Isabel Bermudez was born in Bogota and grew up in London. She lived and worked in Sri Lanka for two years and Colombia for three years, largely in documentary television for state-funded channels but also for private channels and independent production companies. She has performed her poetry most recently at the Torbay Festival, has been shortlisted six times for the Bridport Prize, has won the Poetry Society’s Members’ Poems Competition (Poetry News), and has been Highly Commended in the Ballymaloe International Poetry Competiton. She is a tutor of French, Spanish and English. Her collections are “Extranjeros”(Flarestack Poets 2015), “Small Disturbances” (Rockingham Press, 2016), “Sanctuary”(Rockingham Press 2018).
The roads of La Candelaria
How do you call a road, if not by its name?
So, the Calle del Silencio, the Calle de la Agonía,
the Calle del Afán and the Calle de la Alegría,
a plethora of roads, higgledy-piggledy on the hill
where the capital was founded. And which one was it where
I tripped and fell, nearly took you with me, down its sharp incline?
La Rosa, El Triunfo, El Suspiro…What of all the other roads
I’ve gone down with you? Calle de la Fatiga, and Calle del Fantasma,
each road bleached to a whiteness,
carrying hawkers and dealers to their lost purpose…
Or Calle de la Honestidad, and Calle de la Esperanza,
all the neglected streets below a shanty tangle,
whose plaques spell out love’s many names,
wait for the cover of dusk to exchange its closest secrets.
(From “Sanctuary”, Rockingham Press, 2018)