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John Agrad, Guyana

Por: John Agrad

Heart Transplant

 

No puff,
no pant
check out
a heart transplant

let’s swop
your heart 
for mine
heart transplant
the new life line

come on baby do the heart transplant
come on baby do the heart transplant

experiment number 1
put the heart of a bird 
into a stone

the stone sings
the stone grows wings
wondrous flight
of a common thing

experiment number 2
a medical breakthru
put the heart of your average politician
into a common stone

stones grow paranoid
stones grow suspicious of grass
stones hurl themselves into the void

alas
will stones develop a paunch
seeking the votes of God

 

Cowtalk

 

Take a walk to the splendid morning fields of summer
check out the cows in full gleam
of their black and white hide

and remember was a man once say I have a dream
but they shoot him down in cold blood of day
because he had a mountaintop dream
of black and white hand in hand

Take a walk to the splendid morning fields of summer
check out the cows in the green of meditation
a horde of black and white harmony

maybe the cows trying to tell us something
but we the human butchers can’t understand  cowtalk
much less cowsilence
to interpret cowsilence you must send for a poet
not a butcher or a politician

cows in the interwoven glory
of their black and white hide
have their own mysterious history
cows in the interwoven glory
of their black and white hide
never heard of apartheid 
never practice genocide
never seem to worry
that the grass greener on the other side
cows calmly marry and intermarry 

cows in the interwoven glory
of their black and white hide
cows in the interwoven glory
of black and white integration
can’t spell integration
cows never went to school 
that’s why cows so cool supercool
cows have little time for immigration rule
and above all cows never impose
their language on 
another nation

do yoo moo my message do yoo moo

 


Quipu Chant

 

By coloured knots on strings,
we Keepers of the Knots
we remember
our Inca beginnings.

By the Quipu, our calendar.
By the Quipu, our ledger.
By the Quipu, our message-bearer.

By the counting threads
of the Quipu,
we Keepers of the Knots
we account for
the ears of corn
the heads of cattle
the gold of the sun
the silver of the moon
the roaming llama.

By the living threads 
of the Quipu,
we Keepers of the Knots
we account for
the fallen in battle,
the numbers gone to Pachacamac
god of earth and time,
and the numbers still here
to breathe rain’s miracle.

Bt the talking threads
of the Quipu,
we Keepers of the Knots
we keep the past un-dead.
We who unravel
the Quipu’s secrets
as the hours unravel us.
We Keepers of the Knots.
Let it not be said
that we forgot.

 

Víctor Jara

 

Víctor Jara
Víctor Jara

your name 
bears the sound
of guitarra
your instrument of love

Víctor Jara
Víctor Jara

your name 
bears the sound
of tierra
the earth you cherished
like your mother’s songs 

and how I wished
there was no need 
for yet another poem
dedicated to hands
that still sing and bleed

how I wished
the silence of this poem
was shattered now
by bullets of love
from your guitar


Víctor Jara
Víctor guitarra
Víctor tierra
Víctor Jara
            Jara
            Jara
           Jar 
                 ah

 

Tongue

 

Small flame
under the roof
of a mouth.
You devour
You cleanse
You tell honey
from vinegar.
You speak truth.
You speak slander.
You soothe
with a kiss.
You bruise
with a word.
To the possessed
you are the gift
of enlightenment.
To the dispossessed
you are the scale
of judgement.

Small flame
under the roof
of a mouth.

Tyranny knows
your hiding place.

 

Once Upon A Time

 


Once upon a time there lived
a small joke
in the middle of nowhere.

This small joke
was dying to share
itself with someone

but nobody came to hear
this small joke.

So this small joke told
itself to the birds

and the birds told this small joke the trees
and the trees told this small joke to the rivers
and the rivers told this small joke to the mountains
and the mountains told this small joke to the stars

till the whole world
started to swell with laughter
and nobody believed
it all began
with a small joke

that lived in the middle of nowhere.

Everybody kept saying

it was me
it was me.


John Agard  (born 21 June 1949 in British Guiana) is an Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, now living in Britain. In 2012, he was selected for the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Other recived awards are: Casa de las Américas Prize (Cuba) for Man to Pan; 1987: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (shortlist) for Lend Me Your Wings; 1995: Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Bronze Award) (6–8 years category) for We Animals Would Like a Word With You; 1997: Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry; 2004: Cholmondeley Award;  2007: British Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year (shortlist) for We Brits; 2007: Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature;  2009: Centre for Literacy in Primary Education poetry award for The Young Inferno; 2012: Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

Última actualización: 10/08/2021