Friday, February 4, 2011


The Music of Villa-Lobos

Someone is speaking a lost language.

It is the music of Villa-Lobos.

I try to remember: where was I

born? And from what continent

untimely torn? I might have been

a priestess among the caymans

guarding the eye-jewel of the

crocodile god. I might have sailed

orinocos of diamonds, seas of coconuts,

leased the equator for life and learned

my ancestral language.

But I have only some old sleeves of rain

in a trunk with spiders

to remember my ancestors by.

They have left me

nothing, and I have forgotten

that island of my birth

where the sun in his suit of mirrors

was seen once only with my vast fetal eye.

But in the music of Villa-Lobos

a god with a tower of green faces

comes striding across cities

of permafrost, and I am summoned

once again to the jaguar gardens

guarded by waterfalls

where the hummingbird people are at play

far from the cold auroras of the north.

-Olga Cabral

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