No. 10 - 11


Peters Bruveris  

Translated from the Latvian by Inara Cedrins  


*  *  *

. . . but calm down. Count to ten. And go on with your work.
What can be done to you? Hopes begrudged, joy Ė seized, or you dragged up over a branch?
You calm down. Count to a hundred. Write a hundred lines about what you see.
Tomorrow you can send it to a friend. Possibly, itíll arrive. Then turn the light switch,
So that the room is dark. Donít be afraid. Perhaps youíre unseen: well, think, think!
You wonít be able to think of much. Youíre among gladiators. Somewhere, sometime. The devil knows
          what century in Rome.
But endure. But . . . believe. In something. Even a beetle. Even a tired bee.
Or the reflection of the Sun on a prisonerís forehead. Soon the blow.
Morning reveille in St. Peterís. We in Riga. In our homes. Nevertheless lonely and each to himself
And getting by with what God has not given.

*  *  *

night, and steel-blue rain;
over balcony banisters hangs
a violet nightshirt and through
the cool arc of night
across the wind-roughed seaside park
glittering in salt near halluci-nationís

the glass door bursts open: colorful
tesserae sprinkle across the shadow
of my glance;

the faded shadow of your glance
slips through the chambers of my heart, 
inside the chambers of the heart cherries have grown overripe,
to whom will the heart feed these cherries? unneeded,
not wanted, soon to spoil, bile
will rise to sneering lips Ė

still night, steel-blue rain,
heavy, overripe cherries,
violet silk nightshirt torn on rough asphalt,
and endless joined train cars
are stranded in my Head station
at my dubious point of destination.


*  *  *

What do you think about in spring,
When the earth yields gently,
When returning birds migrate overhead,
When one doesnít want to die before time?

What do you think about in fall,
When the skies are darkly leaden,
When fame can be bought in flea markets,
When the countrymanís heart hardens?

What do you think about, when winter
And dreams no longer arrive in pillars,
When no one invites you to visit,
And youíre afraid to visit others?




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