Tale of the Brick Maker, of San Jeronimo, Peru [In English and Spanish]

Tale of the Brick Maker,
Of San Jerónimo, Peru
[A Cup of Sorrow]

-1

In the Andean mountains, within the

Mantaro Valley region of Peru,
Isolated, secluded, tranquil, is the little

village of San Jerónimo.
Near the village, here lay the fertile valley

with bent-grass, and huge
Mountains stretching northbound,

And heading towards the ocean's coast.

The old man had hands like a farmer's

was raised on labor and ceaseless;
He made bricks from the mountain's clay,

baked them, from nearby firewood, and found
Serenity from the suns rays, as it sank

each night into twilight.

And so Augusto lived, directing his

household somewhat apart from the village,
Not a wealthy man, a brick maker, with

goodly acres of land; he now was a
Man of four and eighty winters, resting.

Happy and healthy was he, an ox of a man

with leathered skin, and dark eyes;
Yet how delicately they shinned.

Thus, at peace with God and man
and himself; the old brick maker.

-2

I sat back in the Plaza de Arms, of Lima, Peru

listened to the tale of this old man,
And his Bride of long ago?a story never before

told?these were days forlorn and desolate
Night after night, when the city was

asleep, he tried to make a living,
But it seemed like the sun was always dark

in those days, with naught in his pockets
But a twig from a branch of a tree.

He hadn't eaten for a few days, so the old

man said?, he was quite young back then;
Wandering the streets, the quiet way,

elastic and descending were his legs,
As if they were broken wings,. No jobs

in the city, now at trails end?
He needed a friend?thus he sat down

on some empty feverish steps, silent.

Moistening his lips, looking up, he saw---

(eyes half dead)
A little girl's face looking down at him.

All was ended now, the hope that
Might had been; now restless; a vanished vision;

an unsatisfying longing.

"Sir, can I help you? Why are you so sad?"

spoke the little ten year old.
A dull deep pain, reached Augusto's lips,

not knowing what to say;
And did it matter anyway, "Eh!" he replied.

She said once more, to the bewildered
Man, "Ssir, why are you so sad?"

Hundreds of feet walked by, where she

stood, he sat, "Miss, I can't pay the rent!"
Embarrassed, deep-voiced, he looked back down.

Within an hour's time, the little girl
Was back, full of life, and with a check?

paying the rent a month in advance?!

-3

But this is not where the story ends my friend,

it was really just the beginning.
As the old man in the park, sat back, we all

Wondered, and asked:
What ever happened to the little girl?

(all several of us now enchanted with his tale);
But he just laughed?. Said I,

"What sir is so funny?"
He replied: "I came back, six years later,

and married her."
And you could see the twinkle in his eyes, for

she had been long dead, and he missed her.
And that was all he said?.

#757 7/10/05

Spanish Version

Translated by: Nancy Penaloza
Edited by: Rosa Penaloza

Un Cuento del Ladrillero

De San Jerónimo de Tunán

1

En las montañas Andinas, dentro de la región
Del Valle del Mantaro de Perú,
Encerrado, aislado, tranquilo, está el pequeño
Pueblo de San Jerónimo.
Cerca al pueblo, aquí descansa el valle fértil
Con franjas verdes, y enormes
Montañas estirándose desplazándose hacia el norte,
y encabezando hacia la costa del océano.

El anciano tenía manos como el de un agricultor
Fue enaltecido en el trabajo e incesante;
El hizo ladrillos con la arcilla de la montaña,
Cociéndolos con leña en un cercano horno, y encontró
La serenidad de los rayos del sol, así como estos se hundían
Cada noche dentro del crepúsculo.

Y así, Augusto vivió, dirigiendo su
Casa algo aparte de su pueblo,
No un hombre rico, un ladrillero, con
Preciosos acres de tierra; él era ahora un
Hombre de 84 inviernos, descansando.

Feliz y saludable él era, como un buey era el hombre
Con la piel curtida, y ojos oscuros;
Todavía cuán delicadamente ellos brillaban.
Así, en paz con Dios y el hombre
Y el mismo; el viejo ladrillero.

2

Me senté de nuevo en la plaza de armas, de Lima, Perú
Escuchando el cuento de este viejo hombre,
Y su novia de hace mucho... Una historia nunca antes
Contada? estos fueron días desesperados y desolados
Noche tras noche, cuando la ciudad estaba
Dormida, él trataba de ganarse la vida,
Pero parecía como si el sol estuviera siempre oscuro
En aquellos días, con cero en sus bolsillos
Pero con una ramita de la rama del árbol.

El no había comido durante unos días, eso el
anciano dijo..., él era bastante joven entonces;
Peregrinando por las calles, de forma tranquila
Elásticas y caídas eran sus piernas,
Como si fueran alas rotas. Sin trabajo
en la ciudad, ahora en caminos finales?
El necesitaba un amigo?por eso él se sentó
sobre algunas gradas febriles, silencio.

Humedeciendo sus labios, mirando arriba, el vio
(ojos medio muertos)
Una carita de niña mirándolo
Todo había acabado ahora, la esperanza que
podría haber sido; ahora inquieta, una visión esfumada;
un deseo poco satisfactorio

"¿Señor, puedo ayudarle? ¿Por qué esta usted tan triste?"
dijo la pequeña de 10 años de edad.
Un dolor embotado profundo, alcanzo los labios de Augusto,
no sabiendo que decir;
¿Y eso importaba de cualquier manera? "Eh" él respondió
Ella dijo una vez mas, para el desconcierto del
Hombre "¿Ssseñor porque está tan triste?"

Cientos de pies andaban por ahí, donde ella
estuvo de pie, él sentado dijo, "señorita, no puedo pagar la renta"
Avergonzado, con voz muy profunda, él miro hacia abajo.
Dentro de un tiempo aproximado de una hora, la pequeña niña
Estuvo de regreso, llena de vida, y con un cheque...
Pagando la renta un mes adelantado...!

3

Pero esto no es donde termina la historia mi amigo,
Esto fue realmente justo el comienzo.
Mientras el viejo hombre en el parque, sentado, todos
Maravillados y preguntando:
¿Que le había pasado a la pequeña niña?
(Todos nosotros ahora encantados con su cuento);
Pero él solo sonrió... Dije yo,
"¿Qué es tan gracioso señor?"
El contestó: "regresé, seis años después
y me casé con ella."
Y tu podías ver el centelleo en sus ojos, porque
Ella ya había muerto, y él la extrañaba.
Y eso fue todo lo que dijo...

Dennis Siluk, author and poet, web site http://dennissiluk.tripod.com he will be going to Peru for the presentation of his book, "Spell of the Andes," in October; he lives in Peru and Minnesota

In The News:

Recourse in poetry  The New Indian Express
Poetry for the unpoetic  Annapurna Express
New poets, new mediums  The New Indian Express
HYPE honors poetry winners  Pine Bluff Commercial
Saudade in Urdu poetry  The News International

Daybreak at Pikes Creek [a Poem]

Daybreak at Pikes Creek [Summer of 2005]Daybreak by Lake Superior... Read More

Our Home

Our home was warm in the shade of the trees... Read More

Lifes Too Short

Time goes by to quickly to hold your feelings inside... Read More

Life is a Fantasy

LIFE IS A FANTASY!A pink-eyed rabbit, fuzzy whiteHops in bedrooms... Read More

Satirical Poetry About Tony Blair

All Hail.Is your hospital full of aliens, despite new cleaning... Read More

I Saw the Universe

I can see the cerulean blue of the skiesOr the... Read More

Three Poems: The Monkey Man of Lima, Plus Two More

What Hides behind the Minute?What hides behind the minute? It... Read More

Robert Burns Love Poem: A Red, Red Rose

Robert Burns, a poor man, an educated man, and a... Read More

Testimony to the Night [In English and Spanish]

In the quiet of the arctic night- In its deep... Read More

The Exit Poems [Iron and Fire & No Heroes]

The Exit Poems [And Socrates]Iron and FireIron can be... Read More

Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog

Emlyn Williams Theatre, Mold, North Wales: 20th February 2003Clwyd Theatr... Read More

Breathing-in, Minnesota [a poem: now in Spanish and English]

In early fall, in Minnesota, the rain falls, falls, In... Read More

Chan Chan and The Gorriones (Two Poems in English and Spanish)

The following two poems, one in English, the other in... Read More

Write Your Way to Fame

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be... Read More

Give Me a Lily Pad & The Continuum [two Poems]

What can I do to keep this world in its... Read More

Two Poems on the Traditions of Peru [in English and Spanish]

Atahualpa's Game [Peruvian]Sometimes, it's not wise To share your wisdom... Read More

Black Blood, in Jeremiahs Vines - A Poem and an Article

Black Blood, in Jeremiah's Vines [A Dream Poem]And I heard... Read More

Four Poems: Grendels Nature...the Racetrack...Counting days...[Now in English and Spanish]

English Version1) Grendel's DivorceYou must know that I do not... Read More

Rhymes of an Ordnance Man [Vietnam War: 1971]

Rhymes of an Ordnance Man [Vietnam War: 1971]An eleven part... Read More

Poetry and Popular Culture

Is poetry too complicated for the average reader? Is it... Read More

Ode To Quetzalcoatal [Now in Spanish and English]

Ode to QuetzalcóatlQuetzalcóatl the GreatNo one knew his true name,... Read More

Since Youve Been Gone...

My life has changedin so so many waysIt seems to... Read More

The Last King of Mars [A Poetic Mytho]

[As Told by the Last] King: it was in the... Read More

A Case of The Fears

Chicken Soup is good for a coldSleep is good for... Read More

Review Of Stephen B. Wileys First Book Of Poetry: HERO ISLAND

Poet Stephen B. Wiley's first book of poetry, Hero Island,... Read More