song of the geese

Geese, geese, geese,
curved necks singing to the sky.
They float on green, feathery white,
red feet stirring waves of light.

Luo Binwang


an enigma

,,Seldom we find”, says Solomon Don Dunce,
,,Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
Through all the flimsy things we see at once
As easily as through a Naples bonnet –
Trash of all trash! – how can a lady don it?
Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan  stuff –
Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff
Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it.”
And, veritably, Sol is right enough.
The general tuckermanities are arrant
Bubbles – ephemeral and so transparent –
But this is, now, – you may depend on it –
Stable, opaque, immortal – all by dint
Of the dear names that lie concealed within ‘t.

Edgar Allan Poe

a hard life

He huddles in a shadow and in winter in the cold.
When  the wind blows he shakes a little flame at the end of his
fingers and signals among the trees. He is an old man;
no doubt he has always been one and bad weather doesn’t
make him die. He goes down into the plain when evening
falls; during the day he stays halfway up the hill hidden
in some wood from which he has never been seen to
emerge. His little light trembles on the horizon like a
star as soon as night falls. Sunlight and noise frighten
him; he hides waiting for the shorter and silent days of
autumn, under the lowering sky, in the gray and gentle
atmosphere where he can trot, with bent back, without
being heard. He is the old man of winter who never dies.

Pierre Reverdy


The one who looks in an open window from outside never sees
as many things as the one who looks at a closed window. There is
no deeper, more mysterious, more fertile, more shadowy, more
dazzling object than a window lit by a candle. What one can see in
sunlight is always less interesting than what is taking place behind
a window. In that black or luminous hole life is being lived, life is
dreaming, life is suffering.

Beyond waves of roofs I see a mature woman, already wrinkled,
poor, always bending over something, and who never goes out.
With her face, her dress, her gesture, with almost nothing, I have
reconstructed the history of that woman, or rather her story, and
sometimes I tell it to myself in tears.

If it had been a poor old man, I would have done the same just
as easily.
And I go to bed, proud of having lived and suffered in others
as for myself.

Perhaps you will say to me: ,,Are you sure that this story is the
true one?” What does it matter what the reality outside myself may
be, if it has helped me to live, to know that I am and what I am?

Charles Baudelaire


There was a night, too,
When a robber visited my home —
The year end.

Matsuo Bashō

sweeping snow

While sweeping the garden
It forgets about the snow:
The broom.

Matsuo Bashō

to be

A fathomless abyss is human pain!
Whose eye has ever pierced to its black depths?
To the shadowy gulf of times that are no more
incline your ear… Within there falls
the eternal tear! To the defenceless mouths
that in another age life such as ours
inspired, curious draw nigh…. A groan
arises trembling from the whitened bones!

Life is pain. And life persists,
obscure, but life for all that, even in the tomb.
Matter disintegrates and is dispersed;
the eternal spirit, the underlying essence
suffers without pause. It were in vain
to wield the suicidal steel.
Suicide is unavailing. The form is changed,
the indestructible being endures.

In thee, Pain, we live and have our being!
The supreme yearning of all existing things
is to be lost in nothingness, annulled,
deep in dreamless sleep… And life continues
beyond the frozen confines of the tomb.

There is no death. In vain you clamour for death,
souls destitute of hope. And the implacable
purveyor of suffering creatures ravishes
us to another world. There is no pause.
We crave a single instant of respite
and a voice in the darkness urges: ,,On!”

Yes, life is an evil
and an evil that never ends. The creating God
is the creature of another terrible God
whose name is pain. And the immortal
Saturn is insatiate. And space,
the nursery of suns, the infinite,
are the mighty prison, issueless,
of souls that suffer and that cannot die.

Oh implacable Saturn, make an end at last,
devour created things and then,
since we are immortal, ruminate our lives!
We are thine, Pain, thine for evermore!

but pity for the beings that are not yet,
save in thy mind that hunger stimulates. . .
Pity, oh God, have pity on nothingness!
At last be sated, that the eternal womb,
begetter of the seed of humankind,
turn barren and that life come to an end. . .
And let the world like a dead planet whirl
amid the waveless oceans of the void!

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera