Dragon Kites over the Mountains
“Dragon Kites…” displays a profound and also profoundly beautiful understanding of people and place, of tradition and disinheritance. An embracing humanity is Ieronim’s muse… The richness of each poem, as well as the deeply symbolic understanding of the Catalan world they display, is extraordinary. -- Fiona Sampson
For Jordi Pere Cerda
Poet Cerda, in what language
did you watch over the sheep as a child
in what language did you count them during those days
of European innocence restored
and not yet lost again –
right after World War I?
In what language do you know how to herd the flocks
in the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians?
Here in the dictionary brought to this mountain
do you think we can still find that language
on its brittle pages
that one day are going to be scanned?
how do you find as many words
as souls in the wind
rustlings in the grass, voices in the dust
songs in a bird at dawn and at dusk?
how do you find words for
all the ways to carry burdens on your back
whether children potatoes parents?
in how many ways do kites strike the ground –
from violent to gentle?
how do you write a poem in this world
of stone and sun, living creatures, green leaves
where moment by moment everything that has been said
gets said again
in the key of divine perfection?
how do you write a poem?
You write it in a narrow space
after you’ve shut every window
except, perhaps, for one
moon and sun, each as pale as the other
at this hour of full morning
moon beside sun, at an arm’s reach
the sky aflame with their forbidden passion
sung in timeless magic charms
rock as high as the sky
and the Milky Way dividing the heavens
– between them the fragrance
of the late blackberry hedges
In this place the simplest of words have sometimes
brought back from their road without return
those too weak at life’s beginning
those too frail
because they’ve lived so long
How often have you climbed the mountain,
How often have you done proper duty
To your truest calling?