Lives Journal 3

Jani Oswald

 

IKARUS

 

IKARUS

 

Verbal-radicalism

skillfully transformed by you

into radical-verbalism.

 

Thus you have jumped over

your tiny shadow without moving.

 

For glorious, golden

inscriptions on gravestones

cannot cast a shadow.

 

 

 

SOLIDARITY

 

Even though storms

may shave us a thousand times,

we sprout up again

like a heavy beard.

 

Winter wipes away

weak grass,

but not our wild growth.

 

 

 

OPTIMISM

 

Your song

and my silence

are a hungry text

 

which longs for

justice and freedom

as wild as a wolf,

not as passive as a lamb.

 

My angry silence sings loudly

and your song is not mute.

 

Already a single letter

of our song,

every fragment of it,

cries out accursedly in the world.

 

 

 

PLASTER AND BRICKS

 

The soft plaster falls to the ground;

it is damp and no longer

adheres to the crumbling bricks;

the mortar is brittle and rotten.

 

Moisture and the wind

slowly crush them

to fine sand and dust.

 

We'll mix them

with our strong cement

and give the fortress

a new concrete foundation.

 

 

 

I DEMAND

 

Fewer monuments

with artfully carved inscriptions,

fewer bulky

gravestones

 

over the weary heads

of our ancestors.

 

Less marble,

but more bread,

and stones only

when we're not hungry for food.

 

 

 

Translated from Slovenian by Herbert Kuhner

 

 

 

Slovenian (gajica)

Slovenian (bohorichica)