Hola, bienvenid@ a mi blog. Aquí encontrarás algunos datos sobre mi trayectoria, mis libros, algunos poemas, crónicas, relatos, reseñas, entrevistas, fotografías, vídeos y también enlaces a mis páginas favoritas. Disfruta del recorrido y gracias por acompañarme.

Hello, welcome to my blog. Here you'll find some details about my books, some poems, short articles, short stories, reviews, interviews, photographs, videos and also links to my favourite pages. Enjoy the ride and thanks for sharing this space with me. (Please note that in the different pages I have stuff in Spanish and English. You can also check out the "Entries in English").

Silvia Cuevas-Morales


Changing geographies


People from the past
      you can no longer hug
Evoking moments
      streets, squares, faces
Things you can no longer touch

People from one’s childhood
     - doesn’t matter if they’re dead or alive...
You can no longer see them
     hear or speak to them
               in real time

Conversations are hurried
     letters arrive too late
Only photographed faces stare
     fixed in a lost space

Three of us survived
     as we made Australia home
Away from bloody dictators
     ignorant of humanitarian rights
               still not paying for their wrongs

Mother lost her battle with cancer
     and left us to cope alone
Perhaps she went back to Santiago
     to the Andes, to her own Chilean ghosts

Always looking for something
     I left my Melbourne, my city of Fitzroy
Now my only two relatives exist in the distance
     My sister in Northcote
     My father in Maribyrnong

And in this circular journey
     I feel closer to my Chilean heart
     for here they speak my language
But funny ... now I long
     for a bit of my Aussie land

Caught in the middle of a map
     trying to hold on to a cartographer’s hand
Changing jobs, houses, languages
     leaving lovers behind

Being the foreigner
     the “wog”
     the “sudaca”
Never fitting in the new land

Changing geographies
     running from the past
But some nights ghosts haunt me
     and beg me to go back

And I surround myself with memories
     cheap mementoes
     of things gone by
that only survive in my memory
     for in reality, they are no longer alive.

But distance is real
     - gradually, one does grow apart –

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in Changing Geographies. Center for Australian Studies, Barcelona University, 2001.

Photo: Migrants arriving in Sydney, David Moore.

 The house


If houses have memories

perhaps the windows may still reflect
the terror in my eyes,
as I watched over the horizon
when bombs tinged with red blazes
the skies up above.

Perhaps the wooden shutters
still hear the noise they recorded
of the machine gun fire,
that on that grey September
howled behind the glass.

Maybe the floorboards still preserve
my mother and father’s whispers,
when in times of peace,
they surrendered themselves to each other
in fearless love.

Maybe they have not betrayed the secret
of sheltering forbidden books and photographs
under their creaking gaps,
when freedom bled from smashing its wings
against an imposed cage made of iron bars.

If houses have long term memory
perhaps they can remain faithful to the past,
or they may murmur their secrets
to their new owners under the stars.

Perhaps their foundations may endure
the arrival of bulldozers
when they pull out its roots,
and leave its fear exposed to the skies.

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in Between our words... poetry overcomes borders: A worlwide anthology. Leipzig, Germany: Engelsdorfer Verlag, 2016.
Photo: the house I was born in Chile.

Gone gone
One foot here
          one foot there
Endless search
          for a place to belong
Lost friends
Unknown relatives
Longed for places
noises, smells

My body a map
dissected into
different attitudes
Degrees of pain

In the air
with no wings to fly
with no nest to arrive at
no place
to call home

Silvia Cuevas-Morales.
Sur/South Poem(a)s, with Ramón Cuelho, Judith Rodríguez and Jennifer Strauss. Madrid/Melbourne: Aconcagua Publishing, 1997.


Brunswick St.Crawl

A very old man
walks slowly
across the street.
Passers-by come and go;
meals are ordered;
young couples meet.
One step.
Takes a rest.
Another step.
a baby is born.
Someone dies...
His bony hands
cling to his walking stick.
His fragile body
threatens to fall.
People watch but
no-one dares to give a hand.
Drunken boys laugh nearby
while the moon, above shines.
His brow is damp with sweat
as he struggles to breathe.
Finally he approaches a door,
the step is too high.
He reaches another entrance
and stands outside the pub.
A big man appears
"Sorry mate, we're closed".

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in Purple Temptations, Melbourne, Lynden Publications, 1994.

Sleepless in Oxford St, Sydney

Tick tock tick tock tick tock...
Marching soldiers
mark the passing of time
The moon whispers a silent song
hiding in a starless sky
Night cats roam back alleys
searching for food scraps
Lovers embrace tenderly
and sigh with love
clouds drift by
as spiders knit their webs
Mice play in the dark
keeping the cats at bay
Possums run up and down old trees
enjoying the loneliness of the park
Prostitutes walk empty streets
hoping for a client who may be kind
A homeless kid looks for shelter
in a dilapidated house
A junkie plays Russian roulette
a dirty syringe in his hand
A poet prays for her Muse
to feed her starving pen
A priest begs for forgiveness
hiding in the darkness of his church
And at four in the morning
I’m still awake
With those killer marching soldiers
ticking sleep away
tick tock tick tock tick tock...

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in Al filo de la memoria / At memory’s edge (1979-1999). Madrid: Kira Edit & Center for Australian Studies, Barcelona University, 2001.

Forgotten Children (Harbin)




Smeared faces
little black hands of dirt
Watching quietly
a limed yellowish wall
Beating their heads
against the floor
as blood hardens on their wounds
No caring hand to heal
No one will tenderly kiss
the ominous facial mole
the little leporine lip

Sad caged doves
with a diet of musty bread
dreaming the morning-sun
shrouded inside dark cells
Keeping vigil on their nightmares
dozing in their urine
Forgotten little angels
minute naked bodies
with purulent wounds
Mongoloid babies
abandoned by the world

Their toys are the rats
that loiter in the dampness
of the dull coldness of tombs
of the hell in which they live

The mausoleum's windows
are also grimy and jailed in
Iron bars shortening lives
premature deaths lie
wrapped up by little gravediggers
A parcel of festering rags
serves as a shroud
and the innocent cadaver
continues to lie
forsaken underneath an old bed
One, two, three days...
Perhaps until someone rescues it
and places it somewhere safe to rest...

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in the World Poetry: Yearbook 2009, edited by Zhang Zhi, The Earth Culture Press, Congqing City, P.R. China, 2010.




How the force of your strong waters
pull me down.
And I go down,
pain filing up my bones.
I get up,
you beat me down.
I struggle,
I beat,
and pull my hair out.

But I get up.
I crawl,
I fall down on the way,
graze my knees,
but I reach the top.

but I get up.

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in She’s a Train and she’s Dangerous: Women Alone in the 90’s. Western Australia: Literary Mouse Press, 1994.

I have lost my appetite

So we chew on tears
suffocating in the heat,
splinters of words
sticking between our teeth.
Unsuccessfully we try not to spit them out,
ungracefully they just fall out.

Syllables running top to end.
Falling out,
we vomit them out,
and they lie confused,
lost in all sense.

tortured words.
They are all in uniform,
and they all wear a mask.

Soundlessly falling on dead ears,
effortlessly falling off our tongues.
Vocal cords have no meaning,
they are only insipid pieces of flesh
drowning the fool's lament.

The questioning does not end,
but the machine is getting rusty.
And as it slowly comes to a halt
only a hoarse scream can be heard
in the middle of the night.

People wake in fear
holding on to their loved ones.
The mad woman has no one.
She has only herself to embrace.

And she is doubly scared,
for she has heard that scream before...

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in Westerly, Nº 3, Spring, 1992.


They danced together before dancing
Their eyes met as they moved to music
     in someone else's arms
Eyes stared, silent anger flared
     as they took each other into their own arms
Bodies touching slightly 
     hands feeling hands
Hot breath mingling
     to the beat of a Latin dance
Early hours of the morning
Couples go home as the band packs up
The woman comes back
Clandestinely they jump into a car
They drive silently into the night
The city streets are empty
     as their lips merge running wild
They devour each other's stories
     and continue their drive
The misty morning finds them
     tired, excited, guilty
           for they have strayed in their path
Bodies sore and cold
     after sharing a night in a car
As homeless teenagers
     sharing their first experience of carnal love
The wedding band on the floor
The windows fogged up
The sun has arisen
They have to part
Each to their own home
Their night is the past
For two married women
     can't allow their passion 
               to survive...

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in Sappho's dreams and delights: The Australian anthology of lesbian poetry. Sydney, Bemac Publications, 2001.


Sunset drive (Richmond – Australia)

Golden coin
                       in the sky
Resting seductively
              on top of the grey bridge

Into the approaching night.

Buildings put on evening dresses
sunset gowns of red
             yellow, orange lights
Luminous tall boxes
           with some eyes shut.

In the distance
            a white boomerang in the sky
                          sends me a white smile
As I follow a moving red serpent
             shedding its skin of bright lights

And as I approach the Yarra river
             phosphorescent twins dance in the night.
White shiny serpents
             flash past.
Green allowances
             yellow warnings...
                               red halts.

With its dress of neon lights
              Richmond’s Skipping Girl
                              jumps the rope undisturbed
by the evening rush
             of cars driving home.

Silvia Cuevas-Morales. Published in
Poesys 15. Zei si Zile (Days and Gods) Festivalului International Noptile de Poezie de la Curtea de Arges. Vols. I y II. Bucharest, Romania: Editura Academiei Internationale Orient-Occident, 2011.

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