an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2022-23

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WE MEN (Nosotros los hombres)
I come to look for you, brother,
I come to bring you this poem, it is meant
to throw the world on its back.

I’m like a dog that comes to life
in the middle of the night, roaring alone,
barking at the beasts of hatred and anguish;

I bring dreams, sorrows, joys, meeknesses,
I bring broken democracies like pitchers, religions moldy to the soul,
germ rebellions spewing tongues of smoke.’

I bring trees that don’t have enough sap left in them for love.

Yes, we are without love, my brother.
And to be without love is to be rendered
blind in the middle of the world.

Slowly the road
recedes behind our backs.

All the trees have moved
away, to the west.

Everything on earth
moves away sometimes.

The moon, the landscape.
Love and life.

The watch on my wrist, which says it’s five o’clock in the afternoon.

Five o’clock.
The hour of farewells.

The time when the same afternoon
stirs clouds with goodbye.

ETERNITY (Eternidad)
You who have passed before me, I see you today,
reincarnated in my two sons.

All afternoon the cheeks of my beloved
smelled ripe, sweet as mango.

NIGHT WITHOUT NATIONS (Nocturno sin patria)
I don’t want a knife in the hands of the fatherland.
No knives or rifles for anyone:
The earth is for everyone, like air.

I would like to have huge hands,
Violent and savage, to tear up borders one by one
And leave for a border only the air.

Let no one have land like he has a suit:
May everyone have land as he would have air.

I would make wars beside the point.
I wouldn’t leave one in the landscape

I would open up the earth for all, as if it is air.
The air is nobody’s, nobody’s, nobody’s.
Everyone has their air plot.

i have my homeland
always in my hands
i look at her a lot
with my clear eyes
i kiss her a lot
with my meek lips

i want my homeland
always in my hands
meek and small as
a garbanzo bean
without black rifles
without white bayonets

i want her sweet as baritones
i want her tender as altos
i want her for the good guys
and i want her for the bad guys

this is why i come to this field of rain and recount stories of the healthy children of the ancients

and say to the sweet little ranches
there are wide countries where
there are no metallic gods
no bosses no big shots
only brothers

Jorge Debravo (January 31, 1938 – August 4, 1967) was a prominent Costa Rica poet from Turrialba, on the slopes of the Turrialba volcano. A precocious boy, he is said to have written his first poems on banana paper, and was being published locally by the ninth grade. In his twenties he moved to the capital city, where married, had two children, and worked for the Costa Rican Social Security offices until his death at the age of 29, struck down by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle to work. Debravo’s birthday is celebrated in Costa Rica as National Poetry Day.