famous work, “Lament for the Makaris” eulogizes twenty-four early Scots/English poets including Geoffrey Chaucer, John Barbour, Blind Harry, and Robert Henryson.


William Fowler

William Fowler (1560 – 1612) was a Protestant spy in Paris before returning to Scotland to become a minister and, later, moving to London to serve as secretary to Queen Anne. Besides composing original work, he also translated widely from the Italian masters such as Petrarch and Castiglione. His “Sonet: In Orknay” utilizes the rhyme scheme popularized by Fowler’s English contemporary, Edmund Spenser (1552 – 1599), thus representing Fowler’s quick talent for absorbing both classical and current trends in literature.



Gavin Douglas

Gavin Douglas (c. 1474 – 1522) represented, along with William Dunbar and Robert Henryson, the flowering of the golden age of the Northern Renaissance in Scotland. Douglas studied for the priesthood and traveled widely, absorbing both contemporary and classical virtues and resources. Completed in 1513, his monumental translation of Virgil’s Aeneid was the first complete verse rendition of a classical text to be produced in Scotland.


Kent Leatham

Kent Leatham holds an MFA in poetry from Emerson College and a BA in poetry from Pacific Lutheran University. His translations of medieval/Renaissance Scots-language poetry have appeared or are forthcoming from InTranslation, Rowboat, Anomalous Press, and Ezra. His original poetry has appeared in dozens of journals nationwide, such as Ploughshares, Fence, Zoland, and Poetry Quarterly. Previously a poetry editor for Black Lawrence Press, Kent currently teaches at California State University Monterey Bay.



Zaharia Stancu

Zaharia Stancu (1902 – 1974) is a celebrated Romanian writer. His novels—Barefoot, The Gypsy Tribe, Crazy Forest, and The Gamble with Death—have been translated into many languages. His poetry, which he wrote all his literary life, gained its greatest acclaim in his later years, and is distinguished by the simple beauty of its diction and its focus on human mortality and aspirations. Stancu’s novels and poems, like those of Thomas Hardy, are complementary parts of an arresting literary vision.



Syndicate content