Poetry Competition “San Cristobal de La Habana: a city, a faith”

We present below the award-winning works. The jury, constituted by Lina de Feria, multi-awarded poet and essayist; Jesus David Curbelo, poet, narrator, essayist, literary critic, translator and university professor and Brother Jesús Bayo Mayor, who served as a religious advisor, highlighted the quality and originality of the works published here.

1st. AWARD. María Teresa Falcón López, professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Havana, member of the Literary Creation Group of the Nicolás Guillén Foundation and linked to the poetas por la Paz group.

On the threshold

Saint Teresa of Jesus and Maria Theresa of Calcutta

A soft glow in delight
confinees to essence
who in cryptic longing bursts
in the poaching cells of the verb,
in reminiscences
a whisper was added to the skin
and you were broken St Teresa of Avila,
by the feast of transverberation,
of the wound in ecstasy, enlarged
and the lucidity of the claim:
“Come and be my light.”
To you,
Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
who suspended on the threshold
fit Jesus’ sandals,
towards the celestial defeat
while the sosegade suffers
and the undone mist, instantly departed
of the chalice of his hands,
by revealing
transcendence lodged in instinct
of the inextricable and dual emanation
in the heat of space,
where it becomes ruinous,
invisible by deluges
of immoderate self-love,
God’s likeness.


Havana in prayer

You’ve become universal
perhaps, because of your orogenic origin,
and the citadious steps shudder
when from the north-east coast
brought by the whisper of the Eucharist
these Cubans, molded children
grown up in different neighborhoods,
flame with in a hurry
the dust of your old streets.
Havana is full of love,
Havana cries,
because of its emerging patron
while with a waxed gesture,
drain your suit
dampened by the millennial event.
Century-old city,
born irredient
of styping capital,
you sheltered lords and servants
without asking reason,
without distinction,
and in your cobblestone streets
deftly pardoned maidens
And you also helped
who was furtively deserted between the walls,
welcoming in your hollowness who fell.
You’ve messed up spoils of humanities
that patron Sword cooed sacramental
for you, Havana, martial and resentful.
Today you pour into the temporal thrones,
preserved by the liturgical choruses offering
of loved ones
that from the ashes
magnify the Jubilee
of these that today,
praise you in prayer,
my fantastic Havana. Ω


2nd PRIZE. Yania Milián Oliva, graduated in Letters from the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Havana, writer and poet quivicanera.

A special bank for you

Noble Havana looms on the balcony
listens to a disagrelented pregón
competes with the bells of the Cathedral
voice bends the corner
dust off some problems
concentrates on others before performing the morning rosary
today is left to tour the Templete
there he will remember the first mass, it will revolve around the ceiba
will sigh a lot of longings
sculpting its edges a little more
while gazing at its narrow streets and wide squares
all voluptuous full of mysteries.
Havana twists
searches among cobblestones for dreams thrown away
Try to understand the letter framed on the faces
in need of light
seek faith outside the lights of St Kitts
who insists on transporting them back and forth from the sidewalks
so that they do not succumb to vice away from God’s sigh.
The roads return to encounter temples
/ full of large voids
because filling them with the real liquid
involves too much effort for many,
so few will fill the religious spirit of the church
you want a special bank for Havana
who sits among his parishioners
andcommunicats the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
So full of consecrated spirit will renew its stones
He’ll proudly raise his head
And he will kiss the future that will be born of it.

Habanera routine

Guardian of a colonial past,
Havana gets up every morning,
raises his eyes to his bay… delights in its sea…
keeps as many dreams in your bag as possible
tries to tame them…
shouts his name in search of containment, you faggot!
on a merciless stroke of angry waves,
/ others calm… You never know…
always on the move, as they are often found
/ conviction and she…
he’s his accomplice…
evenings are illuminated by light
of St Kitts who, from the nose,
drives pretentiously to try to save his faith
contained in temples,
reclining in churches,
linked as rosary beads
about ringing bells in the Cathedral
/ to join the Almighty,
stripped of the syncretism that joins your streets,
/ solar and white sheets.
Savior of sin of bad omens,
of disturbing tribulations and hopelessness,
proud of so many fears
/ in holy water
purifies the hate-filled atmosphere,
despair, vices… abandoned spirits.
So, Havana, take a deep breath,
looked back in the mirror of his people,
picks up her dress, slowly places it
/ on your body
combs responsibility
and how every moment makes its best attempt:
takes care of the soul of the city,
he asks for help from his strengths: God, our Lady.
/ Will the people listen?
the silence of the Giraldilla only
/ sharpens the tension.


An expected appointment

St. Kitts has gone for a walk
today it will not tour the ceiba of the Templete
I’ve seen him walk the cobblestones on the way to Bethlehem.
Dragging the robe
Stirring hopes
Leaving the Cathedral behind for a while
Like every afternoon on the eve of three
Today he un cleared a smile
On the childish face of screams and pigeon stirs
He’s refreshed his face in the fountain.
He splashed my note block when I was entertaining.
with the chinese shadows cast on the stones
Today he greeted me as usual
I know that the old Saint Christopher will visit St Isidro
They’ll have coffee
I admire him for wanting to solve the problems of the Habanero world
I’d like to reach out to you or two…
I think I’m ready…
San Carlos completed my training
He made me his son, an illustrious one
Clad in letters and philosophy
faith… she fell in love with me and I fell in love with her… Hopelessly
kissed my heart to captivate it all
And now I was here
waiting for the opportunity to have coffee with them…
Join us,
sit at the table. Ω

3rd PRIZE. Carmen Sobrino Comesaña, member of the parish of San Isidro Labrador de Managua and retired teacher.

Havana Cathedral

Havana Cathedral
rises majestically
emblematic and courageous with its religious history
in the beautiful Cuban capital.
Many knowledgeable writers
they admire each other in front of their facade
music turned into worked stone
said of her Carpentier in her years lived.
Temple located
in the first Habanero spell
said Lezama Lima sincerely
because it’s the place for its admired beauty.
Beneath its two bell towers
its dome is located,
it’s Baroque style considered
and centuries-old for calendars.
Little is spoken of his bells today
although they all have great historical value,
of one of them a bishop said with honor:
“it’s worth a thousand lives like mine.”
It is structured by three ships
and eight side chapels
divided by thick pillars
that for your bra are key.
The chapel called the Sacrament
brings peace and spirituality
just as it produces great emotion
the one at the funeral monument.
That of St Mary of Loreto
is one of the most admired
so it’s for many visited
with devotion and respect.
There’s every bank
signs of seniority
and his flat is of a variety
black and white marble.
Behind him with his story
you will find the old Seminary
where figures like Felix Varela, every day,
come to our memory.
La Purísima Concepción
it’s on the High Altar
giving everyone their motherly love
and the suffering, consolation.
From Cuba and strange lands
believers and non-believers warn of her,
their witness of love for Christ and they become
because faith makes mountains move.
It is visited by the Cuban and abroad
who feel great emotion
when you meet on every occasion
in a place that impresses the whole world.
The Cathedral is living testimony
from past and recent eras
legends and stories of various aspects
so humanity is heritage.
He’ll be 500 years old
Havana, a wonderful city
with a Cathedral with religious spirituality
who adorns her with her presence. Ω


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