Poetry

Poetry

A Man

(translated from the Macedonian
by Nola Garrett and Natasha Garrett)

I lift this skull that just hours ago
the tempest dug out.
How raw is his innocent death,
exposed after centuries here in this hill
where now I lay him down into a fresh grave,
dewy among wild thyme buzzing with bees.
This hill now seems greater
with a new human stance.
I have added to it
my heart’s force and love,
so I can comprehend
where this resurrected one will go
and what he might tell me,
thought he covers himself with this umbrella,
because it is darker out here
than the light he blazes underground.





Hunger

You can feel his heartbeat slow
            as he loiters just off the Expressway,
                     by the Okoboji Swamp
looking casual as an old purse
            under the Spanish moss,

his eyes envisioning some delicacy
            —a family of small newts
                     with a salad of green scum,
or several whiskered catfish.
            Under his gorgeous skin his brain is moving,

as mine and yours are moving now
            with joy at hunger,
                     joy at hunger filled.
Suddenly he opens his mouth
            of magnificent stalactites and stalagmites,

astonished at the power
            of his new hunger. He rises and
                     like a bee bumbling into a flower,
staggers sideways toward the Expressway.
            As guards gather,

drawing guns, he is lost in bliss
            imagining
                     the turquoise swimming pool
down the road,
            stocked with children.







The pastor details his hunch about the cross

And conjectures, and offers
a few ways to take down
the body, the God who carries
a taste for blood. On the altar,
before him, an empty simple
cross, and a purple bouquet,
one of which, he doesn’t say,
was arranged, and one which
happened, he knows, against
serious, best judgment—


the way you might extend
a hand to an enemy, suspecting
the risk, knowing better
but offering and retracting
your bared palm over time
like a bud or a bloom opening
to a violet spring sky.

A very little thing

A very little thing is rolling
down the street at dawn,
some little yellow thing, a lemon,
rolling down the center
of the street from the little
grove just up the hill.

Has the cold of the morning
snapped its hold upon the tree?
Or did someone toss it, carelessly,
to see it mind its little business,
bundling down the little street?

Will it fall in the little creek
at the bottom and ride
the current to the sea?
Will it float there—a lemon buoy,
a yellow bobber, a little
sour island on the salt rim
of the little world?



Dream in Sighisoara, Romania

in the train station at last asleep
(all gone down to grays—sky

—uniforms—the platform itself
and farmers back from the war

who won’t know their fields)—1943
—a gypsy father reaches sure to touch

his daughter’s face (where is she—
that turn in the trees)—bine bine—

bine copil—his fingers recalling
some landscape lost now to the dark—