SMOOTHY SMOOTHY
Felipe Juaristi trans. Amaia Gabantxo (from Basque)


Batek badali hitzak ez direla urrutira joaten
hegoak hautsirik dauzkatelako
aingeru zaurituak bezala.
Hala ere gogoratzen dut
hitzek etxe zaharra betetzen zutenean
gero hiltzeko ikasleen apunteetan
edo memoria nagi baten deserrian.
Eta hitzen atzetik ahots urduri bat
eta ahotsen atzetik defentsarik gabe neu pentsatzen
nola isuriko ote ziren zure hitzak ondoko gelan,
mordoska larrosaren petaloak bezala
edo banan bana sagarrondoaren hostoak bezala.

Bazegoen patioan magnolio bat ia eskola-mugan
baina beste mundua sortzen zuen haren gerizak.
Lanagatik nekatuta - esate baterako -
esertzen ginenean ama batek bezala hartzen gintuen.
Aspertuta joanik sosegatzen ginen haren altzoan
eta etxe zaharreko hitzak ez ziren gugana iristen.

Itsasoan Akab kapitainak bale handia bezala
lore zuri bat irekitzen ikusten genuen.
Bakarrik magnolioak erakusten zerbait


It is common knowledge that words never go far
because their wings are broken
like fallen angels'.
However, I remember a time
when words filled an old house
and eventually died in students' notebooks,
or were condemned to exile in their lazy memories.
And behind the words a tremulous voice
and behind the voice, me, defenceless; I think
about how the words fall on the floor in the next room,
clustered like rose petals
or one by one like leaves from an apple tree.

There was a magnolia tree in the playground, by the road,
and its shade projected an alternate world.
When we tired from work - so to speak -
we sat there and felt the embrace of a mother.
If we arrived exasperated its calm would lull us,
voices from the old house couldn't reach that far.

As Captain Ahab contemplated the great whale at sea,
so we watched as a white flower opened.
Only the magnolia tree taught us something.

Copyright © Felipe Juaristi 2007; trans. copyright © Amaia Gabantxo 2007


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