Book title page of Poetry
New poetry book available on Amazon as an eBook, paperback and hardcover

New bilingual book of poetry

This bilingual collection of poetry in English and Spanish is published by Cafh Foundation.

Find this poetry book on Amazon, available as an eBook, paperback and hardcover

We were happy to be able to sit down with the author, Hipolito Orlando Sanchez, of Tivoli, New York, and converse a bit with him about his new book of poetry, covering subjects such as love, longing, spiritual search, presence, meditation and prayer.

Our first question for our poet

CF: Can we begin by asking you to tell us a bit about yourself: where you were born, when you came to the United States, and when did you first begin to write poetry?

H: I was born in 1943 in the “Partido de San Martín”, a neighborhood in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Sometimes I reflect that I came to this world in days when so many souls were living it in the violence of WWII.

I came to New York in September 1979 with a group of friends to found a Community of Cafh here in Tivoli.

The first poem I remember I wrote as an assignment in high school. I no longer remember it, but it was about trees and nature. Our teacher and my friends liked it.

Why Poetry?

CF: Why poetry? What is it about that form of writing that works for you?

H: I don’t know. Poetry comes spontaneously to me. Also, in part, it’s the result of a search for the transcendent in our Community life.

CF: Do you have a favorite poem? Why is it your favorite? Which poem is it?

H: Gathering of Dreamers, because it is about my friends who lost their lives trying to fulfill their ideals, and No Water Pond. Also “Aripal”.

CF: If you could give advice to young writers today, what would it be?

H: Just write, and share your poetry. Learn from praise and from criticism as well. Also read poetry, at least once a day, early in the morning if possible…

Poetry and Hope

CF: Many of your poems seem to express not only yearning, but hope. What gives you hope?

H: Community life and the Prayer of the Heart; finding refuge developing inner life.

CF: What is your greatest hope for humanity?

H: That we find peace and keep developing knowledge.

CF: Anything else you would like to tell your readers:

H: Practice inner silence, and learn how to find refuge in the center of your heart.

CF: Could you share some of your poetry here?

Yes, thank you.  Here is one in English and Spanish, and a few more follow, too:

Gathering of Dreamers

I see them coming

From the four winds

Through the roads of our century

          Those who once dared

          To speak with their own voice,

          To think by themselves.

They are all here,

          The world changers,

          The builders of cities,

          The conquerors of space,

          The protectors and inspirers of children,

          The poets and singers,

          The craftsmen of all trades,

          The lovers of danger

                    In dark alleys of night, 

                    The truth seekers,

                    The bold caretakers of the sick

                    Face to face with death

          Eyes piercing the heart of mystery,

          Long is the list, all of them,

          In victory or defeat,

          Badges of blood or badges of roses on their chests,

          Some faces still damp with tears.

But now they smile,

Petals shower at their path,

And they are singing all the songs

Of all the rhythms of the earth.

They have come to the gathering of dreamers

To look into the depths of one another’s eyes

and share the beating of their hearts.

They have come to understand it all.

Comprehension and love is their banner.

Smiling, laughing,

          They’re making plans for the future.

Spring blossoms in New York inspire hope
Spring blossoms inspire hope
Reunión de Soñadores

Los veo venir  

Desde los cuatro vientos por los caminos de nuestro siglo

          Los que una vez se atrevieron

          A hablar con su propia voz

          A pensar por sí mismos.

Están todos

          Los que transforman el mundo,

          Constructores de ciudades

          Conquistadores del espacio,

          Protectores e inspiradores de niños,

Poetas y cantores,

Artesanos de todos los oficios,

También los amantes del peligro,

en callejones oscuros,

los buscadores de la verdad,

los valientes enfermeros

cara a cara con la muerte

          Ojos penetrando el corazón del misterio.

          Larga es la lista, todos ellos,

          Vencedores o vencidos,

          Emblemas de sangre o de rosas en su pecho,

          Algunos rostros todavía húmedos de lágrimas.

                    Pero ahora sonríen,

                    Lluvia de pétalos al pasar,

                    Y están cantando todas las canciones

                    De todos los ritmos de la tierra.

          Han venido al encuentro de soñadores

          A mirarse en lo profundo de sus ojos

          Y a compartir el latido de sus corazones.

          Han venido a comprenderlo todo.

          Comprensión y amor es su estandarte.

          Entre risas y sonrisas, 

                    Están haciendo planes para el futuro

Trees with light:  poetry in nature
Woods in the sunslight

Hope

Hope is here, hope is in me, hope is in the air, hope is in the steady path of the Sun,

Eons before eternity, shedding the vitality of a star

Over the planet, and over the hearts of all who live on it,

Beating with equal perseverance through the common place of everyday life,

As much as the great symphony of existence, of space time, of mystery,

A mantra flows from my lips, it’ll sustain the clothes wash, the kettle with breakfast,

To the depth of our feelings.

Love, like the steady persevering path of our Sun, shines here.

Here every day is the path of a poet, the morning a miracle, and just being is a song.

Esperanza

La esperanza está aquí, en mí, en el aire, en el paso firme del Sol,

Quien desde eones ante la eternidad dispensa vitalidad

Sobre el planeta y sobre los corazones de sus habitantes,

Que palpitan con igual perseverancia tanto en el lugar común de cada día

Como en la gran sinfonía de la existencia, del espacio-tiempo, del misterio.

Un mantra fluye de mis labios. Acompaña a lavar la ropa, a la cafetera con el desayuno,

A lo profundo de nuestro sentir.

El amor, como el paso firme del Sol, alumbra aquí.

El camino del poeta es cada día, la mañana es un milagro, y el ser un canto.

Sunsets inspire poetry
Sunset over southern lake

Little Altar in the Swamp

In the outskirts, where streets end,

There is a swamp, a no-water swamp,

Where all the sadness of the city drains.

Frustrations, failures, loneliness,

Anguish, regrets, ambitions,

Envy, desires, poverty, dejections,

Violence covert or overt…

Angels do not pass that way

And there are no plans in town

To clear the swamp.

Only just a project

To hide it behind giant commercial ads.

But I’ve decided

To erect a little altar, in a corner between two dead ends,

And keep a little lamp always lit,

One of those never-ending candle lights.

Now, in a long line, sighing ghosts pass by,

To get some warmth, some hope,

Never to be forgotten in the adjacent darkness,

Some light, some warmth,

A prayer that never ends

And, without ceasing, returns.

Pequeño Altar en el Pantano

En el suburbio, donde se terminan las calles,

Hay un pantano sin agua

Donde la ciudad drena todas sus tristezas.

Frustraciones, fracasos, soledades,

Angustia, lamentos, ambiciones,

Envidias, deseos, pobreza, despechos,

Violencia cubierta o descubierta…

Loa ángeles no pasan por ahí

Y el municipio no tiene planes

Para limpiar el pantano.

Sólo apenas un proyecto

Para esconderlo con grandes carteles comerciales.

Pero yo he decidido levantar un pequeño altar

En una esquina, entre dos callejones sin salida,

Para mantener una velita siempre prendida,

Una de esas que no se apagan.

Ahora, en larga línea, espectros suspirantes pasan

Por un poco de calidez, algo de esperanza,

Que no se olvidará en la oscuridad cercana,

Algo de luz y calor

Una oración que no termina

Y que, sin cesar, retorna.

One More Living Heart

So when I come into the day

With a self who talks too much

Nothing works.

Because life is found when one

Shuts up and listens and sees

And discovers another’s living heart

Or even if you listen well, if well you see,

You’ll find beating hearts in the core of trees

Long dead in the abandoned woods.

Stars, trees, distances untold appear

In the silence of a soul.

Work, then, and pray and embrace – all.

Otro Corazón y Vida

Así que cuando empiezo el día

Con un yo que habla demasiado

Nada funciona.

Porque la vida se encuentra

Cuando uno calla y escucha y ve

Otro corazón viviente

O al menos si uno escucha bien, ve bien,

Encuentra corazones palpitantes en los troncos

De árboles ya muertos tiempo atrás

En el bosque abandonado.

Estrellas, árboles, distancias incontables aparecen

En el silencio del alma.

Ora entonces, trabaja y abraza

Todo.

Night sky over row of houses
Night sky over neighborhood

Towards Cosmos

Planet, home in space,

Towns, dreams, illusion, small immensity

When our ships depart towards cosmos

Some of us perhaps will not be able to fly.

We’ll turn then our sight to the earth

As a hopeful seed

Of an unknown plant

That rests in the warmth of her garden.

Rumbo al Cosmos

Planeta, nuestro hogar en el espacio

Barrios, ensueños, ilusiones,

Pequeña inmensidad

Cuando partan nuestras naves rumbo al cosmos

Quizás algunos no podamos volar.

Volveremos nuestros ojos a la tierra

Como esperanzada semilla

De desconocida planta

Que se abandona al sol de su huerto.

Love Day

Let’s live a beautiful day

Writing “Love”

On everything we do, we touch, we think,

Tree or spoon or person.

Hand hammers iron on the anvil,

Soul discovers being,

Hand and soul mold a morning

Into the shape of something new.

Besides, there are trees in the patio.

Winter sleeping, dreaming with me

Of the dawns of spring

And the evenings of summer.

Oh, Mind of God

Writing poems on our souls!

A present moment

When even the smallest grain of soil,

Leaf or tree, or person,

Being, existing, a miracle.

Día Enamorado

Vamos a vivir un hermoso día,

Escribiendo “amor” en todo lo que hacemos,

O tocamos, o pensamos,

Árbol, cuchara o persona.

Mano forja acero en el yunque

Alma descubre el ser

Mano y alma moldean el día

Con una forma nueva.

Crecen árboles en el patio

Durmiendo en invierno, soñando conmigo

De amaneceres primaverales,

De atardeceres en verano.

Oh, Mente Divina,

¡Que escribe poemas en nuestras almas!

Momento presente

Donde hasta una pizca de suelo

Follaje, árbol, persona

Son, existen, milagro.

Red maple leaves against blue sky
Red maple in New York Fall

For a poem

For a poem

Open, Soul, open!

Listen,

The red maple sings

Its callous bark,

Its ever pointing upwards branches.

With open arms I run into this day,

With open arms, like the red maple

I breath deep

From the depth of my own roots

And run into this day.

Long will be the poem,

Long will be the job

I walk, I march into this day.

Yes.

I listen to silent screams,

Quietly

I cherish the laughter of the young,

Forever

I tell stories to my childish mind

And…

I run into this day:

To work! To dream! Go!

Para un Día Poema

Para un día poema

¡Abre la puerta, pues, abre!

Para un poema, bien.

Escucha,

El arce rojo canta,

Su piel callosa

Tiene por siempre los brazos en alto

Con brazos en alto corro hacia el día,

Brazos en alto como el arce rojo

Y respiro profundo,

Por lo hondo de mis propias raíces,

Y corro hacia el día.

Largo será el poema,

Largo el trabajo,

Camino, en marcha hacia el día.

Escucho gemidos de silencio,

Aprecio las risas de los jóvenes,

Le cuento cuentos a mi mente niña

Corriendo hacia este día:

!Vamos al trabajo! A soñar! Vamos!

Para un día poema,

Ábrete, alma, pues, abre

Paths to the Sun

I’ve seen a bird’s nest under the stars,

And a baby sleeping on her mother’s lap.

I have summoned sadness and joy.

The one to shoulder it, the other to give.

I’ve seen roads in the plains and paths in the mountains,

Pilgrims, in a long line, walk, bordering abysses.

No one falls, when one falters another stretches a hand.

One more step, and then one more,

Towards…who will know?

This little piece of hearth on which our feet stand and walk

Is rolling towards the Sun.

Senderos hacia el Sol

He visto un nido de pájaros bajo las estrellas,

Y un bebé durmiendo en el regazo de su madre.

He convocado a la tristeza y la alegría,

La una para cargarla sobre mis hombros,

La otra para darla.

He visto caminos en el llano y sendas en las montañas,

Peregrinos en una larga línea van, bordeando abismos.

Nadie cae, cuando uno tropieza otro le tiende una mano.

Un paso más, y luego otro más,

Hacia…quién sabe hacia donde!

Este pequeño trozo de tierra que pisan y andan nuestros pies

Va rodando hacia el Sol.


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Hipólito was born in Argentina and has been writing poetry since he was very young. He came to the United States in 1979 to live in a spiritual community in Tivoli, New York, where he continues to reside today.

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Writer, translator, educator, and above all, seeker of freedom.

Cafh Foundation editor, including books: Living Consciously, The Art of Living in Relationship, and the new, bilingual collection of poetry: Landscape of the Soul.