Lives Journal 5

Lev Detela




The Bewitched House in the Oxford Street


Black earth-worms on a lonely evening.

Under the sad roof timbers the wind screams.

Flunkeys move without inner electricity.

Since twenty-five years the clock stands still.


Under the cellar noises are haunting permanently.

The parquet burns with imperishable passion.

The Earl sits under his own portrait, like his own ghost.

On the evening of the earth-worm he died, pale and forgotten.


The bewitched house hops over the rainy country side.

Even bulldogs try to avoid it.

Only blind lovers meet it in the evening,

this bewitched house without any sight,

knocked to pieces and destructed.





Praising of the Moon


In the evenings red moons are haunting us.

Very often they are just pure silver,

but strange and cold in this mysterious clarity.


She appears to us

like a wonderful but sinister master piece:

this moon without passion,

this cold construction

of very hard bronze.


All things are fading, only the moon stays.

Long ago, when we will not exist any more,

the earth will fall to thirty-five moons,

and there will be no more fire at all.



Translated from Slovenian to the English by Carla Kraus






for Milena


The moonlit night

is beautiful.

You wait for secrets.


ripens for you.


Down below

the name of the deity,

the beating of wings, threads, silence,

the odour of thinks,

a small crucifix, a secret path.


This night is






What Night Reveals


Commands of glass come before we sleep

and mirrors are black as night.

Even though you scream all night

the mirrors usually remain empty.


Miracles occur deep in the roots,

but you canŽ t see because you are blind.

YouŽ re a marvellous corpse in glass seas.

Night accompanies you with cadaverous glances.


But the mirrors never utter a word.

Miracles do not occur within them.

Neither virgin nor green landscape

appear in the ghastly edge of night.




Translated from Slovenian by Herbert Kuhner




The song cycle by Lev Detela What the night reveals corresponds to the song with the same title by his deceased wife Milena Merlak in Lives 1-2010 (same title has their tandem collection, issued in Klagenfurt 1985); the song Praising of the moon, this time translated by Carla Kraus, corresponds to the translation by Herbert Kuhner in Lives 3-2011. (Note by ed. I. A.)




Slovenian (gajica)

Slovenian (bohorichica)