with what hands

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Ballad for the Future
Ivan Radoev
Future – with what hands shall we pass you on?
You’re very far, you can’t make out our hands.
Our palms are clammy bank notes.
The lines of life, honor, duty and art
cross those of shame.
Under our nails is the mud from crawling
our way up to the point of our fall.
No one else but we ourselves
handcuffed us, comfortably, in the face of our fear.
That’s why we offer you our two bound palms
instead of unfolded wings.

The only remnant
of shame we felt
was when we buried our mothers with communal fees,
then we dared not put
our hands on their foreheads
so they wouldn’t carry to the grave
the imprint of our horror.

Of course, there were shining ones among us.
They set off long ago, Future, to meet you.
But the ballad tells us
they went blind on the road.

honey and grace

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Kiss the Eyes of Peace
Tomaž Šalamun
Kiss the eyes of Peace, may it stream down
upon the trees. The sun shines and no longer roars
so intolerably. The soul again hopes to sense its
ribs, the sap. The cold has done me good. If the wind
blows, and I walk and watch the cars, life
brings me back to itself. It would be terrible
not to recognize anyone at the departure.
They’d be too far to touch or
be felt. In the pitch darkness I would not hold the memory
of love. A crust of ice forms on molten lava.
In time I might again be able to slide off. Walk
those roads of dust. Shake the jacket off, if it’s
dusty. There has been too much honey and grace, that’s
all. Too many blessings break a man apart.

Original

Poljubi oči Miru
Poljubi oči Miru, ki naj se razlije po
drevesih. Sonce zunaj sije in ne buči več
tako neznosno. Duša upa spet začutiti svoja
rebra, svoj sok. Mraz mi je dobro del. Če
piham in hodim in gledam avtomobile, me
življenje vrne sebi. Najbolj strašno bi
bilo, ker pri odhodu ne bi nikogar spoznal.
Predaleč bi bili, da bi se jih dotaknil ali
čutil. V črni temi ne bi ohranil spomina na
ljubezen. Skorja ledu se dela čez vrelo lavo.
Počasi se bom morda lahko spet zadrsal. Hodil
po prašnih cestah. Otersel suknjič, če bo
prašno. Preveč medu in miline je bilo, to je
vse. Od prevelikega razkošja se človek razleti.

Photo by Jack Ebnet on Unsplash

where red-headed women rule the world

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Fatal misunderstanding
Vlada Urošević

This is some film.
This must be some film,
otherwise how could there be
so many red-headed women,
so many beautiful landscapes
and so much killing?
But what am I looking for inside
and how have I turned
into a person
who is being chased
and who
in the end
must
die?