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Tina Cartwright
New Zealand

spirits of the forest  Vanya Taule'alo
Tina Cartwright is a folk artist concerned with stories and beliefs that people carry in their blood, whether consciously or subconsciously. She has one foot in the south of New Zealand and another in Mexico. She currently lives in Mexico City and is working on poetry and short story collections.
That Granada Night

Your memory
is the silver lark of death
waiting for love
to outshine time

You are in that Granada night
snaking through sandy alleys
into the underworld
where lament drew blood
and tears formed red stars
to shroud the moon

You were my laughter
Floating down river
Caught by the lip of the cave
Sucked into dark

Where the myths of
openings to the underworld
are real,
I kissed blue lips
once blood red

Take me downriver
where the cave
opens into

Sunday Morning

the streets on a Sunday morning
are naked, spent

worn out by walking
yelling, frivolling
by the light of the steady moon
and the sigh of the morning sun

a patrol car passes by
red, blue, red, blue
the birds are sleeping in the trees
the leaves are waving
heavy and tired

the composer next door
is scratching a note
out of the ether
to join a strand
that strips the heart of joy
and stains the eyes black

I am putting the words in place
slotting them into the puzzle
letting the picture be remade
and they are forming life

these never ending vicissitudes
of flavor, of lust, of trying
in the air just beyond the vision
where now and here and there and then
are united

and the only truth
is that everything is
has been and shall always be.


The bells of the church
are soldiers all in a row

The bells of the rubbish collectors
are stars of yellow cleanliness

The bells of the tamale seller
are bluebirds encaged

The bells of the ironmonger
are red sapphires burning

The bell on the stranger´s bike
is a little bird fallen from the nest

The parade bell
is a silver button
falling from a proud chest

The wedding bell
is a starched witness

The funeral bell
a sigh from the other world


Ando soñando
con rayos de brillo
e instantes
de ojos retornables
y de barcos en alta mar

la luz está hecha de cuchillos
y dientes pulidos
está mañana
es la única que puede cambiar
sin resistencia
mi alma
por una manta y una paloma
sin piernas

aquí siento el aliento
del pasado
y las manos del tejedor
él que hizo el aire frío
como una nube
para cubrir el cuerpo
de cada mujer

aquí está sentada
la pregunta
que te pica
cuando la pronuncias
porque es de cuernos y
polvo de plata

aquí el aire
está construido de
especias y
noches largas sin descanso

Aquí atrás de la luz
están las memorias ya casi borradas
las que nunca volverás
a vivir.


I go along dreaming
of rays of frozen
and creaking
of recyclable eyes
and ships in high seas

the light is made of knives
and polished teeth
this morning is the only one
that can change
without resistance
my soul
for a blanket and a dove
without legs

here I feel the breath
of the past
and the hands of the weaver
he who made the cold air
like a cloud
to cover the body
of every woman

Here the question sits
the question that pricks
when you pronounce it
because it´s made of horns
and silver dust

here the air
is made of
spices and
long nights without rest

here behind the light
are the memories now almost erased
those that you will never ever
live again