previous | next

Odourless yet like blossom
Death is grasped through the
Nostrils. Square silent buildings with
Endless corridors come between but the odour
Persistently passes folds in white sheets or crimson
Curtains throughout the room’s length
Sometimes a sudden reflection of light
Then once again only the trolley’s wheels
And the old lithograph with the scene
Of the Annunciation as it appears in the mirror

Whereupon, with arm outstretched He
Who announces and is silent, brings and takes away
Pale and with an air of guilt (as if not wanting but having to)
Takes and extinguishes one by one the red
Globules inside me. As does the verger with the candles when
At the end of the long list of prayers
For a fair wind and all of creation or
Above all, for such things as each has in mind
The congregation disperses

                O Such things have I! Yet how
In what way may the “unutterable” be revealed
For while with irises and anemones the May-months effuse
And with verdant slopes step down to the sea
When this too in whispers ever discloses
Something of its ancient secrets, men is left speechless
                The soul alone. This
Like the mother of fledglings in danger takes under its wing
And patiently gathers from out of the storms
A few crumbs of peace; so tomorrow, the next day
All that you have in mind with new shiny down
May open out in the skies even if the gates to the heavenly dwellings
Open and close without justice

The Angel knows. And furtively withdraws his finger
So that gold becomes blue again and a fragrance
Of burning incense ascends to the rose-coloured dome
The candles in every stand light up all at once
Then they all follow. Footsteps on the wet leaves
Since men too like graves and with reverence
    pile lovely flowers there
Yet, death, not one of them has anything to say
Except the poet. The sun’s Jesus. The same one who after
    each Saturday
Rises. He who Is, Was and Will Be.