A Divine Falling of Leaves by César Vallejo

Moon: royal crown of an enormous head,
dropping leaves into yellow shadows as you go.
Red crown of a Jesus who broods
tragically, softly over emeralds!

Moon: reckless heart in heaven,
why do you row toward the west
in that cup filled with blue wine,
whose hull is defeated and sad?

Moon: it is no use flying away,
so you go up in a flame of scattered opals:
maybe you are my heart, who is like a gypsy,
who loafs in the sky, shedding poems like tears ! . . .

translated by James Wright

Sky by Juan Ramon Jimenez

I had forgotten you,
sky, and you were nothing
more than a vague existence of light,
even without name,
by my weary, lazy eyes.
And you would appear, among the idle
discouraged words of the traveler,
like a series of tiny lagoons
seen in a watery landscape of dreams . . .

Today I gazed at you slowly,
and you are rising as high as your name.

translated by Dennis Maloney & Clark Zlotchew

Is my soul asleep? by Antonio Machado

Is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives that work
in the night stopped? And the water-
wheel of thought, is it
going around now, cups
empty, carrying only shadows?

No, my soul is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
its eyes wide open
far-off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.

translated by Robert Bly