Landscape with man

I met Alejandro Oliveros in March 1977 in Caracas, Venezuela. A poet of great kindness, Alejandro was an ardent adherent to the poetics of Ezra Pound, and despite the tropical climate, his mode of dress was a kind of homage to Pound. The poem below, from Espacios (1974) owes much to Pound’s imagism.

Landscape with man

In the grounds of the park
A gardener collects leaves and trash
With his broom. Tired. Weathered
Face his hands hardened.

To one side between the leaning trees
The river runs. Narrow. Bone dry.

The man advances a few steps
Observes the clouds
Against the pink summer sky.

Uneven shapes hint at
The neighbouring mountains. Crops
and fields turn yellow.

Night descends. The gardener gathers
His tools and walks off. The wind blows.

Alejandro Oliveros
(trans. John Lyons)