Blesok no. 24, January-February, 2002

What happiness
Translated from the Romanian and the Swedish by Brenda Walker

Jon Milos


So he is a poet
Said mother-in-law with surprise
And a philosopher, smiled father-in-law
A foreigner
Whispered the neighbours
Poetry is nonsense
You can’t make your living by it
My wife reminded me
What do they live on, these poets
Asked the labour exchange
On vitamins
Where do they get them
They pick them
From words
From books
From the air
From the earth
Shouted the policeman
Poets love to bark at the moon
I don’t bark
I only cry like a wolf sometimes.


Forgive the man
Who breaks his wife’s nose
Forgive the woman
Who eats her husband’s heart
Forgive your enemy
As the apple forgives the worm
Forgive death
As ashes forgive the wind
Forgive also God
Who does not forgive us.


Get out – bloody poet!
I have fallen in love with someone else
I flourish
The kids are mine
You don’t need money
You don’t drive.

Fly to the eagles
Eat vitamins
Write poetry
Marry Poetry
Don’t forget family maintenance
Love – is expansive.

Poesia non muori

“Today in this world there are about fifty tons
of explosives per person.
How many milligrams of poetry per head of the population are there?”
A lieutenant asked me
“We defend life with weapons
Not whit rubbish”.

“A football player today costs millions.
How much does a poet cost?”
Asked my accountant
“No loans for poetry,
God only helps those who posses”.

“Happy or unhappy
Man still dies.”
A psychologist comforted me:
“take your medicine without complaining.
Tempus dolores tua delebit”.

Poesia non muori.

What happiness

What happiness
To live in this happy world!

Science teaches us to think like gods
How many vitamins to swallow
How many hours to sleep
How to live and die healthy.

The State defends us
Against neighbours and other beasts
Teaches us to make money and children.

Politics cleans our brains
From the larvae of divergent ideas
Teaches us to act and choose correctly
No clouds or oysters in our memories.

The Church blesses us
Protects our souls from evil spirits
Shows us the way to heaven.

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