Other Language
The Keening Of The Reed

translated by: Clarissa Burt

He put his paw in the lake
like one dipping a quill in a well of words…
He wasn't of reed,
nor has Love a thing to grant:
Among beasts there is no wolf worthy of the loneliness

of snow!
He goes past...
taken by a stifled wail
between him and home are Night and its Form,
Sleep and its latest dream.

He claims to strike into the map of Man,
announcing his trip, binding pacts with place;

Shackled spirit...
and for his tarrying, his body slackens,
limb by torn limb.

He counts Night vehicles,
opens Dream friendship to the Stone:
snow thicker than nature's bounty,
Mountain messages in Night's quay,

lightweight stone, swaying and
speaking like books on a shelf.

Why do you postpone your going,
when you are not here?
None goes your extent but the Absent one,
the Consort of Caravans.
Why do you construct citadels, inhabit them,
for visitors' fear to befall you, like the enemy?
Why isn't time enough for you,
why doesn't place suffice ?
Where'd you get all this desolation.
when you're an eden of blades?

Leave your hand in the lake,
spread a quillfeather to fly you away:
horizons broaden for you:
promised appointments are postponed-
leave speech to its own devices -Write !.
nature reads your only snow.

He came crammed with crying,
no shoulder for him, no flow,
counting his shirts exhausted by excesses of the road,
cheating sleep at night lest the hand of distance extend to him... When will he sleep light-hearted, wounded emotions still, streaming like an orphan, forgotten by bereaved mothers,
neglected by wetness?

He comes as if he will not go,
arranging the room's stones, preparing like a squadron
for attack.
He spells out "Passage" as if in exile's gloom,
a wolf whose name has no letters,
whose lair is writing's outback,

loss of folk;
one deep in alienation,
announcing he is daring/bold.

He will go-
he will go because he came from nowhere,
he will go in order to confirm that "map" has a name
other than home and the keening of the reed-

take body from him, leave him soul,
make his trip not an emigration,
wipe his lamp's glass with your mercy
so sleep befalls him,
sleep for one night, before death
and after.
Love, this is your consort;
take him:
lazy messenger between lake and sea