In the Land of Cannibals - ukázka
In the Beginning
The word is rolling down the hill
The word of the beginning, the ball which
Once overwhelmed the world.
A ball of words hurtling through the universe
A flaming, glowing centre;
The world of the dumb,
The quiet, the silenced.
Straggling souls in empty houses
whose yeasty days are on the wane
Gave him an inch… and a lovely,
endless era sneaked out into the air.
"There might yet be a storm;
the waters might rise."
Having said that, I have cleared off,
making room for all you others.
„The light is peeled darkness,“
said Grandad laughing when his last hour
The hero of my childhood, dying
didn’t know what he was on about.
It was a Monday and God was sharing out his loot
among three eminent,
Grandad knew he was about to go:
He had a chicken bone brought in
and – God in Heaven! – bit into it.
Then he started coughing.
A piece of bone
plain as the skies
bears a trace of days remaining.
Suddenly, all began to fade.
Emet turned to met
(Truth to death)
The letter rolled under the doorstep.
The smell of fowl comes through the yard,
the coldness of the cell.
Grandad, like a coin
landed softly on the bed
of the well.
Stuff inside me
like in an hourglass.
Phenomena stack up, one following the next,
pouring towards the bottom
And when there is just enough
for me to measure
The span of my desires
I am swiftly turned over
legs up, head down
I start with nothing
and the self-same events
pour over me back into the chasm
I start from scratch
For the tenth, hundredth, thousandth time
Always the same faces, the same words
the sound of the same footsteps…
Kids in the Graveyard
Some of them run about
shouting, playing hide-and-seek,
while others, well-hidden,
sleep for ages…
Table set for twelve.
It seems to me
that what you are working on
has the blurred edges
of the winter of 1867.
Turgenev’s Smoke was published.
Man and Woman, at Breakfast
Mmm, what’s that smell?
Coffee and creams.
The caloric quarters of the morn,
a belly of warmth-giving
in a jam jar.
The land of cannibals in bloom.
The leaf-horned beetle Euoniticellus fulvus
is – so we believe – extinct in Bohemia,
yet it lives on in South Moravia!
The history of wild mammals,
ecstatic sobs of panegyric…
Resurrected glare of nights.
Animals in a ring box.
Migration towards food
The permeable circle of the veld.
Drink at the ford, talk about those unimportant things
Drop by drop
Admitting what never happened.
Old women in the river, yellow stains
On the water.
A small hymenopterus creature – could be a giant
in the other land – has cut down a lamp.
The lamp in my room – what an apparition!
In mid-January – perhaps summer
in the other land – I’m afraid to sit down
at my shabby yellow desk.
The changes may come.
I have recognized myself in the land of fear;
among the others, I retain
a cathedral-like graciousness.