May 06, 2008

Sitok Srengenge (1)


I ask the wind,
whence does reverie come,
the wind shakes the tips of leaves
and I see the trees paint the cycle of years
I ask the tree,
whence does time begin,
the tree opens its flower petals
and I see a bee alight down sucking honey
I ask the bee,
whence does the cell that begets my body originate,
the bee hums flying into a cave
and I see a bat shut its ears upon a stonewall
I ask the bat,
whence does sound emerge,
the bat flaps its wings up to the night sky
and I see dew glide down like a river
I ask the river,
whence does the source of milk flow,
the river shows off the mountain
and I see a valley shrouded in mist
I ask the valley,
whence does taboo,
the valley raises its shroud
and I see the naked earth swing in elegance
I ask the earth,
who does give birth to Mother,
the earth blushes, but I hear the sea answer,
"She witnesses upon fact, yet is incapable of utterance!"
I ask the sea,
who does contain her,
the sea roars, yet is drained
before fully breathing the Name

(Translated by HasifAmini)


A kind of warning: a hand squeezing a breast
perhaps that of sinners, dumped. outside a church
In Zeedijk, a dam against the sea,
all that is beautiful seems hooked to death
A pretty city,
a sly hooker,
opening herself but shutting her heart
In her heart a frozen lake,
in its trough I want to reach you, a magic spell from the past
I summon you with love poems,
but the snow won't let them turn to echoes
The weather whizzing around with a myriad of bayonets
and the wind moving stealthily between the poplar trunks
Watching over jobless immigrants
and lunging at them with stabs of hunger
People in a parade, welcoming Santa Claus,
the name and symbol of love, gifts with crimson ribbons
But on the riverbank, where borderlines are fixed to the ground,
an Afro woman collects breadcrumbs
I greet you with poems of sorrow,
but my words clot in air

(Translated by HasifAmini)