Epilogue to the Forest (1939–1940)
The same ashes will cover all of us:
The tulip — a wax candle flickering in the wind,
The swallow in its flight, sick of too many clouds,
The child who throws his ball into eternity —
And only one will remain, a poet —
A mad Shakespeare, who will sing a song, where might and wit is:
— My spirit Ariel, bring here the new fate,
And spit back the dead cities!
Anthill, subconscious of the forest,
Poked up by a curious stick —
Your labyrinths, storey on storey,
Collapse into dust. Be aware:
I am like you. My skull
Crumbles into shards
Carried off by ants — by words.
And every word — up, down, over — roams
From nerve to nerve, through smoke and powder keg.
And all are running from their homes,
Bearing in their mouth a snow-white egg.
Oh, love your dog, your bed, your platter,
But do not love the gray time.
A faithful dog will not so flatter
As gray time will flatter you.
Your eye is not a nest for it.
Your mirror, not a test for it.
Your palate feels: won't go away.
It burns your pearls in despair.
And you wake up: your wisest hair
Is fooled and gray.
Through alleys of sunset, a woman does hover,
She weeps: Give me back the straw, my lover.
Behind her a crowd, with water and rope,
That would not give back her straw and her hope.
Her yellow shawl slips off of her shoulder,
From afar — a firetruck comes, ringing bolder.
And no one in the crowd, shouting and raw,
Will grasp: can you fall in love with a straw?
In a Garden
I dream: I am a sun that sinks
Into a swamp among lilies. Nearby, rife
With leaves of time, hangs a garden, sings
A weeping bird: Where is your life?
But like an amoeba, I split in two:
Just my earth half will descend in a cave.
As I see my image in the red of an apple,
From the swamp screams my second I: Save.
Is the dream over? — I do not know.
When I awoke in a garden so fair,
In sun's dew laurels — my world
Screamed: Save me, as there.