Poem of the day

The Tale of the Hedgehog

by Bernado Atxaga

In his nest of dry leaves the hedgehog has woken

his mind so suddenly filled with all the words he knows.

Counting the verbs, more or less, they come to twenty-seven.

Later he thinks: The winter is over,

I am a hedgehog, Up fly two eagles, high up,

Snail, Worm, Insect, Spider, Frog,

which ponds or holes are you hiding in?

There is the river, This is my kingdom, I am hungry.

 

And he repeats: This is my kingdom, I am hungry,

Snail, Worm, Insect, Spider, Frog,

which ponds or holes are you hiding in?

However he remains still like a dry leaf, too,

because it is but midday and an old law

forbids him sun, sky and eagles.

 

But night comes, gone are the eagles; and the hedgehog,

Snail, Worm, Insect, Spider, Frog,

disregards the river and undertakes the steepness of the mountain,

as sure of his spines as a warrior

in Sparta or Corinth could have been of his shield;

and suddenly, he crosses the boundary

between the meadow and the new road

with a single step that takes him right into my and your time.

And given that his universal vocabulary has not been renewed

in the last seven thousand years,

he neither understands our car lights,

nor realises his forthcoming death.

23 June

Powder monkey (for R.S. Thomas)

by Paul Peter Piech

22 June

A Half-hour

by C.P. Cavafy

I never had you and no doubt I never

will. A few words, an approach

like at the bar two days ago – nothing more. For me,

I must admit, I’m sorry. But we others,

the Art’s adepts, by force of concentration, can create

fleetingly, sometimes, a pleasure

that impresses one by being almost concrete.

Thus, in the bar, two days ago, with alcohol

helping me greatly in its kindly fashion,

that half-hour was for me profoundly erotic.

It seemed to me you understood, and deliberately

you lingered just a little. Now, what was there

was something very necessary, for, with all

possible fantasy and the magic of alcohol,

I had to see your lips as well,

I had to have your body near.

21 June

5 vokaltexte

by Hiro Kamimura

20 June

For Manhattan

by Diane di Prima

leanfingered

slenderhipped

 

ah hubris, hubris

 

what does the wind do to you

lot you care

and the night, bedding down

slipping into you easy

 

lady when there are stars

does it help?

19 June

The London Eye

by Patience Agbabi

18 June

Once More I Will Greet the Sun

by Forough Farrokhzad

Once more I will greet the sun,

the stream that flowed in me,

the clouds which were my long thoughts,

the painful growth of poplars in the garden

which pass through the dry seasons with me,

the flocks of crows

which brought me the smell of the night farms

as presents,

my mother who lived in the mirror

and was the image of my old age.

 

Once more I will greet the earth whose burning soul

is filled with the green seeds of my incessant passion.

 

I will come, I will come, I will come,

with my hair, the continuation of the smells of the undersoil,

with my eyes, as the dense experiences of darkness,

with the bushes I have picked in the wilderness beyond the wall

I will come, I will come, I will come

and the entrance will be filled with love

and at the entrance, once more, I will greet those who love

and the girl who is still standing there

at the threshold full of love.