The Black Pigeon (English and Catalan versions)

Black Pidgeon 2

Heart onto microscope SF 2
Graffiti artist BiP San Francisco City



A tasty lentil soup

keeps you warm from the cold.

Coldness outside

speaks of emptiness,

sadness in a cloudy day.

Or is it just the fog all around

that saddens your mind and spirit?

Going through the streets

the walking dead

if they can still walk.

You saw poverty’s face

the system’s decay.


Needles in their hands,

hollow eyes, ailment,

people lost without a second chance.

Is this what you came here for?

But you had your lentil soup

that kept your body warm

while your bleeding heart

sank into the deepest darkness.

You detached it from the body

took it to analyze and

put it on to a microscope


And the bleeding heart spoke up

vomited nothing but the truth

awaiting the other truth that hurts.

You knew it would happen.

The lentil soup eaten

in the Arabian restaurant

and then a sudden sound,

a slight noise on the floor,

something moves near your table.

You raise your eyes and there it is:

A black pigeon inside

walks a few steps toward you

as if he wanted to speak.

“Do we have a new guest?”

The waitress gently guides him

to the main room

near the entrance door.

The bird moves his wings

flies inside the restaurant.

The waitresss, a little scared,

utters an “oh” sound

while the black pigeon

displays his wings, flies away

through the restaurant door.

A sad bird looking

for temporary company,

maybe a friendship

but forever unattainable.


CATALÀ: El colom negre

Una saborosa sopa de llenties
t’escalfa del fred.
La fredor a l’exterior
parla de buidor,
tristesa en un dia plujós.
O és només la boira per tot arreu
que t’entristeix la ment i l’esperit?

Anant pel carrer
els morts caminant
si és que encara poden caminar.
Has vist el rostre de la pobresa,
la decadència del sistema.
Agulles a les seves mans,
ulls buits, malaltia,
gent perduda sense una segona oportunitat.

És per això que has vingut aquí?
Però tu et menges la teva sopa de llenties
que t’escalfa el cos
mentre la teva ànima sagnant
s’enfonsa en la més profunda foscor.
La separares del teu cos
i l’agafares per analitzar
posant-la en un microscopi.

I l’ànima sagnant va parlar
vomitant res més que la veritat,
esperant l’altra veritat que fa mal.
Ja sabies que això passaria.

La sopa de llenties menjada
en el restaurant àrab
i llavors, un soroll sobtat,
una remor al terra,
alguna cosa es mou prop la teva taula.
Alces la mirada i és allí:
Un colom negre a dins.
Camina uns passos cap a tu
com si volgués parlar.
– Tenim un nou convidat?
La cambrera el guia gentilment
cap a la sala principal.
L’ocell mou les seves ales,
vola dins del restaurant.
La cambrera, una mica espantada,
deixa anar un “oh!”
mentre el colom negre
desplega les ales, vola lluny
a través de la porta del restaurant.
Un ocell trist, buscant
companyia temporal,
potser una amistat
però per sempre, inabastable.


© August 2018 Marta Pombo Sallés

32 thoughts on “The Black Pigeon (English and Catalan versions)

    1. Interesting. I like you connected this poetry attempt with Barcelona’s dark side. I wrote this two years ago while I was visiting San Francisco. The incredible amount of homeless people broke my heart. I have never seen so many in my life. The majority are black people lying on the streets with drugs. Many are mentally ill. For a European person like me this is a great shock. Sadly, we do also have increasing homelessness and there are dark places in Barcelona, but much less than what I saw in the SF Bay Area. I think the American Dream is a big lie. If you are born in a poor family it is almost impossible to get out of this inherited situation just by your own means. You need help from the government. It angers me so many Americans do not understand this. They do not see the need for universal health care and such vital things. I remember how many voices demonized Bernie Sanders. To me he was the best candidate but he was a great threat to the oligarchy who want to “make America great again”. There will be a reaction sooner or later, a non-violent civil resistance movement I hope, against so much injustice. What is happening now with the immigrants, children being separated from their parents, is totally unacceptable.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Marta, have you seen Michael
        Moore’s documentary film,
        ‘Where to Invade Next’?
        It brilliantly explores the
        failures of the ‘American Way’,
        as opposed to the successes of Euro Socialism.
        He cover everything from
        education, worker’s conditions
        to the prison systems.
        ‘The Bern’ was too far to the
        left for the U.S. capitalist
        Dog eat Dog system. It will never be allowed to happen.

        Where to Invade Next is a 2015 American documentary film written and directed by Michael Moore.[

        Liked by 2 people

  1. The word ‘lifelike usually applies to something constructed that appears to be a living being. But this poem seems a different sort of Lifelike. IT IS dynamic, and alive; at the same time, it presents a cadence and a motif that gives it a strong poetic spine. The wandering pigeon must be important to merit mention in the title, and it is: it is life’s random, benign yet intrusive occurrence, and how it is dealt with helps define the character.of whoever deals with it. All in all, a fine, well-choreographed slice of lifelike Life.

    Liked by 1 person

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