Ode to Thanks

Thanks to the world that says thanks!

Thanks to thanks


that melts

iron and snow!

The world is a threatening place



makes the rounds

from one pair of lips to another,

soft as a bright


and sweet as a petal of sugar,

filling the mouth with its sound

or else a mumbled


Life becomes human again:

it’s no longer an open window.

A bit of brightness

strikes into the forest,

and we can sing again beneath the leaves.

Thanks, you’re the medicine we take

to save us from the bit of scorn.

Your light brightens the altar of harshness.

Or maybe

a tapestry known

to far distant peoples.


fan out

into the wilds

and in the jungle

of strangers,


rings out

while the hustling train

changes coutries,

sweeping away borders,

then spasibo

clinging to pointy

volcanoes, to fire and freezing cold,

or danke, yes! gracias,and

the world turns into a table:

a single word has wiped it clean,

plates and glasses gleam,

silverware tinkles

and the tablecloth is broad as a plain

Thank you, thanks,

for going out and returning,

for rising up

and settling down.

We know, thanks,

that you don’t fill every space-

you’re only a word-


where your little petal


the daggers of pride take cover

and the’s a penny’s worth of smiles.

                                                                     Pablo Neruda