Blesok no. 53, March-April, 2007

from “Ljubljana,” 2004
Translated by: Ana Jelnikar & Stephen Watts

Meta Kušar


When abysses begin to summon the abyss,
small caskets lock themselves shut.
Thunder shifts hearth and heritage
that darkness should preserve the past.
We are afraid of lead and abstinence
we shudder in the face of light.
We are overcome with doubt and yearning.
We can no longer stomach bread.


It echoes down the corridor:
To win! To win!
To clamour for fame
To win plaudits by valour!
One vast devastated vision.
The monastery still watched over by Mary and her doe.
Acorns and grasses full of their traces.
Even though warriors can
see that history switches course,
this black moonlight does not dare honour the woman
calmly giving birth under the dome.


This day comes foretold
for the black king and white queen.
Let the heavy doors roll wide open :
they will be swimming in the pool of the afternoon sun,
guardians of the one world,
that seeps through rock into books and eyes,
into the beginnings of thoughts
crushing the absent evening.
Venetian proportions do not shatter idyllic life
which merges from the senses.
I am afraid for you, kidnapped Europa.

(To Francesco Robba, in the church of St. Jacob, 1723–1733)


A little beak is picking up dew
and leaves no trace behind.
The pond watches over the paths of young girls, their despair.
While they are skimming stones, perfumes gather
above the treetops,
and spill across the town.
The scent shows where moonlight has been gliding.
I will watch my tongue.
In the marshes, the phoenix cannot rise.
It floats in on a thick cloud.


I lack strong comic lines.
When the moon and I are face to face,
when I watch a rose,
they don’t dare come close.
The god of this day has his birthday.
He has such words.
He has a future, which is the present.
He has the present, which is eternal.

            23. November, 1999


An evil wind has damaged my words.
Should I counter it with a sword?
A broken life heals
from the inside.
Amid daisies, a powerful word blossoms
and unfurls its flag.
Delight blowing straight into its face.

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