how we blur


Urszula Kozioł

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Jesteś za blisko
za naocznie jesteś
żebym cię mogła zobaczyć raz wtóry.

Oto liść jeden przybył
w naszym drzewie
a nie wiem – który.

Tak zacieramy się. Im bliżej siebie
jesteśmy dalsi wciąż
od zobaczenia.

Zbyt odsłonięte mamy twarze. Przecież
coś pozostało w nich
do odgadnienia.

Zatem jedź wyjedź i bądź mi z powrotem
bowiem gdzie oczy za blisko są oczom
błogosławiony rozjazd i powroty.

A tak się właśnie do obrazu
cofając kroki.

scarred eyes open


Adam Zagajewski

My friends wait for me,
ironic, smiling sadly.

Where are the transparent palaces
we meant to build —

their lips say,
their aging lips.

Don’t worry, friends,
those splendid kites

still soar in the autumn air,
still take us

to the place where harvests begin,
to bright days —

the place where scarred eyes

indifference and boredom


Ella Mi Fu Rapita! (She abandoned me)
Gavin Ewart
“Die Liebe dauert oder dauert nicht.” –Brecht

Her boredom took her away. So simple.
She just became bored with me. No other rival
experienced the entrancing smile with the dimple
or put down his drink in joy at her arrival
or loved her in taxis that stream like ants
through London, fingers under her pants

caressing her holy of holies. Oh, no,
it wasn’t someone younger, bigger or better.
She went because she had the urge to go,
Without a phone call, telegram or letter.
From our last meeting she just walked out –
a few pretexts perhaps. What were they about?

Nothing too serious. A red bow in her hair,
as she lay naked on the bed, knees-raising,
stays in my mind. I know I had my share.
Love is all programmed, it’s all phasing,
There’s a beginning, a middle and an end.
A lover’s life is not that of a friend,

who by and large is able to take it or leave it.
For love there’s a critical path – it goes on.
It can’t go backwards or sideways, believe it,
That’s all; a dream, a tremendous con,
And when it’s over, you’re out on your own.
Most life, they say, has to be lived alone.

And what can the lover do, when the time’s come,
when THE END goes up on the screen? Yelling,
rush into the street, lamenting her lovely bum?
Get friendly with men in bars, telling
how sweet she was, praising her statistics,
or admiring his own sexual ballistics?

No, that’s no good. Love lasts – or doesn’t last.
And all the pink intimacies and warm kisses
go into Proust’s remembrance of time past.
Lovers must never crumple up like sissies
Or break down and cry about their wrongs
If girls are sugar, God holds the sugar tongs.

luminous days


Marina of the Rocks
Odysseus Elytis
You have a taste of tempest on your lips—But where did you wander
All day long in the hard reverie of stone and sea?
An eagle-bearing wind stripped the hills
Stripped your longing to the bone
And the pupils of your eyes received the message of chimera
Spotting memory with foam!
Where is the familiar slope of short September
On the red earth where you played, looking down
At the broad rows of the other girls
The corners where your friends left armfuls of rosemary.

But where did you wander
All night long in the hard reverie of stone and sea?
I told you to count in the naked water its luminous days
On your back to rejoice in the dawn of things
Or again to wander on yellow plains
With a clover of light on your breast, iambic heroine.

You have a taste of tempest on your lips
And a dress red as blood
Deep in the gold of summer
And the perfume of hyacinths—But where did you wander
Descending toward the shores, the pebbled bays?

There was cold salty seaweed there
But deeper a human feeling that bled
And you opened your arms in astonishment naming it
Climbing lightly to the clearness of the depths
Where your own starfish shone.

Listen. Speech is the prudence of the aged
And time is a passionate sculptor of men
And the sun stands over it, a beast of hope
And you, closer to it, embrace a love
With a bitter taste of tempest on your lips.

It is not for you, blue to the bone, to think of another summer,
For the rivers to change their bed
And take you back to their mother
For you to kiss other cherry trees
Or ride on the northwest wind.

Propped on the rocks, without yesterday or tomorrow,
Facing the dangers of the rocks with a hurricane hairstyle
You will say farewell to the riddle that is yours.


Η Μαρίνα των βράχων
-Ο ποιητής
Έχεις μια γεύση τρικυμίας στα χείλη –Μα πού γύριζες
Ολημερίς τη σκληρή ρέμβη της πέτρας και της θάλασσας
Αετοφόρος άνεμος γύμνωσε τους λόφους
Γύμνωσε την επιθυμία σου ως το κόκαλο

Κι οι κόρες των ματιών σου πήρανε τη σκυτάλη της Χίμαιρας
Ριγώνοντας μ’ αφρό τη θύμηση!
Πού είναι η γνώριμη ανηφοριά του μικρού Σεπτεμβρίου
Στο κοκκινόχωμα όπου έπαιζες θωρώντας προς τα κάτω
Τους βαθιούς κυαμώνες των άλλων κοριτσιών

Τις γωνιές όπου οι φίλες σου άφηναν αγκαλιές τα δυοσμαρίνια*

–Μα πού γύριζες;
Ολονυχτίς τη σκληρή ρέμβη της πέτρας και της θάλασσας
Σου ‘λεγα να μετράς μες στο γδυτό νερό τις φωτεινές του μέρες
Ανάσκελη να χαίρεσαι την αυγή των πραγμάτων

Ή πάλι να γυρνάς κίτρινους κάμπους
Μ’ ένα τριφύλλι φως στο στήθος σου ηρωίδα ιάμβου*

Έχεις μια γεύση τρικυμίας στα χείλη
Κι ένα φόρεμα κόκκινο σαν το αίμα
Βαθιά μες στο χρυσάφι του καλοκαιριού

Και τ’ άρωμα των γυακίνθων –Μα πού γύριζες

Κατεβαίνοντας προς τους γιαλούς τους κόλπους με τα βότσαλα
Ήταν εκεί ένα κρύο αρμυρό θαλασσόχορτο
Μα πιο βαθιά ένα ανθρώπινο αίσθημα που μάτωνε
Κι άνοιγες μ’ έκπληξη τα χέρια σου λέγοντας τ’ όνομά του

Ανεβαίνοντας ανάλαφρα ως τη διαύγεια των βυθών
Όπου σελάγιζε ο δικός σου ο αστερίας*.
Άκουσε ο λόγος είναι των στερνών η φρόνηση
Κι ο χρόνος γλύπτης των ανθρώπων παράφορος
Κι ο ήλιος στέκεται από πάνω του θηρίο ελπίδας

Κι εσύ πιο κοντά του σφίγγεις έναν έρωτα
Έχοντας μια πικρή γεύση τρικυμίας στα χείλη.
Δεν είναι για να λογαριάζεις γαλανή ως το κόκαλο
άλλο καλοκαίρι,
Για ν’ αλλάξουνε ρέμα τα ποτάμια
Και να σε πάνε πίσω στη μητέρα τους,

Για να ξαναφιλήσεις άλλες κερασιές
Ή για να πας καβάλα στο μαΐστρο

Στυλωμένη στους βράχους δίχως χτες και αύριο.
Στους κινδύνους των βράχων με τη χτενισιά της θύελλας
Θ’ αποχαιρετήσεις το αίνιγμά σου.

undiminished somewhere


Sad Steps
Philip Larkin
Groping back to bed after a piss
I part thick curtains, and am startled by
The rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness.

Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There’s something laughable about this,

The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)

High and preposterous and separate—
Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,

One shivers slightly, looking up there.
The hardness and the brightness and the plain
Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare

Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can’t come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.

pine needles


Pine Needles
Mirkka Rekola
Pine needles in the sun ball.
Quiet in the grass it doesn’t smell doesn’t fall off.

In early summer
the hedgehog jumped to a tarpit.
It was a hedgehog.

Here grew a little thirst and a lingonberry.

never quite said


Did I Know You?
Rolf Jacobsen
Did I know you
really. Things
you never quite said or
we let lie. Half-thought
thoughts. A shadow
that passed over your face.
Something in your eyes. No,
I don’t want to believe that.
But it comes back. Night
has no sounds,
only strange thoughts. Words
that rise up from my sleep:
Did I know you?


Kjente jeg deg?
Kjente jeg deg
egentlig. Noe
du aldri fikk sagt eller
vi lot ligge. Halv-
tenkte tanker. En skygge
som strøk over ansiktet.
Noe i øynene. Nei
jeg vil ikke tro det.
Men det kommer igjen. Natten
har ingen lyd,
bare rare tanker. Ord
som stiger opp av søvnen:
Kjente jeg deg?

Photo by Rares C. on Unsplash