gingko leaf fairy tale

Author: Arne Rautenberg
Translator: Ken Cockburn

gingko leaf fairy tale

once upon a time
there was a gingko leaf
which i put inside
a copy of grimms’
fairy tales thirty
years ago and forgot
recently i opened
the book again
and saw the gingko
leaf right in
the middle of
the frog prince
brown and beautiful
as if at the time
of art nouveau
someone had sketched
a mushroom cloud
considering the
leaf i lost
the desire to read
and closed the book
again knowing
the gingko leaf
and the book
would live together
happily every after




Starfish dying: their
Inconceivably tender
Tread on the rocks.
On the bicycle
A butterfly’s wing brushes
My clean-shaven chin.
The sculpture at night
In the beams of the ground-spots
The frogs are chilling.
We use chopsticks.
The staff eat with
Knives and forks.
The ladybird
On the hibiscus flower
In the ashtray.
Outside the ice-cream shop
The pavement’s covered in black
Dots of chewing-gum.
As the train crosses over
The kestrel is still
Hanging in the air.
The gust of wind that’s
Ruffling the squirrel’s fur as
Its claws grip the tree.
Cackhanded bumblebee
Whacking your furry torso
Bang into the bench!
The dangerous step
Down the coffin-bearers have
To negotiate.


Originals © Arne Rautenberg
Translations © Ken Cockburn