Friday, December 28, 2018

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

By Kwame Dawes

It was Christmastime,
the balloons needed blowing,
and so in the evening
we sat together to blow
balloons and tell jokes,
and the cool air off the hills
made me think of coffee,
so I said, “Coffee would be nice,”
and he said, “Yes, coffee
would be nice,” and smiled
as his thin fingers pulled
the balloons from the plastic bags;
so I went for coffee,
and it takes a few minutes
to make the coffee
and I did not know
if he wanted cow’s milk
or condensed milk,
and when I came out
to ask him, he was gone,
just like that, in the time
it took me to think,
cow’s milk or condensed;
the balloons sat lightly
on his still lap.

Kwame Dawes is famous Ghanian-American poet and current Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets

I was touched by this poem that speaks about our transitory life. It takes only a coffee break to turn us into a lifeless one.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tactics and Strategy

Tactics and Strategy 
By Mario Benedetti
Translated by Louise B. Popkin

My tactic is

        to watch you

get to know who you are

love who you are

my tactic is

             to talk to you

and listen

build a permanent bridge

out of words

my tactic is

to find a place in your memory

I don’t know just how     or

where and when

but to find my place in you

my tactic is

                to be open

knowing you are too

and never sell each other

false goods

so that between us

there will be no secrets

                      or distances

my strategy

on the other hand

is simpler and more


my strategy is

that one of these days

I don’t know just how    or

where and when

finally        you’ll need me.

Benedetti (1920 - 2009) is regarded as one of Latin America’s most important poets of the 20th century and one of Uruguay's most prolific writers. He excelled in all literary genres: novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, political articles, and polemical songs.

I loved this poem. The poet speaks of tactics and strategies to woo his lover. But  they are not devious or manipulative. They are soft tactics and strategies rooted in honesty and sincerity. 

 Source :  "Witness: The selected Poems of Mario Benedetti" translated by Louisa B.Popkin.