Featured Poem

Ballad on the Western Beaches

The ship settles on the shore
and land birds nest on its mast.
With the compass I trace routes on maps of tillage,
hurt by the sky’s anger on the seed’s weak ribs,
fearful of the flower’s drift before inhumane winds.
The ship sleeps on the shore,
the keel’s blue imagination covered in brush and rushes,
and the figurehead has a strolling soul.
In the binnacle is kept the book of moons and the rains’ needle,
a bottle of old snow liqueur.
A skylark sings on a rusty harpoon,
a blackbird’s sigh lashes the cables
and crows on the rudder glimpse lesser death lying alongside.
All set, admiral, for the great journey.

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Manuel Rivas
Jonathan Dunne
Original language:
Series 3 No.7 - Love and War

About the author

Manuel Rivas

Original poet

Manuel Rivas

Manuel Rivas is internationally Galicia's best-known author. His short novel The Carpenter's Pencil, a love story set in the S...

» Read more
Jonathan Dunne


Jonathan Dunne

Jonathan Dunne translates from the Bulgarian, Catalan, Galician and Spanish languages, work by authors such as Tsvetanka Elenko... » Read more


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