To praznino zapolnjujeva s pesmijo, in cvetovi, pticami in
ljubečimi besedami. Vendar v najini noči se vrzel vrne, in celo
solze se preprosto porabijo.
Dnevi in tedni vsak dodajo svoje vrstice, ki hladno zahtevajo
svoj davek, in tišina preganja nasmehe, ki jih tvoriva najine
solze ne bodo upočasnile potek časa.
Ne morem prenašati radosti, ki si jo zamudila. Tako tukaj sediva
in gledava sijaj žerjavice, ki drsi v pepel. Glasba potihne in
ničemur, samo spokojnosti, in solzam, ki se rojevajo, vendar
nikoli ne padejo.
Slovene version of the poem A Simple Song of Silence, translation by:
trans. © Copyright 2013, Nataša Dolenc
original by Gavin Jones
video of my poem The Apple Trees. The text version is earlier in this collection.
We sit beneath the apple trees,
Which bloomed all through the long decline,
And raised their blossom to the skies:
A world of struggles, famine, war.
Those complicated patterns form
Across the grass like veins of time,
And radiate out from the trunk:
They chart another year of growth.
Another era for their leaves,
Which we will live, then leave behind,
As bees and beetles, moths and flies.
The shade is cool, our days are short.
We plant the seeds and tend the shoots:
Above us spread the apple trees.
A flickering of morning wings;
A wire buzz of starling flocks;
A distant dog which echoes hills:
Vibrations of another day.
A tyre drone and clunking gears;
A martin pulling songs from mist;
Allotment cockerels blaring dust:
My eyes are shut, I feel the sounds.
The Sunday papers brought by van;
The jackdaws of a hundred eaves;
The voices raised some streets away:
Each sound has found its space in me.
The air is shimmering with life:
Despairing, yearning, joyous life.
No need to water flower beds.
We’ll sit and watch the shoppers dash,
We’ll watch the swallows dodge the drops:
The day will pass with nothing lost.
We know the way the branches dance:
The wind blows up the street (not down).
The cat will curl between the pots,
And twitch and mutter through her dreams.
We know the patterns of the hours:
The shadows round the basil plants.
We know the moods of sleep and food,
And change (which hardly ever is).
I read a book on pointless wars
And wonder: what does all this mean?
In other times, on darker nights,
The ones who carved the stones would quake
At forest howls, at spirit streams,
At shadows flitting through the trees.
But us: we see the lights of planes,
We hear the distant hum of roads,
We search the nightjar – tick that box –
We walk straight lines of forest tracks.
Oblique we stand – their world breaks through –
There’s distance here that we can’t know.
We hear the birds, we sense the fear:
Religion, science, mean little here.
Our pride and indolence are new,
These creatures scream from something true.
The words will cease one summer night:
Just midway through an opening line
A poem stops and calm descends.
They drain my veins these awful words.
The words have worth I never knew.
Their meanings hide in other minds,
They find their ways to pool their tricks,
They carve their tracks through broken hearts.
And I will stare at stars that night,
And see them just as points of light.
And I will feel the wordless dew:
Just notice it and know it’s true.
The words will mourn me in my void:
You’ll find the words despairing there.
The dust and strings and motel lights:
An Iliad of horns which weep
Across the desert south, and sweeps
The meeting place of every scream.
They all converge and break their songs.
Cicada tremolos, which tease
The furtive loves lived out of bounds:
Illegal mouths to feed with dreams.
The voices dub and layer above
A canyon deep, where visions clashed
On streets with water cannon blasts.
Achilles – swift – has lost his fight
And hangs alone above the sands:
A broken man from distant lands.
Alone Again Or, by Arthur Lee and Love
The primrose bank was April sun.
Beneath a hawthorn, robin rich,
With sad, sweet, dappled songs of light,
The primrose bank was every spring.
And every spring the petals poured
Their golden cadence gleaned from years,
From melodies of pastel tints,
From wood, to beck, to changing skies.
The verses flick rebirths of time,
Their delicate and shuttling lines
Which called on rains to fill their voice:
And voices filled, and sun rejoined.
The primrose bank is life to you,
The robin’s song is always new.
Within the plastic twists and shifts
Of spectra split from screech to hum,
Unravelled sounds of empty rooms
Are splayed across our emerald selves.
The waterfall of pressure waves,
Cascading foam, neuronal sweeps,
Are rushed back through the feedback loops
And pour again with greater force.
The energy of the air unleashed,
And time again yet more release:
The sapphire bands, the ruby wreaths.
The vicious proof of life made raw,
Through light, through sound, through screams:
With at the end a gasping mind.
Between the branches on the beech
She sees a star and shivers.
She gathers in her dressing gown
And closes tight the curtains.
The floor is cold, the room is poised,
A creaking board the single sound
Besides the tinnitus which whines.
Outside the wind is dying down.
Her eyes are heavy, full of sleep.
She stands and waits for thoughts to break
The pounding of the still.
The clock, which stopped a while ago,
Restates the time when timing ceased.
She bows her head and shuts her eyes.
Precise amounts of manganese
Dissolved with hormones: scattered truths.
Across a desk a mound of facts,
A half constructed proof of tears.
The counted words, the research notes,
The Harvard Referenced quotes for weight,
The nights of struggle pushed aside,
The memories lost in paper balls.
Just here – this eye can tell it all –
Each gram of iron, each lonely year,
Ionic tales of grief and thought.
The study skips between two states,
But soon must fold back on its tracks,
Its solitudes and sufferings.
We’ll waste our few remaining nights,
Enjoy the pointlessness of sleep,
Then call on friends we’d lost to time,
On days we should be fighting for.
We’ll make our pacts we know we’ll break.
We’ll tell our loved ones nothing new:
Revealing any more would just
Leave them with more questions.
And then we’ll turn our faces up
To sun or clouds, to stars or snow.
We’ll kiss the rain and know it’s true.
As if we had one moment more.
We’ll run the emerald fronds of plants
Through fingers touched by magic.
You take a step, the Earth slips back.
It’s never fair, it rarely is,
But just in case you didn’t know:
It’s in your eyes I see my life.
The sadnesses which came before,
The solitary walks at night,
The sleeping rough beside the cliffs
Were never yours: you gave me life.
I measure out the speeding years
Like feet and inches on a wall:
Each notch another pain or joy.
And so our Earth is spinning by.
Again, in case you weren’t aware,
In your young life there lies the point.
Were we to run the clocks instead,
We’d plan the world as dreamers do,
With moments set aside for sleep,
The rest carved up for us to use.
The hardest hours would be the ones
Where necessary chores were shared.
Remunerations would be paid
In week-ends stretching on for months.
And soon we’d lose all sense of time,
And clocks would tick ‘til batteries died,
And light and night would merge and mix.
And soon we’d lose all sense of us,
As married day and married dark,
Would form our perfect, timeless heart.
The opposite of deaf is deaf.
The screeching spines inside your head,
The spiral labyrinth of drills,
Igniting spikes of sound and pain.
The lances pierce your amygdala.
Your lizard mind lies whining back.
The neurone contours spit and flail.
The opposite of deaf is deaf
At night the echo pins are pricked
To vent the agonies of angels
Through the diamond points of scars.
And every slightest scratch sets off
A pulse of blood to silence words.
When deaf the noises never stop.