Friday, March 22, 2013

The Blue Tigers

 Lesson 1: Las primeras palabras

Los Tigeres Azules: They were the first words
On that very first day, I learned in La Boca,
The mouth was the river’s mouth, without teeth
And her tongue was a barrio looking eastwards
Towards the fabled cobbled continent of la Europa,
They followed the ancestral form of her Roman street
The white plazas and monuments turning westwards,
With her strict logic and language glowing without defeat.
In the eternal Latin edifice, I learned by heart in La Boca
El día primera, there is never a past or future in ones first words.

Lesson 2: Un niño de Nuevo

The Newborn Child: This was the primal state
In those very first days, the world was being spoken
To the child once more, each sound was to contemplate
And to hesitate innocently before the first gesture was broken
Like those distant clumsy steps eager to erase that mistake
Of not being understood or of having to constantly deliberate
Between the world and the word everything can come to make
The difference between being right or wrong is no debate
For in el Inglés the failure of a life arrives none to late,
For too quickly we are made to unlearn the child’s state.

Lesson 3: Hablando con confianza

Speaking with confidence: This was the adolescent’s age
In that very first spring, language was the fruit of all knowledge,
And Buenos Aires was the good air formed easily on the lesson’s page
There was chic Palermo with the verbs that bring self advantage
There was salubrious Belgrano where round verbs equal privilege
There was poorer San Telmo where broken grammar was the rage
And neglected La Boca near the verb’s inception in our village
Where the children escaped and grew into the verbs of the age
In that very first spring, la primavera, hablamos con confianza.
How we learnt to speak with confidence on the adolescent’s stage.

Lesson 4: El principio de todas las historias

The beginning of all stories: This was the time of great celebration
In that very first summer, of endless words making everything glisten
Through the mingling crowded January nights of cafes reading La Nacion
Expressing the opinion of politics and state to minds who’d listen
Until thoughts would dawn into the fiction of another hour’s mutation,
The Book of Sand, The infinite hands of every history and every nation
Revealed in that Aleph of a story enfolding the story to yet enlist
Another strand in the universe’s ultimate tale coming to congregate
Like pilgrims adding their offerings to the tapestries hidden mist,
In the beginning of all our stories: palabras encuentran su hogar.

Lesson 5: El sueño de los sueños

The dream of dreams: This was the gently awaking dream
In that very first fall after the ripened wheat of the summer’s harvest
Su lengua era la lengua, words like ripe grains fell from the ream
Where nothing separated us anymore from the eternal contest
Of the word formed in the world’s image, reality was a dream
We awoke from under the leaves of La Recoleta's quite realm
Her cemetery with its lovers and black widows in one palm
The world here as infinite as but one grain is in a stream
Of sunlight, your tongue was our tongue, real as any dream
After that very first fall we awoke el sueño de los sueños.

Lesson 6: El mundo se acaba donde empieza el infinito

The world begins as infinity ends: This was the great lesson
In the very first day of that Winter where time had begun
To sing into the rhythms of our verbs no longer freshly sung
On the rainy pavements of the liberator there was little sun
In those days, memories of an origin in that other season
Where real life had no point or dimension, where all was fun,
Where experience was the world waiting to be simply undone
Like within a child’s dream where no actions are ever done
Without the inscrutable Cosmos listening into our distant hum,
Where infinite worlds end so had another dream surely begun.

Lesson 7: Los tigeres azules

The Blue Tigers: They were the first words
On that very first day, I learned in La Boca,
The blue tigers with  snake’s tongues looking outwards,
That was the first sentence I learned in your mouth
En su lengua, a complex metaphor moving towards
An original creation where words and worlds grew out
To teach and reach the infinite point in ourselves,
You where there, Blue Tigers in the first visible air
As in the first and in the last breath, you’ll be there
Los Tigres Azul: Eran las primeras palabras!