Whence we come: who we are: where we are bound

by Michal Habaj


Whence we come: who we are: where we are bound

the well of knowledge is drying: no water there:

says the old fellow craning over its rim: into the dark

he gazes: and the well enters him: in the midst of night:

he will cry out: sweat-smeared: on the damp sheet of the master bed:

where his grand-daughter lies in drying virginal blood:

Jarmilka Jarmilka: the old fellow calls to the dark: tears like peas

roll down his cheeks: through the splintered glass of the window:

translucent dark face of the moon: there unknown beings

are striding over the plateau and entering our lives:

the well of knowledge is drying: and the old fellow wails to the night:

the heavy summer air sleepily tumbles in washing blue:

a dog howls in a haggard: the swine have littered: tobacco in the field

broadcasts aroma and grows: hush hush grows: the old fellow can’t think

what now

© Michal Habaj, translated by John Minahane