This Same Sky

The following poems come from a volume that I have recommended to you before.  It's This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye.  I am so encouraged by the fact that, all around the world, the same kinds of wonders (large and small) fascinate us.  Perhaps there is hope for us all to live in peace one day!






For Luisa


A balloon!  My Daddy brought for me

and it is like my Mama's belly,

and the cord and my arm are one:

            it goes up, I go up,

            I go down, it goes down.

I am the hummingbird awed

by that highest rosebud.

Oh my balloon, where may it be?

It hangs like a wrinkled wing

from the highest thorn of the tree

and the ground bruises and bruises my knees.


Blanca Rodrigues


Translated by Aurelio Major



The Moon Rises Slowly Over the Ocean


It is time

We stand like children

On the silent beach

And calmly wait for the moon

Nothing has been lost on the moon today

A banana kazoo

Sucked between the lips of night

Is no longer blowing out of tune


Crisscrossed boughs set up an easel

The moon wearing a pure white suncap

Slowly comes over like a shy boy

Holding a transparent nylon net

With which to scavenge the ocean

Of its many broken hearts

Bobbing on the sea to the horizon


Xu De-min


Translated by Edward Morin and Dennis Ding



The Squirrel


The first hazelnut trundles down from above.

The second hazelnut, the third, the fourth, the fifth, and

the sixth, trundle down from above.

The hazelnuts trundle down, nut by nut, to the ground beneath

the dumb tree, the tree whose memory the squirrel collects

nut by nut, rolling into his den.

Each year a memory of hazelnuts rolls, nut by nut, into

the den of the prince with the merry tail,

and the tree forgets.


Saleem Barakat


Translated by Lena Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye