Blesok no. 49, July-August, 2006

Two Poems
Translations into English by Magdalena Horvat and Fiona Sampson
From "Selected Poems", © SPE 2006

Petar T. Boškovski


They touch down in the landscape lightly,
immaculately beautiful butterflies of Spring,
like trembling sighs,
like sky flowers;

alight innocently on the greenery
which was eaten to death last year
by rapacious caterpillars
to give wings to this beauty –

which now, however, gives you the right
to start running, eagerly, exactly as if netted by madness,
yet have no-one wonder
what happened to your common sense.


(Небесен камен)

It’s plunged into my field
as into a mother’s arms:
this rock escaped
from the stars’ chain.

The dangerous adventures
of its long wandering
have polished it to the utmost,
refined it to its core.

Of an intense heat
it’s retained only the colour red.
Now it listens, calmly,
to its own internal orbit.

It’s never been so vulnerable
as in my hands;
what outer space couldn’t do to it
I can.

I could shatter it with a hammer,
turning it into powder
to dip my bread in
like a cure for vertigo.

I could –
but I don’t want to
because of the great similarity
which evidently connects us.

It comes down to one thing:
what accidental justice
and what mad luck
to be on this Earth!

The Wall

My Grandfather’s wall has got too old
and fallen down.
It needs a healthy helping hand.

I uncover the foundation and let out a string
to return to it the gracefulness it once had.
I dilly-dally, I fiddle about, I ponder
how to begin, how to get it done.

My Grandfather watched me like this more than once –
green and tangled-up in demanding work  –
and, unable to resist,
would step in instead of me,
demonstrating, to finish what had been started.

I tap the stone, I chip at it, I shape it
to open a facet,  to make it lie well,
but a foolish  thought visits me:
It’s good to hear this sound again!

making my grip child-like,
my aim blind, muddling my order,
and – oops! – pecking me right in the heart.

A red fog thickens
under my fingernail where I’ve hit it
and I see – what!? There he is, my Grandfather,
but tiny:
it’s him, but then again, maybe it’s not.

“You’re almost as old
as the one you still look to;
be careful you don’t short-change
your own potential this way!”

He said this, and vanished in a blue fog.

Yet still, lest the wind carry me away,
as if I were two people in one,
I make hasty grabs, hurrying to place
stone onto stone, stone onto stone,
to wall up
empty time.

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