Pablo Neruda

(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral / Chile)

Some Beasts


It was the twilight of the iguana:

From a rainbowing battlement,
a tongue like a javelin
lunging in verdure;
an ant heap treading the jungle,
monastic, on musical feet;
the guanaco, oxygen-fine
in the high places swarthed with distances,
cobbling his feet into gold;
the llama of scrupulous eye
the widens his gaze on the dews
of a delicate world.

A monkey is weaving
a thread of insatiable lusts
on the margins of morning:
he topples a pollen-fall,
startles the violet-flght
of the butterfly, wings on the Muzo.

It was the night of the alligator:
snouts moving out of the slime,
in original darkness, the pullulations,
a clatter of armour, opaque
in the sleep of the bog,
turning back to the chalk of the sources.

The jaguar touches the leaves
with his phosphorous absence,
the puma speeds to his covert
in the blaze of his hungers,
his eyeballs, a jungle of alcohol,
burn in his head.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Jimi Doyle (12/13/2006 9:43:00 AM)

    And in the depth of the great water
    like the circle of the earth
    is the giant anaconda
    covered with ceremonial paint,
    devouring and religous. (Report) Reply

  • Jimi Doyle (12/13/2006 9:41:00 AM)

    this poem is incomplete...
    it should finish up:
    Badgers are scrabbling the banks
    of the river, sniffing at a nest
    full of living delicacies
    which they will attack with red teeth.
    And in the depth of the great water (Report) Reply

  • john tiong chunghoo (7/4/2006 6:05:00 AM)

    his eyeballs, a jungle of alcohol,
    burn in his head.

    the above line is really imaginative. great words. great comparison. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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