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As for you, world -

you'll have become small, and round, and lavender-coloured: ode

to the ewer, the comb, the water cooler.

And you? You lived in a place which was once a town,

you've seen it on maps before, others loaded ships

as in a dream: mood, appetite, memory, learning -

the demands seemed endless, all marsh-lights and loveliness,

the final estimates for the real world

or these propositions, for instance, which are sometimes true.

Indeed such unconscious concentration is possible,

in the neon light of early spring

and later, those evenings no longer fully spring

yet not quite summer either,

when the scent pulls back into the flower

and blackbirds bathe among violets,

half aspect, half unreal, in the slow rain of leaves.

Day after day, some days not returning,

and the boughs painted with light green lichen,

the detailed pink of the flowering apricot -

don't go there unless to banish yourself,

because you are banished, beech,

oak, birch, and yew, among the hazel woods

of the elder world, where feathers flash

among the branches and hide in the darkening varnish

and history becomes the history of bad ideas,

a gloom of rotten nuts and nut-skins,

bitter paper. And tonight

the half-light in which paper glows -

walls, porticos, arches, places (who lived there?),

the print invisible, and the ocean sounding

all night long, clavicle to vena cava,

clavicle to vena cava,

it's not a description.


Roo Borson

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translated from the Polish written by
Tomasz Różycki