The South Seas

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm

The Joy of just being here on this beach
still without a Hilton or Sheraton.
Sand as at the dawn of creation, triumph
of existence. Look how the baby turtles
crawl from their egg shells.

Watch how they advance over the hot beach
to the sea which itself is life, the source of our own.
Taste this cool water fresh from the well.
We will not even eat the clams,
do nothing that would remind us of death.

Paradise lasting an instant.

The birds come. They nose dive,
rake low over the shore, then pull up
with prey in their beaks:turtles
just born. And the birds are not gulls:
It is the Luftwaffe over Warsaw.

With great anguish the turtles drag themselves to the tide,
victims whose only fault was their birth.
Ten out of a thousand will reach the sea.
The rest will be devoured.

Let others say this is natural selection,
survival of the fit.

For me it is the horror of the world.

Jose Emilio Pacheco
Translated from the Spanish by Michael Collier


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