your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grey round with dew.
Under the earth
and when your clumsy
green stem appeared.
and your leaves were born
in the garden.
the earth heaped up her power
showing your naked transparency.
and as the remote sea
in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite
duplicated the magnolia.
So did the earth
clear as a planet,
round case of water.
of the poor.
your globe of freshness
in the fervent consummation
of the cooking pot
and the crystal shred
in the flaming heat of the oil
is transformed into a curled golden feather.
Then, too, I will recall how fertile
is your influence
on the love of the salad,
and it seems that the sky contributes
by giving you the shape of hailstones
to celebrate our chopped brightness
on the hemispheres of a tomato.
But within reach
of the hands if the common people,
sprinkled with oil.
with bit of salt,
you kill the hunger
of the day laborer on his hard path.
Star of the poor,
paper, you rise from the ground
eternal, whole, pure
like an astral seed.
and when the kitchen knife
cuts you, here arises
the only tear
You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
you are to my eyes
a heavenly globe, a platinum goblet,
an unmoving dance
of the snowy anemone.
and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.
My soul is an empty carousel at sunset.
Pablo Neruda, “My Soul”
Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.
Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.
Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind
as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood—
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.
Lost in the Forest by Pablo Neruda (via bonvw5