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Clade Song 13


Pide el agua salobre de la tierra interior para que solo sea beber sin pausas,
sin imagen. Calma. Calma la sed y enciérrate durante un tiempo corto. Hay
quien no escapa nunca. Hay quien no expresa nada antes que el ancla
rompa. Yo me expresé en inglés y dije quiero tomar el agua de todos los
países. Mariposa viajera sin bosque protector. Mariposa monarca no soy
más.  Soy el pez primi-tivo dejando el humedal.


Ask for brackish water from inner earth so that it may only be drunk without
pauses, without imagery. Be calm. Quench your thirst and lock yourself up
for a short while. There are those who never escape. There are those who do
not express anything before the anchor breaks. I expressed myself in English
and said I want to drink water from every country. A traveling butterfly
without a protective forest. I am no longer a Monarch butterfly. I am the
primitive fish leaving the wetland.  

tr. by John Johnson and Jabez Churchill


Irela Casañas Hijuelos, born in Santiago de Cuba, graduated in Sociology from the Universidad de Oriente. In 2011 she received a Master in History and Culture in Cuba from the University of Holguín "Oscar Lucero Moya," and
later graduated from the narrative techniques workshop convened by the "Onelio Jorge Cardoso" Literary Training Center. Her collection of poems, Manual del triunfo, was published in 2006. In 2011 Ediciones La Luz published her essay, Testimonio del margen, and her poetry collection, La enfermedad del bronce, in 2015. Her critical essay, Sociología y literatura: dos caminos para conocer la irreverencia, was published by Black Diamond Editions in 2013. Irela is a member of la Asociación Hermanos Saíz, a non-governmental association of young Cuban artists and writers.

Jabez “Bill” Churchill lives in Ukiah, California, where he was the city’s first bilingual Poet Laureate. He is a modern language instructor at Woodland Community College in Clearlake, and teaches poetry at Mendocino County Juvenile Hall through California Poets in the Schools. He began submitting poetry for publication in 1979, and became a member of the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Circle in Berkeley, California. He has toured with other poets in Spain (1999) and Cuba (2000), and been a featured reader throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, in Los Angeles and Vancouver B.C. He continues to write and perform in English and Spanish.

John Johnson’s poems have appeared in many print and online journals. He is co-translator, with Terry Ehret and Nancy J. Morales, of Plagios/Plagiarisms, the poetry of Ulalume González de León, winner of the 2021 Northern California Book Award for poetry in translation.