Manuela Palacios lectures on Anglophone literature at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain). She has edited, translated and written about Irish, Galician and Arabic poetry. Among the recent anthologies she has edited are Migrant Shores: Irish, Moroccan & Galician Poetry (Salmon Poetry 2017) and Ανθολογία Νέων Γαλικιανών Ποιητών – Antoloxía De Poesía Galega Nova (Vakxikon 2019). Manuela’s research on women’s studies, ecopoetry and the human-animal trope has set her on the stimulating path to creative writing.
Spring has broken its beguiling vow of a new start and I look at defeat in the face ‒its reproachful frown. Succour patters along the brain labyrinths aimlessly while the doomed flame wanes. And yet, an intractable glimmer endures in a faraway recess. And I write and fail, fall, fathom deep waters, writhe, come up for air.
The oak leaf shivers
in the afternoon deluge—
Summer rubs its curing balm on my skin and I feel the thrill of interlacing muscles, racing blood vessels, crisscrossing nerves in a reckless gymkhana. Side by side, sea water drops dry on your back and I trace the ancient salt routes of desire. Is it judgement or calculation that holds me back? Forever yearning, forever withholding; that precarious walk on the watershed.
Horses of the sea‒
undulating frothy manes
dissolve on the shore.
A dog crossed me in the park and looked into my eyes: an abysmal gaze. Whatever he said, I acquiesced, certain I had understood. The turning leaves will fall and bud again; magnanimous souls that we fail to emulate. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. We have not met again but the eyes of that dog watch over me.
The gold evening light
impregnates the lush pastures:
What kind of writer am I, with words merely on the tip of my tongue? Dyslexic, diglossic, tongue-tied, tone-deaf, bilingual in meekness and capitulation. And yet, with these scraps I will build a kaleidoscopic capsule that may convey you and me to the other side of the mirror. Together, we might fool hesitation and diffidence… together in might.
That grass blade cowers
before the imminent frost.
A robin alights.