In the cold decayed
heart of these lands
I saw eyes.
Everyone was there with their voice
and their body’s pose.
We know someone best while making love,
when we corrode our hearts together.
Growing heavy, our body
wakes us in the night.
Houses with courtyards are like graves.
Childhood is a sleep, long-lasting.
And a yearning to touch,
a yearning drags us towards death.
I tested myself in every body,
I abandoned myself in every city.
I took the skies of countries to my heart
and when I saw the emptiness of my heart,
I said, it’s time to go.
Inside the mouldering robes of ceremony
roots sway on the hanger.
Even if we drop fire in the sea
it will burn for ever,
it burns, a gift of desolation to the dark.
Perhaps history is a mistake says the poet
mankind’s a mistake says god.
in a future corrupt as the heart of these lands,
mankind’s a mistake says god,
I’m here to correct it
but too late.
The wave of red lifeless water,
the road followed at night,
the poor earth strewn with travellers,
the white swaying shrouds,
The only thing needed for a race
is the horse’s mane.
This is the truth,
now we are here
rotted away in a rut.
God must not see the letters of my script.
Mankind’s a mistake, he keeps saying.
And to correct his mistake
he gives sorrow,
February 1997 Berlin
© translated by Ruth Christie