Two Poems – Juan Arabia / Río Grande Review Home (University of Texas at El Paso)


Two poems by Juan Arabia (Buenos Aires, 1983).Poet, essayist and literary critic. Juan Arabia is also the director of the renowned printed and electronic magazine: Buenos Aires Poetry ( At the beginning of 2011 he published his first poetry collection Canciones del Gólgota. The present english translation are by scottish poet Neil Leadbeater.


I’ll pawn my heart for a bird
and from it new stars
will fall for the world.

Because I still travel
—I’m a stranger—
bridges in cities
fall silent and shun me.

I’ll hide from the atrocities
and injustices
until the dawn turns rosy
and heals itself.


Religions and swords
left nothing but wills and beliefs in the air.
The marriage between good and evil, of Christ;
Buddha’s exile.
The Apocryphal Gospels: now folklore keeps on pulsating
in the old conduit of progress and science.
New machines replace even the liquor of smuggling.

—I went back to the sacred texts.
The time to read them is short:
the time is new.
There are no whips on a horse’s mane,
the world is a quiet donkey.

In the south the devil’s beards grow,
the Indian beards.
They say they only grow where the air is pure.
It is a good place for the last plundering.




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