january miniature

Author: Birgit Kreipe
Translator: Catherine Hales

i hung over the sea on a blue thorn,
the sky that is, waiting for a moment
of beauty, of sense, the absolute poem
would please you. my shadows gobbled
fishes. elements raged, i saw grey rows
of teeth made out hotels. the rage of the waves
failed on the shore. the land pulled its collar
tighter. saw sou’westers, tons of freshly-oiled
flesh wobbling on wavecrests, from far off
the horizon, where ships were stuck on, across
the sea made out this: the last fish would have slices
of lemon in its mouth. the dunes would eat
the last humans the last poem would be
on the menu the last girls, incorruptible and legitimised
by beauty, would lie in ruins for ever, teeth
chattering in the wind and shine through centuries.
the thorn would grow larger the last poem would
have the form of waves then everything would start
from the beginning again and in the next world
this here would be a bathing resort again



january miniature

sky lense, light of the dead
in the ancient green of pine shadows
grave goods reigning
glittering, empty bottles loyal as gold
bronze crosses, a few pine needles

stones, hunchbacked, schlepping themselves
from grave to grave

the white freezing of birches
the formula is tender, almost light,

the dead lilies of january
snow witches, do not wilt


Originals © Birgit Kreipe
Translations © Catherine Hales