A dying moth

Lights a flame

Then enters it to burn


Like the conquistadores

Who would not forget

Hallucinations of gold


Entering again and again

The hopeless passage across the Chaco


Where malaria, arrows, heat, hunger

Accosted their dreams, and left their tongues


Blacker than hell, and their souls more bitter

Than poisonous xerophytes




Ah, but what is better to do?

Sit and live a torpid life,

Like a frog on a stone, never jumping,

Pig in a box, drearily moping?


Spasms of hope, vague restlessness,

Need to justify something within,

Knowing your wickedness, your deep lies,

Banging rocks because you left your mothers.


Now you dream, of what, unclear

But life rolls on, families love,

And die; sometimes you grow palmito, at others

You work in banks, like everyone else,

Or you pursue carnal delights

With little guilt, and less restraint.

Some of your streets are very cobbled,

Others dusty, and bars seldom close,

Your ancient buses spew pollution,

And rack the buildings with giant noises;

Some houses, with their white porticos

Are beautiful, especially at night.


Las Paraguayas reign supreme

In beauty, and shapeliness:

Wonderfully kind, friendly angels,

They have been my sisters here,

I swear.  Because of them

I beat off loneliness, which settles down

Like a dark blanket on anyone

Eventually.  I am not good,

I know; but I try to fly

In the best winds with my wings.


Tim Cloudsley nació Cambridge, Inglaterra. Es sociologo, escritor y poeta. Trabajó como profesor en la Escuela de Idiomas, de la Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga en el ámbito de estudios culturales y literatura.

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