Monday, November 28, 2011

A Song for the Moon

Courtesy of Eden Ink Photography

Mi Luna by David LaMotte on Grooveshark

Mi  Luna, written by the late Nicaraguan songwriter Salvador Cardenal Barquero.   Spanish guitar by Juan Benevides, sung by David LaMotte, harmony vocals by Tish Hinojosa (From David LaMotte's album "Change", which came out in 2006).

Mi luna
ha visto tanto
que cuando le canto su plata me acuna
como a los santos
y los prisioneros, los amantes
los locos errantes y los pordioseros
que amamantamos tu luz.

Cuando no hay amigos, pan ni dinero
solo la poesía que flota en el aire sincero
y en las bancas solas
que hay en los parques
que mueren de frío
esperando amores amanezqueros.

Ay mi luna llena, escucha la pena
cuando un hombre canta
al amor que quiere.
Ay mi luna llena, escucha la pena
cuando un hombre canta
al amor que espera.
Ay mi luna llena. . .

I know about five words in Spanish, and one of them is luna.  The music went straight to my heart but I wanted to know what the words meant - so I used the Google Translator.  That translation - literal, and lacking - didn't illuminate. How words miscommunicate and how we struggle to make sense of them, even when awkwardly expressed!  What does it mean, for example, to "float through the air, sincere"?  [poetry, that is.] 

My personal interpretation, humbly offered, based on my sense of the verbatim Spanish, and what the feelings the music and that photographic image combined, evoked:

My moon
you've seen so much,
heard the outpourings of saints,
prisoners, lovers, beggars,
wandering madmen -
we're all nurtured by your light.

Friendless, hungry, destitute -
only poetry truly permeates.
Alone on park benches
one can die of the cold,
waiting for love.

Ah, my full moon,  hear our pain
when we sing of our yearning, of
love wanted,
love hoped for.

*Thanks to Abigail of Eden Ink Photography for her kind permission to share the above photo.