Poems of the Night

In the Poems of the Night I used three early poems by Jorge L. Borges. El Sur (The South) and El Patio (The Patio) are expressions of peaceful beauty inspired by the exotic smells, sounds and the light of stars as experienced by the poet on a hot summer night in a friend’s weekend house somewhere near Buenos Aires.  La Pesadilla (Nightmare) depicts a nightmare of an ancient king from the North, with a large sword, sitting on an iron chair and wearing an iron crown. The vision of the king evokes haunting memories in the poet as he stands up and judges him. 

I. El sur -- The South*

To have watched from one of your patios
the ancient stars,
from the bench of shadow to have watched
those scattered lights 
that my ignorance has learned no names for
nor their places in constellations,
to have heard the note of water
in the cistern,
known the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle,
the silence of the sleeping bird,
the arch of the entrance, the damp
-- these things perhaps are the poem.

II. La Pesadilla --Nightmare

III. El Patio - 

With evening

the two or three colors of the patio grew weary. 
Tonight, the moon’s bright circle
does not dominate outer space.
Patio, heaven’s watercourse.
The patio is the slope 
down which the sky flows into the house.
Serenely eternity waits at the crossway of the stars.
It is lovely to live in the dark friendliness 
of covered entrance way, arbor, and wellhead.

*Public domain