Ron Starbuck






New Translations:

Jorge Luis Borges







The Threatened One


El Amor it is: we must nurture

something within or escape,

To hide or flee from fear.


Our secure battlements swell outward –

A prison, as in a cruel dream.

Love transforms our alluring masquerade,

Which is ever the only one.


Of what use are our charms:

Our portrayal of letters,

A tenuous learnedness,


The knowledge of words

That the impotent Northland

Sings to their seas and their swords.


A composed attachment,

Passageways concealed in libraries,

The most common things, our life’s pattern.


A mother’s youthful love,

The martial shade of our dead,

An enduring night,

A taste of our desires, our dreams?


Being together with one another

Or not being together

Becomes the measurement of our time.


Already the pitcher is broken at the fountain,

The silver cord cut and humankind

Raises up the song of the birds.


While we who look through windows

See ever so dimly – darkened,

But the shadow has brought no peace,

Desire fails.


It is, we know this, love:

A disquiet and release

When hearing your voice,


Waiting in hope and in memory,

The horror of living only

In the forthcoming,

In what will be.


It is love with its mythologies,

with its inept diminutive enchantments.


There is a corner,

One we do not dare to cross.

The legions now surround us, the throngs

Closing closer and closer.

(An unreal room, my beloved has not seen.)


A lover’s name haunts and betrays this memory.

Aching with el amor, all over the body.





The Lover


Moons, ivories, instruments, roses,

Lamps and the contours of Dürer,

The nine symbols and the capricious zero,

I will imagine that such things are real.


I will make-believe that in the past they were

Persepolis and Rome, where microscopic particles

Elusive – measured the fate of the fortifications,

Which the eras of hard–iron loosened.


I will imitate the arsenals and burning fire

Of the heroic – the high fierce seas

That plight the pillars of the Earth.


I will fantasize there are others’.

That it is all an untruth – so unreal.


Only you are – now – my tribulation

And always my pleasure

Endlessly and innocently formed.






Welcome, the water’s ballad

To one whom black sand overawed,

Welcome, turning hands touching

The polished marble pillar,

Welcome, gentle labyrinths of water

Amongst the lemon trees,

Welcome harmonious zéjel,

Welcome to love and pleasing prayer

Given to Allah who is One,

Welcome the jasmine.


Vain weapon – bright steel

Before the long lances of the warriors,

Vanity to be the best.

Welcome to knowledge and foretelling

O sorrowful king, whose innocence

Bids farewell, the key denied you,

An infidels’ cross obscures the moon,

An afternoon regarded, proven your last.



Translated: RB, April 2018












RON STARBUCK is the Publisher/CEO/Editor of Saint Julian Press, a poet and writer, an Episcopalian, and author of There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian, When Angels Are Born, and Wheels Turning Inward, three rich collections of poetry, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions.


He has been deeply engaged in an Interfaith-Buddhist-Christian dialogue for many years, and holds a lifelong interest in literature, poetry, Christian mysticism, comparative literature and religion, theology, and various forms of contemplative practice.


He has been a contributing writer for Parabola Magazine. And has had poems and essays published in Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature, an interview and poem in The Criterion: An Online International Journal in EnglishThe Enchanting Verses Literary ReviewONE from MillerWords (Feb. 2016), and Pirene’s Fountain, Volume 7 Issue 15, from Glass Lyre Press (Oct. 2014), and Levure Littéraire (France-USA-Germany – 2017). A collection of essays, poems, short stories, and audio recordings are available on the Saint Julian Press, Inc., website under Interconnections.


Forming an independent literary press to work with emerging and established writers and poets and tendering new introductions to the world at large in the framework of an interfaith and cross cultural literary dialogue has been a long-time dream.



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