Featured “Couplets” Poet: Sue Burke

April 12th, 2012

Today as part of the Couplets poetry blog tour, I’m featuring the poet Sue Burke here on my blog. I’ve come to know Sue a little bit through an e-mail haiku exchange, which is included here. We decided to write about the changing seasons from her location in Spain and my location in Minnesota.

About Sue
Sue Burke was born Wisconsin and lived briefly in Texas, y’all, before moving to Madrid, Spain, in 1999. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and she has worked for decades as a journalist and editor. For more of her writing, visit http://mount-oregano.livejournal.com, and for her adventure in translating a Spanish classic chivalry novel, visit http://amadisofgaul.blogspot.com.

A Yearlong Chain: Madrid, Spain, and Minnesota
by Sue Burke and Christina Nguyen

#1
el turrón
acabado — los almedros
hoy blancos y dulces

the almond Christmas candy
all gone — the almond trees
white and sweet today

#2
March heat wave
already the song
of frogs

#3
las malas hierbas brotan
más impacientes que yo
para primavera

these weeds shooting up
more impatient for spring
than I am

#4
a puddle in a puddle in a puddle April rain

#5
dos urracas
la ramita de nido perfecta
disputada

two magpies
one perfect nest twig
the dispute begins

#6
behind her ear
the scent
of lilac

#7
esta rosa
olida cien veces
todavía dulcísima

this rose
sniffed a hundred times
still sweet and strong

#8
at dusk
the owl’s question
in a falling star

#9
polluelo
muerto en la acerca
pero primavera no para

fledgling
dead on the sidewalk
but spring does not stop

#10
dragging the day
down for a nap
summer heat

#11
migas
se levantan y muevan –
hormigas en el picnic

crumbs
rise and move –
ants at the picnic

#12
just blue sky
swimming
in the lake

#13
viento del Sáhara –
trajes de baño
en los tendederos

Sahara wind –
swimming suits
on wash lines

#14
yellowing leaves
a hint of change
in your voice

#15
higos
en esta huerta ovidada
maduros y listos

figs
in this forgotten garden
ripe and ready

#16
the scent
of everything fried
State Fair

#17
mozo corneado
el medico saca
su lista de control

gored runner
the medic pulls out
his checklist

#18
no speed boats
to drown the lake noises
September

#19
regreso al cole:
hasta los árboles del patio
más altos

back to school:
even the playground trees
are taller

#20
texting…
the way she knows
all the answers

#21
tanto traffico:
los ojos de los vecinos
para la ciega

heavy traffic:
a neighborhood of eyes
for the blind woman

#22
a slight tap
on your shoulder
autumn breeze

#23
amarilla
esta hoja o mariposa
que revolotea

yellow leaf
or yellow butterfly
flitting in the wind

#24
a hint of frost
trying to guess
his intentions

#25
Todos lo Santos –
pétalos en la acera
donde vendían flores

All Souls’ Day* –
petals on the sidewalk
where the flower stand was

#26
a deep sigh
before the season of consumerism
Thanksgiving

#27
Correos CTA
en el camino de
Hormigueras

Postal Service
central sorting facility
on Anthill Road

#28
Facebook friends…
only one Christmas card
in my mailbox today

#29
espumillón
en el suelo del Metro
y ya voy a casa

tinsel
on the floor of the subway car
and I’m going home

#30
New Year’s dream
the maple tree asleep
under the snow

 

*In Spain on All Souls’ Day, it’s traditional to place flowers on the family graves.

8 Responses to “Featured “Couplets” Poet: Sue Burke”

  1. This is fantastic, Tina . . . and Sue. What a wonderful blending of voices and languages. Fantastico!

  2. Robert Johnston says:

    Lovely haiku ….

  3. Brian Zimmer says:

    Magnificent duet!

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