domingo, 24 de abril de 2016


Christianne Balk

Christianne Balk (nacida en 1953) es una poeta americana.

Balk se graduó con honores en Biología por la Universidad de Grinnell y enseñó en la Universidad de Columbia Británica.  Vive en Seattle, Washington, con su marido y su hija.


1985 Walt Whitman Award
1994 Verna Emory Award
Alaska Council on the Arts travel grant



Linda Svendsen, ed. (1990). "Elegy; How Stories Get Started". Words we call home. University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 978-0-7748-0367-0.
"Lauds for St. Germaine Cousin". The Atlantic Monthly. September 2002.
Bindweed. Collier Books. 1986. ISBN 978-0-02-627660-3.
Desiring Flight. Purdue University Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1-55753-062-2.


William J. Walsh, Jack (INT) Myers, ed. (2006). "Lauds for St. Germaine cousin; Dusk Choir; Dear Hippopotamus". Under the rock umbrella. Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-88146-047-6.

Old Growth

If you’re the madrone, I’m the salvaged pine.
If you’re the wetland, I’m the slope.
If you’re El Nino, I’m the solitary flicker
swooping to perch on the madrone’s scorched bark.

Christianne Balk

Versiones en español por Esteban López Arciga (1994).


Miles de pequeños
puños rozando la superficie del lago
fluyendo como ola
río alocado, sudeste, noroeste
dejando que el viento lo empuje
alrededor en su cama y el casco
del bote abrazando la costa.
¿Qué otra cosa puede hacer? Incluso los árboles
están de acuerdo, sacuden
sus coronas, lanzando sus hojas como si
fueran su hijo
único. Capturada con pies fríos en pasto
Magnuson, tratando de librarse
del pillaje aceitoso profundamente
hundido en el lodo
superficial sosteniendo el agua, aguantando
su vigilia por un instante,
surco volviéndose
confusión. ¡Contracorrientes
gris cascada! ¡Remolinos de cambio afilado!
inseguros! Deja al harapo alegando consigo mismo,
jadeando como niño
con el aire noqueado y el viento
pegándose al centro.
Deja que la vela, desplegada- seda verde y blanca, ahora
rompiéndose, ondulando
lenta sácala de esta playa
llena de cristal roto, rocas
tan lisas como huevos de chorlito, y pequeñas
piedras salpicadas con rojo metal
y naranja como el del cielo abriéndose.
Deja que las ventanas se enciendan
lanzando cobre del otro lado.
Deja que el agua
sea cubierta en plata de aquí a allá
batiéndose como si fuese turbia
por flancos de grandes, peces gentiles.


Thousands of tiny
fists tamping the surface of the lake
flowing like a wide
river gone crazy, southeast, westnorth
letting the wind push
it around in its bed and the boat
hull hugging the shore.
What else can she do? Even the trees
agree, shaking
their crowns, throwing down their leaves as if
she were their only
child. Caught cold-footed in Magnuson
grass, trying to cut
free of the creosote-soaked pilings sunk
deep in the shallow
mud holding the water, holding her
wake for a moment,
furrow folding back over into
confusion. Cascade
gray crosscurrents! Sharp switching eddies!
shoals! Let the cloth argue with itself,
gasping like a child
with the air knocked out and the wind
socking the center.
Let the sail, shot-silk green and white, now
snapping, billowing
slowly draw her away from this beach
marked with broken glass, rocks
as smooth as plovers’ eggs, and small
stones splashed iron red
and orange like the sky breaking open.
Let the windows ignite
flickering copper on the other side.
Let the water be
disked with silver from here to there
churning as if roiled
by the flanks of a great, gentle fish.

Loas para Santa Germana Cousin

Bendito aquel que levante el lento sol
sobre el crudo borde naranja de la mañana,
que mueve a la oveja para ayudarla a parir-
cordero aturdido al calor del rebaño, que
lleva a la gallina a guiar a sus polluelos tan pronto como puedan
caminar por el alto pasto,
lleno de bichos, guía a la lechuza para arrancar pichón
fresco en morcillas tan pequeñas
que puedan caber en el pico del mochuelo,
y lleva a la rata a lamer al cachorro
que no es suyo y llevarlo a su lado,
lleva al cisne al floripondio,
agitar su cabeza, y levantar sus alas, temblando
cual canoa viviente
sobre el nido hecho sin manos
por aquellos que no tienen manos, sólo alas,
alas que no pueden moverse pero deben y de alguna manera
lo hacen, tal como yo enredo hilo de lana de carnero salvaje
de la rueca, bordado, ordenado, lavado,
y llevado a montones de mecha
tenida por mala hasta que el sol se levante
lo suficientemente alto para calentar estos dedos lentos
dando vueltas rápido y más rápido, dejando
el huso como punta, enrollando
fibras al sentido del reloj para jalar el estambre
tenso y derecho, haciendo de muchos uno.

Lauds for St. Germaine Cousin 1579-1601

Blessed is the One who lifts the slow sun
above this morning’s raw orange edge,
who moves the ewe to nudge her birth-
stunned lamb into the flock’s heat, who
leads the hen to steer her keets as soon as
they can walk into the insect-
filled, high grass, guides the owl to tear fresh
pigeon into pieces small enough
to fill the owlet’s gaping bill,
and prompts the rat to lick the pup
that’s not her own and take it to her side,
directs the swan to trumpet,
bob her head, and raise her wings, quivering

into a living canopy
above the nest built without hands
by those who have no hands, just wings,
wings that cannot weave but must and somehow
do, just as I twist thread from the distaff’s
wild wether wool, skirted, sorted, scoured,
and drawn into bumps of roving
held awry until the sun lifts
high enough to warm these slow fingers
spinning fast and faster, dropping
the spindle like a top, whorling
fibers clockwise to pull the yarn
taut and straight, plying many into one.

The Breeze Nudges Junipers, Promising 
cool air soon.  Forget the talk of Grandpa’s
tests, doctor this and doctor that, grown-ups
casting glances at the Atlas of the Human Body
left open on the kitchen counter all day, road
maps networked in red and blue around a place
none of us knew, broken pumps, melted casings,
forty acres left so dry the cattle lay down
motionless.  Birds panting.  Remember the dust
devils dancing in the driveway?  Their swirling
made you laugh.  Now you cry for Daddy’s-Daddy
as if he’s gone somewhere.  The branches outside
our window move between us and  the moon
pulling us together in a waving,
underwater web of shadow and light, rocking
both of us towards the man whose heart
ticks at the center of this house.  Grandpa’s
okay now, sleeping in the room
next to ours.  If you close your eyes you might
see the jagged mountains we flew above to get
here, new green softening the edges of the ash
slopes rimmed with trees laid down in rows,
polished silver by the heat.  Drift down, sleep-
winged cottonwood seed, count miles of open ditches
carrying the Deschutes to pastures filled
with sage, green rabbit brush, fescue, thistle,
bitter brush, manzanita, and wild rose.  The pig
bends her legs and slowly sinks into her wallow.
The gray-mantled ground swallow burrows deep,
curling close to cool roots.  The chickens cluck
around brimming pails.  Slow-eyed horses lower
their muzzles into troughs and the grownups stop
pacing the living room as if it were an airport.
In your sleep, see us fill your glasses with
clear water pulled from lava rock six hundred
feet below, talking lazily of water rights, as if
tonight we were any night, all of us together.


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