Beasts

It was the nightfall of the iguana
from his rainbow-colored crest
his tongue like a dart
sank into the greenery
The monastic ant colony stepped
with musical feet through the jungle.
The wild llama, as delicate as oxygen
in the wide brown high country
went walking in his golden boots
while the tame llama opened
his candid eyes onto the daintiness
of a world filled with dew.
The monkeys braided
an endless erotic thread
along the shores of daybreak
bringing down walls of pollen
and frightening the violet flight
of butterflies on the river.
It was the night of the alligators
the pure, pulsing night
of snouts sticking out of slime
and from the drowsy swamps
the dull noise of scale armor
goes back to the origin of the earth.
The jaguar touched the leaves
with his glowing absence.
The puma runs through the thicket
like a devouring fire
while in him are burning
the alcoholic eyes of the jungle.
Badgers are scrabbling the banks
of the river, sniffing at a nest
full of living delicacies
which they will attack with red teeth.
And in the depth of the great water
like the circle of the earth
is the giant anaconda
covered with ceremonial paint,
devouring and religious.

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- Translated by Jodey Bateman

- Used with permission from Motherbird.com

Pablo Neruda Links

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