Three poems

The dilemma of writing a few verses

The dilemma of writing a poem without light,

without the amenities of paper and ink

without the digital keyboard

but with memory correcting each verse

like a clock tired of telling the time,

a fallen rhythm into language

in the calm of the dawn.

Only then, re-reading it

from the blue caressing

the dew on the glass in my window.

Only printing it in the flight

of the last waking dream.


Look back to where the wound is

(Volver la mirada donde está la herida)

To Patty

Look back to where the wound is

And let the day clean it, let the night lick it

With shadows that come to surround you with calm or pain.

The open wound arrives like a clock from the past

Anchored in your bleeding skin between the bones

Of what you were yesterday, tangled up today.

The dry word on numb lips.

Breathing is a cascade of howls falling

Through the blood, through the open sides of the skin.

“When a star sinks into a black hole”. Ernesto Cardenal read

This verse to me before I left Managua.



Life is a table set up for us to live the day

To Gina and the gardeners at Roma M’s Garden


I wait for the call of your green leaves

Lorca’s rushed canto

of that fruit which will come

floating in the mystery of water

in the depth of roots

who kiss the light of day

on the lips of the father sun


we are fruits of those warm aromas

that feed our souls

and make us love the simple mystery

of each verse growing in the broccoli

from the garden where I live



a dry leaf falls in the verse

the ink moans in its texture

giving the winter a melody

the rain tunes its violins

the verse gives me a silhouette

rolling like a tear on the window

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 1, 2021 as "Three poems".

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Juan Garrido-Salgado is a poet and translator who fled Chile for Australia in 1990. His sixth collection of poetry, Hope Blossoming in Their Ink (Puncher and Wattman), was published last year.

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