María Pérez Yglesias (Costa Rica)

María Pérez Yglesias                         (Costa Rica)

 
María Pérez Yglesias (born 1949) has a PhD in Social Communication from the Leuven University, Belgium. She is a retired senior fellow from the University of Costa Rica, where she held the doyen’s position in the program of graduate studies and vice-dean of Social Action. She has written over a hundred academic works and, since 2008, she has published fifteen literary works which include the poetry collection Bailamos con el mar (Dancing with the sea) and El susurro de las hojas cómplices (The whispering of accomplice leaves). Other unpublished poetry collections are Niña cuéntame tu historia (Young girl, tell me your story); and No existe paz sin memoria (There is no peace without memory). She participates in two literary workshops and is part of the Costa Rican Female Writers Association She is currently experimenting with novel, micro-stories and poetry-readings.
Email: mariaperez.yglesias@gmail.com
 
 
No existe paz sin memoria
 
THERE IS NO PEACE WITHOUT MEMORY
by María Pérez Yglesias
Translation by Javier I. Guevara
 
 
Somos de los mismos
 
Matamos el tiempo.
Jugamos al fútbol,
a las cartas,
a la esperanza,
en terreno neutral.
 
Compañeros de clase
juramos regresar vivos
al pueblo,
nuestro pueblo.
 
– Al ataque, gritan.
 
Dos bandos contrarios.
Enfrentados
sin odios personales.
 
Me atrapan
y él, mi enemigo,
se niega a dispararme.
 
En prisión
jugamos al dominó,
a la pelota,
al recuerdo en el patio escolar.
 
– Al paredón, ordenan.
 
Opuestos,
las balas ciegas,
sin alma,
mudas,
nos esperan.
 
Tú y yo,
mi extraño rival,
somos de los mismos.
 
 
 
From the same camp
 
We kill time.
We play soccer,
we play cards,
play at having hope,
in neutral ground.
 
Classmates
we swore we would return alive
to the town,
our town.
 
– Charge, they shout.
 
Two opposite sides.
At war
with no personal hatred.
 
I am captured,
and he, my enemy,
refuses to shoot me.
 
Both imprisoned,
we play domino,
we play with a ball,
play at remembering the schoolyard.
 
– To the execution yard, they order.
 
Opposite,
blind bullets,
soulless,
mute,
await us.
 
You and I,
my strange rival,
we are from the same camp.
 
 
 
Ave de mal agüero
 
Sueño con tus besos
y abrazos
piel a piel.
 
Quiero olvidar,
arar la tierra ,
escuchar el silencio,
los cacareos de la Pinta,
mugidos de buey manso,
el quiquiriquí del amanecer.
 
La trinchera me ahoga,
me ahoga el placer
de tu amor inmenso,
interminable.
 
No puedo respirar,
la explosión niega
sonidos a mi esperanza.
Hilos de sangre
enrollan mi nostalgia
y cuelgan de la nada.
 
Cierro los ojos
y un ave de mal agüero
ulula mi nombre.
 
 
 
Bird of ill omen
 
I dream of your kisses
and your embrace
flesh to flesh.
 
I want to forget,
plough the land,
listen to the silence,
to the Pinta clucking,
to the lowing of the tame ox,
the cock-a-doodle-do of daybreak.
 
The trench stifles me,
stifles my pleasure
of your immense, boundless
love.
 
I can’t breathe,
the explosion denies
sounds to my hope.
Blood threads
hanging from nothingness
roll up my nostalgia.
 
I close my eyes
and a bird of ill omen
soughs my name.
 
 
 
La impericia
 
Un ojo
llora barro,
demencia,
vacío.
 
Me mira
como la cerradura
de la puerta al infierno.
 
Duelen nostalgias
y por la herida
resbala una plegaria
sin santos, ni dioses.
 
La sirena se aleja
hacia territorios
sin lucha.
 
Colgado
de la incertidumbre,
un cuerpo viaja
avasallado por la metralla.
 
En la trinchera
el ojo-parca
reniega de su impericia.
 
 
 
Inexperience
 
An eye
cries mud,
madness,
emptiness.
 
It looks at me
like the keyhole
of Hell’s door.
 
Past memories hurt
and along the wound
a prayer runs down
without saints or gods.
 
The siren departs
to territories
where there is no struggle.
 
Hanged
from uncertainty,
a body travels
bound by the shrapnel.
 
In the trenches
the Fates-eye
renounces its inexperience.
 

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