Jorge Contreras Herrera: Poems

His poems and texts have already made their way all over Latin America. But he has also published in Europe: Jorge Contreras Herrera, poet and essayist from Mexico.

What do poems even mean? Isn’t this interpretation pompous? Does the poet really think that much? Years ago, a fellow student asked me about the meaning of poetry after he realized that I was very much involved in literature. We studied business informatics, and even if there are the winged words “code is poetry”, our studies were miles away from literature. I still remember the questions quite well, but not the answers. Well, I could have given him “Bare your Feet” by Jorge Contrera’s Herrera.

Thomas Matterne, Editor-in-PonderingTime


Bare Your Feet

A good poem can be an awful poem to an inept reader,
as an awful poem might appear to be a good poem to an inept reader.
Which is the real poem?
In what manner must sensitivity be calibrated,
or in what condition the soul got to be,
and I ponder about the musical soul that instruments embrace
so that they sound not only remarkably good, but rather perfect.
Between good and perfect, there is an abyss.
How many do stay at the doors of the temple,
and I must explain it, because an inept reader, would not understand me.
I mean, countless are left out of the poem:
read something that does not exist.
What does exist isn’t present.
That is, once more. Not everyone can access the poem.
The poem, is within the poem and within yourself.
If you cannot read it, try again.
Read something else, then come back to it.
One must enter barefoot to the poem,
if you don’t do it like this, you will enter somewhere else, but not to the poem.
When something gets revealed and intuition stirs emotions,
images, strange forces and feelings get enlightened,
it is a signal that the poem has received you.


Storm Tamer

Amid the storm
I am the captain of this ship
Character steers here,
-there’s no return-
only the cowards get drown.

With one hand I greet the lightning,
with the other the thunder.

Blow airstreams
say your poem
to this sailor.

I am the storm tamer.
Have taken Acheron
to its mandate.

I am the mermaids’ enchanter.
I am Nobody for the blind.
I am for the one who sighs, Circe.

I am the one who listens to the poem
from the lips herself of poetry.


Description of Her

You are the birth of light,
the gaze’s exaltation,
the tenderness of the fruit with its poem’s sap.
You are the storm that seduces in the mountain,
fragile as a quivering tear on fallen leaves.
You are the dancing clarity in the dark forest.


Jorge Contreras Herrera
Mexican writer (1978). Poet, essayist, editor, reading promoter and cultural manager. Director of The Ablucionistas A.C. Health and Happiness through Art and Culture. Director of the Ignacio Rodríguez Galván International Poetry Festival and José María Heredia International Poetry Festival. Compiler of the anthology “Tribute to Sabines: here we are all together” and the Jose María Heredia International Poetry Anthology (2017). Author of the poetry books Inventario de caricias, ¿Quién soy otro sino tú?, Poemas del candor, Otro que fui and El espejo adecuado (Inventory of Caresses, Whom am I But You, Candor Poems, Other that I was and The Adequate Mirror). He has collaborated with literary magazines such as Circle of Poetry (Mexico), The Inverted Root (Colombia), Free Electron (Morocco), Taqafat (Jordan) and The Journal of the University of Mexico. His poems have been translated into Arabic, Italian, Portuguese and English. He has been a juror at the José Carlos Becerra State Poetry Prize of Tabasco, the Josué Mirlo National Poetry Prize and the National Literature Prize convened by the Institute of Social Security and Services of State Workers (ISSTE) in 2016. He was awarded the “Professor Rafael Cravioto Muñoz” University Recognition for the Reading Advancement Program at the XXIX edition of the University Book Fair, of the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo (UAEH), Mexico.

Translation from Spanish. Luz María López (Puerto Rico)