From the Forest (1937–1939)
All is worthy of the roaming of my eye,
All is noble, precious for my verse:
Grasses, trees, a spring, a vessel, earth,
And the distant rainbow hues of sleep.
In everything, I come upon a splinter
I see my body in the white of a birch,
I feel my blood in the blooming of a rose,
And out of nature's metamorphosis
I spin of consciousness a house.
In everything, my master is revealed
Deep and great.
Simple dusts speak of forgiveness,
Silent dew — of shining grace.
Apples announce wise love
Of the white, isolated orchard.
Every moment without a hymn —
Is a loss.
All I can feel is mine.
Wherever my word can reach, there I am.
Like a spring in the desert, pleasure gushes
And draws my life's caravan.
In everything, everything, there is a trace
Of my footstep.
From the Forest
Of grass and flowers, the substance dissolves
Into drops of dew.
And he who wants can see
The subtle play
Of black and fire, silver and blue.
Trees sleep, sprawling on the ground,
Their shadows grow high.
The air is cool and soft
Mute paths kiss.
Green glows wink at you.
A nest trembles,
A spring shines.
Worlds spin on their axes
And dews are mirrors for the cosmos.
If someone screamed right now,
All the skies would dissolve
In cosmic panic.
But all is hush. Just shadows
Cast by a spirited nightingale:
Following the star notes, he reveals
His lonely night
And his travail.
A lost nest on the road?
Its tenant, its tenant ran off.
The wind blew it up — right
Here. And you, whose home is the night
Found a nest warm and soft.
Sky — the dream of a lunatic.
No sun. The sun blooms and gushes,
Metamorphosed into a hot, full,
Wild rosebush in the field.
The wind is a magician. He buttons
Day with night.
A root chatters with a root.
A cloud laughs
In sleep. A flashing eye
Winks from the forest.
Like falling stars, birds fly.
Rain of Colors and Flowers
Serpentine, stalk-like —
Hordes of wet winds gallop over the earth,
Into the air,
Thoughts freshly branching
Scared of the noisy valor
In the sky.
Behind them — a flower-bordered evening.
Behind it — a village
Looming up out of the earth,
A cherry orchard
All this illuminated by the rain.
I am the birth of the forest
That wants to sky up from the earth.
You are the sunny herald
Announcing that my thought is heard.
Whence your going and coming
I know, from my lucid words,
Oh, fiery-flodding joy,
Oh, rain of colors and flowers.
I lie in the grassy damp,
Entwined in the thought of your light.
I feel on my body a river
Blending dream and wine.
Your beauty words my palate.
Your fire kindles me like silk.
I beg you: enliven me, cut me
With streams, with colors and flowers.
You, like a starbody pure,
Perceive the speech of my spirit
That whispers trusting to you,
All my blood you release
From its embalmed muteness.
I do not feel how I soar
Upward to you from my rest,
Oh, rain of colors and flowers.
You cloak me in your cape,
You purify my body with your grace.
Forests glimmer gold-green,
Festooned with light and mystery.
I feel: You perceived my prayer,
Gave it flesh of vision, in such hours:
Now I forest up in the air,
Rained in with colors and flowers.
Stars storm and startle —
Flood of electrical flows
Into granite cisterns —
Through the dark a castle glows.
Black caves breathing gold —
No one will gather it fresh.
Someone anoints with blue oil
A thought seeking flesh.
Do not touch the grass, the leaves.
Lightning in each speck of dirt.
Swim away in silent ether
To a second heart, a third.
Birds hover. Strangely falling
Into an abyss of mood.
And the white goddess Luna
Dances naked in the wood.
In a Summer Morning
A tapestry of sapphire ether,
My daybreak paths. Through
The latenight dark they led me
To mountains, where a rain
Of planet calm hovers
Over frightened windflowers, weeds,
And the freshly-cut raw earth.
But the young sun pours its clarity
Behind mountain forests, spraying
A geyser of colors, its radiant
Thoughts flicker lightnings
Over water. A silver lyre,
The air, and a chirping melody
Breathed into strings
Swayed by the wind. Far away,
The wheat-stalk dunes, waves
Of humid ochre — until
All the images of morning
Rise in wise awareness
In the tapestry of my words.
Oh, whence the green crystals, seams
Of shimmer on the mountains all around?
And the rosy, grassy valleys,
Where stars lie feverish. My blood
Blooming. Like the mind of a genius,
Zephyrs flow with warm puffs.
In the desert of the air, blues flourish
Like pellucid oases. The grasses
Forgive the footsteps that tread
On their green thought. A rivulet
Sings out on a violet plane,
Its rhyming voice of a lamb.
Through squirrelly, nutty woods,
Now losing all measures,
The sun strides with its fiery train —
And the cloverleaf covered with red.
The creator of plenty girded up
My feeling, he throbs in my pulse.
And my daybreak spirit warbles
Out of sleep, and awakes.
You, pitchblack, slender firtree,
Apart from the sun's stream!
You, transparent, turquoise spring well,
Whose mirrorsoul sings and amazes
My thought! You, diamond poppies
With hairy, sticky stems!
And you, dear chirpers, enthroned
In the air! All that is transient
And eternal — to you all now
My blessings! For all my senses
Are primeval, my body — armored
With time's garb of all times,
In your eternal bloodstreams
My blood streams too, and under
Your lovely, peaceful glances,
I am earthy — a trunk in the ground.
My life's mysterious destinies
Spring out of your depths.
We are bound by the same joys
And the same fire.
Man, encountered on the road
Near ripe and scarlet orchards —
Our happy early meeting
Is a miracle, your every barefoot
Stepping trace — a tale
Of your fate's bloody struggle —
Though the sun has endowed its part
To you too, as to the dewy stalk —
You are close to my heart. I greet you:
Goodmorning, and offer my hand, we are
United by the colorful morning.
The sun, our primeval mother, cleanses
All the shadows, and smells of a garden
And of bluish perfumes of hay,
The breeze's trembling caress
Is a balm for our grief.
Silent brother, let us together
Plumb the foundations of the world,
The concealed stem of all stems,
The above and below.
Stars Become Sheaves
Sheaves gazing cold — pink swans
Want to swim away,
Take in the words
And the meaning
Of seven stars
Hanging on the sky-tree,
Now: The seven stars as fire arrows —
Down to the field.
They rush, they want to become sheaves.
Miracle. The sheaves swim off,
Sing a farewell, and forgive
The wonder-stars from afar,
Who become sheaves, crocheted into time.
And kneeling to the miracle of change —
Blue flickering flames
Over the dreaminess
Of gold turquoise
Heavenly composer —
See the heat of my rage,
My word embrace,
In your memory-glow
Seal my face.
On a Mountaintop
There is a tone that blares
After all the music died away…
Where the blue has swallowed every green,
Runs a waterfall. Into its stream
The sun weaves her last glances, flows
Down together with the stream.
The stream, through folds and crevices, dazzles in the valley.
Sunshine trembles lightly in his depths.
But he cannot conceal his treasure
From the inexorable blue.
Airy nature forces in collision.
Fire-echoes. The blue gives birth to springs
Of calm. Its kisses stir the vitality
Of the earth.
Now is my hour,
Rejoicer, ruler, you!
I am a sound, a tremor
In your deep blue.
On a soft haystack
You created me,
And a red bird
Pecks, pecks, pecks
In my skull, and flutters
To celestial Sirius.
Like camels, caravans of shadows
Kneel in awe at the water,
Remain deep in sweet doze,
On soft knees. Dew rustles
Among white leaves. Blue children
Blend with the grass. A wind
Descends from the sky as a link
Between song and time. Silence ignites
Violet drawbridges over the valley.
From the forest — mood calls.
A blend of honeysap and wormwood,
Destiny mine, let
My footsteps not falter —
Be my oracle now,
When the evening blooms
Under my thoughts
And in the crown of a fir
And at sky's fence
Flashes, flashes, flashes
The soul of the
Eternity? Who knows: is it eternal,
Will this same evening
Not return sweeter, loftier
Through the forest parting of roots?
But the mountain believes. His memory
Recalls the generations when he was
Still a valley, and how, much later,
He became a mountain, a giant.
All is metamorphosis, renewal.
A moment — and the mountains
Seem different. Old becomes young.
Small grows big.
Evening, come, inspire,
I want to be a shadow
Of your cosmic fire,
Against the stars, a tree
Under your coattails,
Here, where I lie,
Rock me, sing me a lullaby,
Be my faithful dome.
Give, give, give
For my body a home.
Beyond the Sun
Beyond the sun who can reach?
…Once, in an evening purple soft,
When the air was kindled wool,
I met a boy rolling a wooden hoop
From a backyard,
Through alley and street,
Uphill, where the ball of the sun
Was suspended —
A roll and a rush and a run —
And he set
In the sun,
In the red transparence,
The heart of the sun with his hoop
Rolled it on,
On and on.
My Temples Are Throbbing
My temples are throbbing —
Two riders, two riders,
Through skull and through head,
With horns and spurs.
One rider is white and the other is black,
Both armored like heroes, no slip and no slack.
The white one is joyous, the black — is in wrath.
The white is up front and the black — is like death.
Blackwhite and whiteblack — over trees, over gullies;
Whiteblack and blackwhite — like the hues of a tallis.
The white — with a sunny flag of a ranger,
The black one — danger, danger, danger.
The white one rides off in direction of light,
The black will extinguish each spark, he is night.
Clipclop and clipclop,
By destiny's will,
Two riders are riding
To a single sill.
To the only sill only one will arrive.
(The white one, the white?
The black one, the black?
The eyes are blinded, the bones crack.)
Rolled by the storm,
Two hoops in the rain —
Two riders that run
Through throbbing brain —
On and on.
And the one who arrives,
And the one who accedes —
Will be written
Over grasses and weeds.
In the polished sounds
Of the sky —
No escape from its fences
That flame —
As before the eyes of a fly
In a glass
And beyond the glass — words bloom,
(Let me smash the glass walls, oh please!
And above —
A flock of opal doves,
They cannot break out
Of the tangle of tunes,
Of the melody swing,
Inside a ring.
Like a rain on a field all of a sudden —
And there is no hiding, no home outside it —
In the middle of the roads,
In wild encounter, love fell upon me
The other side of my yearning.
— Why like a rain?
You don't know whence it comes, whence it rolls,
You see only the spot where it falls.
When with eyes shut
I wrote a poem, suddenly
My hand got burned,
And when I started
From the black fire,
The paper breathed
A name like a lily: God.
But my pen, in awe and wonder,
Crossed out the word
And wrote instead
A more familiar word: Man.
Since then, a voice unheard
Haunts me like an unseen bird
That pecks, pecks at my soul's door:
— Is that what you traded me for?