I was a fish in the mirrors of the sonorous ocean wide,
where I beheld the glimmer of gems and metals;
that is the reason why I love the foam, the sourly
rocky shores, the briny gales, and the vivid choral reefs.
Then I was a treacherous viper of shifty tints,
magnetic pupils, and poisonous fangs; that is
the reason why I love the swamps, the shadowy trails,
the crepuscular wetlands, and the steamy forests.
Thereafter, I became a bird in a wild garden.
I had my entire iris painted on my plumage.
Yes, I love flowers, nests, the cool branches,
rare insects, and the green colours of landscapes.
Soon I turned into an eagle of bold and feral sight.
I had mighty wings and fine iron-wrought talons;
reason why I love the clouds, the stark mountain tops,
the boisterous winds, and the limitless skies.
I once became a brave lion of profuse mane,
of rapid yet strong backlash and a serene gaze;
that is why I love the plains where he roars
like thunder, the desert sands, and the Asian steppes.
Now (turned into a Man under obscure measures),
I feel within me the germs of future existences,
lives that shall rise and soar to find higher reaches,
or else should turn into entities of impure genesis.
Towards which distant star shall I direct my flight
when the time comes to look for another heaven?
On what venturous celestial body or grieving planet
shall my soul rest when I depart from this land?
Or is it that (by undisclosed reasons) descending
all the stairways of my brief terrestrial life,
in a limbo of long gestations, I shall lie in wait
for the sacred moment of renewed ascensions?
Juan Ramón Molina (1875 - 1908) Honduras
Translated by León Leiva Gallardo