May 30, 2008

Sitok Srengenge (5)


In your pale countenance
I read a trace of hints:
the whip of winter wind,
rioters who return
with remnants of the Stasi troops’ rancor
The light is buried in the slumbering town,
children and women from the East
dream of a slice of bread and a gulp of wine
Surely, you served me
that night:
the burst of bones in the crematorium
and the withered buds of wheat
And the rest, a veiled blanket,
as soft and moist as mist
shaken by the struggling thunder
deep in the heart of the pine forest
And so we lie down,
and even our breath is choked
The room becomes as silent as a crematorium chamber
the dissolving moans scorched by the fire of desire
Behind your closed eyes,
a woman. is burning Mein Kampf secretly
The mighty words of the Fuhrer shattered into husks,
like the ember of your body which crackles and dies out
History, crumbs, desire, shrink once more into the earth,
where the first and last steps fuse in one spot
"Even you who walk with imagination
soon will rest in an oriental region:
a cozy soul
in a span of Java.
But my spirit will always wander
looking for the promised land, somewhere."
As wide as you imagine, thousands of miles,
spread between Euphrates and Nile
But your people has been seizing,
but your vow has been snatched
pass through the dimness of the building's shadow,
but you see yourself, perplexed in the darkness
speaking in the language of the Southerner
The sky is like an invert of a winnowing tray
with the shivering of the Saturn’s ray
"I want to return, Mother. Your child is still immature."

(Translated by Daisy Ekowati)


So long
the child is preparing paper and pen
as if there is something to be written,
maybe something secretly desired:
a blister of lament, or of complaint,
from someone who falls
So long watching the twilight
perforating the sandalwood branches,
as if he understands its meaning:
in a moment the atmosphere will be gloomy,
maybe also scary,
because the night is never late
to spread hatred
Pillars of light faded
as a shooting star, the idol whose legs are wide open all the time
will be seized by shadows
Then he will find himself
laying on his back in the grass field,
looking up at the stars
Then he will enter the dream world, which he created
So long!
But he shivers there
and doubts his unusual sight:
a male cow is flying to the Southeast,
falls deep into the belly of the limestone hill
and the crows disperse
towards the crack of the tomb's entrance
For he knows there is no cow, there is no Southeast,
and neither the crows
Only the crushed hill,
where a circus clown is building a sarcophagus
He feels his fingers trembling,
between fear and fervor,
paper and pen are in his hand without a scratch of line, not even a point
Because he is stunned at the crimson sky:
there is no clap of a heron's wing, only cotton lumps
shaping a face:
an executioner who breeds boots and rifles
Instantly he spits snatched by dry wind
thrown to the center of the lake,
perforates into the plants
becomes green, becomes yellow, becomes red, becomes black
becomes restless, becomes risky, becomes curse, becomes vengeance
Then he hears someone cough loudly
overcoming the shriek of the Sphinx,
bursting siren, tear gas, bulldozer,
also rifle and panzer
The air is blackened by smoke,
the smell of burned flesh and goods
And as usual
someone is busy counting numbers, not lives,
because, he said, they are just villains
no more important than ruins
So long
that child is preparing paper and pen
as if there were something to be written,
maybe something secretly desired:
a gasp, or remorse,
from someone who falls
So long the paper and the pen are in his hand,
too full of scratches and crosses,
but he is powerless to write them
Not because of giving up, or fear,
he just feels, not hearing voices:
a scratch of scream, hurried steps,
or the sound of the soldiers' shoes
He doesn't see anything, except dusk and guns
So long!
(Translated by Daisy Ekowati)