Saturday, April 14, 2007

Closing In

The shadows of things
start closing in when day falls
growing like weed reaching out
longer and longer
about to touch the horizon,
and burst from their own length;

but no: they dissolve themselves sideways; into the black of night; bursting of breadth instead.

The shadows of people aging
also grow longer and longer;
losing contrast with the ground
until it seems to absorb them;

but just then: they intersect the horizon; surround the globe; complete the circle; live in tomorrow.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


(by Czesław Miłosz)
(dedicated to 'my friend in the East')

Faith is in you whenever you look
At a dewdrop or a floating leaf
And know that they are because they have to be.
Even if you close your eyes and dream up things
The world will remain as it has always been
And the leaf will be carried by the waters of the river.

You have faith also when you hurt your foot
Against a sharp rock and you know
That rocks are here to hurt our feet.
See the long shadow that is cast by the tree?
We and the flowers throw shadows on the earth.
What has no shadow has no strength to live.


(by Czesław Miłosz)
(dedicated to 'my friend in the West')

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you're sure it's there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think that the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.