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The new book 'Heart Mortally Wounded By Six Strings' is the 13th publication by Gabriel Moreno. In this collection the author merges Spanish metric patterns and phonetic inflections with the English language to conceive and express features of his own Gibraltarian identity. With this premise, Moreno goes on to explore themes as varied and challenging as romance, time, loss and the pursuit of purpose.

Samples of poems



When the glass cracks,

when the compass fails.

When you breathe tar

and you chew el polvo.


When your sense of self

gets battered by excess.

When no one is around

to abofetear your ghost.


When calendars unfold

and you lost the drive.

When thunder breaks

in your psyche's canvas. 


When the plague lingers

and the fairgrounds die. 

Remember mi amigo.

My hand on your shoulder.




Ballad of the death of Federico Garcia Lorca 


The olives in the trees shine

likes shoes of patent leather,

too radiant is this mountain

for a man to meet his end.

Descending from the moon

are its cries of melted silver,

civil guards are not immune

but they are ready for the kill.


Where are the gypsies Lorca?

mocks the captain of the men,

Are they coming to this fiesta?

Are they hiding in their caves?

Did the fear unhinge their knives?

I cannot hear their saddle bells.

Did they discharge their horses

or are they dancing in their tents?


But all the stars responded,

quivering fiercely in the night:

You will ruin this poet’s body,

but you’ll never touch his mind.

O, the smell of blood and wax!

O, the anger of the fig trees!

No bullet from a fascist thug

will deter our birds from singing.


Dark, dark is the heart of Spain,

black reeds grow upon its chest.

All of the angels have departed

for the pain of Lorca’s death!

Heated youths rip off their shirts,

Virgin girls insult their mothers,

whimpers for a foreign Christ,

rage for the death of the son of Granada. 




Que la vida iba en serio (For Jaime Gil de Biedma)


To let youth go like an origami boat

down streams of murky water.

To watch your hands crease 

and be unperturbed. 


To tantalise the laurel wreaths

of objectionable teenagers.

To absolve the spoors

of your dreams in the soil. 


To light a candle for your whims,

to bid farewell to the myths

which led you to her flesh, 

the only bed you ever knew.


To lose your flair in the night,

to abandon the green rooms

where dusty pianos ponder 

on past marches and naked feasts.


To play il capo in a polo-shirt. 

To flout the ants of romance. 

To salute spiders in the tank.   

To suck death’s straw and wink. 


If any of this you see me do,

curse the ruins of my path! 

O sacred is the tug of war
of desire and our daily toil! 



The English lass from Shropshire (For Bex Darby)


You make this shadowland bearable.

We should take notes on your psyche.

We should end our business lessons

and embark on masters in humanity.


Without your hands my poems die, 

they are ants drowning in the mud, 

without the branches of your deeds, 

without the trees of your thinking. 


If only we were willing to be wrong, 

to seek truth rather than being right. 

If only we could walk the tightrope 

between faith and common ground. 


Let the generals and the actors brag.

It is you who makes the epoch green. 

Old men in suits kidnap our news.
Only you can revitalise the future!



The Chosen One


If you knocked me off the chess board

and replaced me with a knight,

few would notice and you would still win.


My chest is no altar for your beauty, 

there are no miracles in my kisses,

and a million bards sing better than I.


If one day I were to leave the country,

the papers would not be notified.

England would stay twisted and vile. 


You need me less than you need gender,

the word "man" is undeserving

when it ganders fleetingly in your mind.


I'm not the centrepiece in your gallery. 

My body walks its winter season 

and you've bathed your lips in finer wine.


If I were to stop my theatre of the absurd,

skilled jesters would stand in line,

my verse and you are not bonded in blood.


Yet there are nights! There are fiery nights! 

When we converse and our tales entwine

and you kiss me like I was the chosen one.

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