In the north we hunted many buffalo
whose lard warmed us all winter.
But in the jungle they told us that to bring more light
we should throw more trees into the sun's furnace.
One day our hand slipped and tossed in the entire jungle
with its birds, fish, and rivers.
Now we spend a lot of time gazing at the stars
and our daily menu almost never changes.
Today we hunted down a cloud
that was going to become winter in New York City
From The Ecopoetry Anthology, edited by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura Gray Street. (Trinity University Press, San Antonio, Texas.) Used by permission.
Juan Carlos Galeano was born in the Colombian Amazon. He is the author of several books of poetry and translations of American poetry. His work inspired by Amazonian cosmologies has been published and anthologized internationally and widely translated. Magazines and journals such as The Atlantic Monthly, Field, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Antioch Review have published his poems. Other works include a collection of folktales Cuentos amazónicos (2014), Folktales of the Amazon (2009), as well as a film he co-directed and co-produced, The Trees Have a Mother (2008). He teaches Latin American poetry and cultures of the Amazon at Florida State University.
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