Es luna llena/It is full moon

The full moon on April 26th, 2021, inspired my dear friend Adriana María Botero Vélez, in Colombia. She wrote this poem in Spanish and I am here translating it with her love and permission.

Photo and poem by: Adriana María Botero Vélez

Only who loves in silence knows how to nourish on fantasy.
There is no use resisting.
It is so pleasant to wake up with his smile humming on my lips.

Perhaps he may never know how my wounds heal

or what my hair smells like,

nor the times I have tried to leave him forever.

If you knew this, you would be certain to be an anchor to life.

But if I were to tell you
I would miss sailing on the high seas,
and today
it is a full moon.

Solo quien ama en silencio sabe nutrirse de fantasía.

De nada vale resistirse.

Es tan grato despertar con su sonrisa tarareándose en mis labios.

Quizás nunca sabrá como sana mis heridas, ni a que huele mi cabello,

ni las veces que he intentado dejarle para siempre.

Si usted lo supiera tendría la certeza de ser un ancla a la vida.

Pero si yo se lo dijera

me perdería de navegar en alta mar

y hoy es luna llena.


What does rosemary smell like?

Smells like my grandmother’s hands

smell the hiding place of the first kiss 

it smells like the wind from the garden of that dream house, inhabited so many times.

It smells of the rumor of that voice that adds a pinch of love to every plate.

It smells of the purr of cats letting themselves be caressed by her bushes.

Smells like the Christmas tree that does not wait to be returned or packed.

Smells like the hair of the first woman on the face of the earth,

it smells like the man’s first breath after kissing that hair.

Perhaps at some time someone sat down to cry because he had lost his season …? tired was he of the flavors that others offered at his table; then she was tired of searching through the undergrowth for something to savor.

Lost all from all civilization seeded in their own land

rumor, purr, love, om mmmmmm

Your name sounds almost like a hymn, maybe that’s why they named you …

to you Rosemary

among all the plants that offer their wisdom to save us, and help us, to delight this existence.


A qué huele el romero?

Huele a las manos de mi abuela

huele al escondite del primer beso

huele al viento del jardín de esa casa soñada, tantas veces habitada.

Huele al rumor de esa voz que agrega de a pizcas, el amor en cada plato.

Huele al ronroneo de los gatos dejándose acariciar con sus arbustos.

Huele al árbol de navidad que no espera a ser devuelto o empacado.

Huele al cabello de la primera mujer sobre la faz de la tierra,

huele al primer aliento del hombre después de besar esa cabellera.

Acaso en algún tiempo alguien se sentó a llorar porque había perdido la sazón…? cansado estaba él de los sabores que otros ofrecían en su mesa; cansada ella de tanto andar buscando entre la maleza, algo para saborear. 

Perdidos todos de toda civilización sembrada en su propia tierra

rumor, ronroneo, amor, om mmmmmm

casi a himno suena tu nombre, quizás por eso así te nombraron…

a ti Romero

que estás entre todas las plantas que ofrecen su sabiduría para salvarnos

y ayudarnos a deleitar esta existencia.

The skin that inhabits me

A long, long time ago

i woke up on the bank of a river

i got up trying not to fall


i looked for the nearest tree

two parts of me clung to that log, holding me.

A sound came from within me at that contact

accompanying me

i was body

When everything stopped moving around me

i knew i could be like that tree

so i stayed in front of it

until a tickle made me know that i could move those two limbs in contact with the ground

as i raised them i let out a sound

that trilled with the wind

to be voice and laughter

i knew that by moving I could leap to reach the lower branches of that tree

i plucked the yellow fruits bringing them towards me to smell them,

to taste them, to satiate something i felt i was missing,

sweet taste stopping the slight tremor of hunger

i was food 

i could touch the leaves, feel their smoothness or roughness,

i listened to the torrential sound of the water in its trunk, in its branches, in every leaf

as well as in my trunk, in my blue, green and red ramifications that i heard flowing in me

i was consciousness of stream and dew.

Night came and i felt cold

no matter how many leaves i managed to cover myself, 

no matter how many trees i hugged for warmth,

for more sustenance that conciliated the inner trembling,

no matter how much fire i created to protect myself

no matter how many songs and dances that lulled me to sleep and pleased me

nothing succeeded in sheltering me

i woke up lying on the ground

in the midst of ashes, leaves and tubers

buzzing were a pair of dragonflies

as old as me,

with precise movements

undulating, careful

they were threading with their fine needles

fluttering up and down

creating latent sutures

closing a line drawn on my belly

finishing its stitching with a button

for navel.

Protected from the inside out

and backwards

woven double face

on the face of the earth.

And then I was a thought

with this skin that inhabits me,

feeling what I think

and touching what I feel.