Posts tagged ‘2015’

Friday, 12 November 2021

After a Bad Dream by Gerrit Engelke

I am a soldier and stand in the field
And know of no-one in the world.
Thus I cannot celebrate this rainy day,
So tenderly concerned, damp and leaden
Since at night your image broke my sleep
And brought me near to you.

I am a soldier and stand in the field,
Gun on the arm and far from the world.
Were I at home, I would close door and window
And remain alone for a long time,
Sink into the sofa’s corner,
With closed eyes, think of you.

I am a soldier and stand in the field.
Here the old human world ends.
The rain sings, the wet skeins flow.
I can do nothing – only shoot lead.
Don’t know why, I still do it, as if I must
Into the grey weather a shot cracks!


Date: 1918 (original in German); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Gerrit Engelke (1890-1918)

Translated by: Penelope Monkhouse (19??- )

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Still, It Pulls Me by Annie Neugebauer

The darkness pulled me, in those years—
delicious taste of sacred fears,
to satiate my appetite
for all things roaming in the night
with ghostly garb and toothy sneers.

Window through which the monster peers,
or gloomy path on which he nears,
for me did equally delight…
the darkness pulled me.

The blackened stain of bloody smears
revealed, once all the carnage clears—
it drew me like a moth to light—
inspired me to start to write
of lunacy and her sharp shears…
the darkness pulled me.


Date: 2015

By: Annie Neugebauer (19??- )

Friday, 10 September 2021

[141] by Yoel Hoffmann

We owe nothing to no one. Certainly not a story. If we like we could write a single word 7,387 times. A word is as cheap as a stick. Or we could compose our sentences along the lines of Japanese syntax (that is, from the end to the beginning). Or insist that the publisher burn the bottom edge of the book so that the reader’s hand will be blackened by the charcoaled page . . .

From: Hoffmann, Yoel and Cole, Peter (transl.), Moods, 2015, New Directions Publishing: New York, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 2015 (original in Hebrew); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Yoel Hoffmann (1937- )

Translated by: Peter Cole (1957- )

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Monochrome by Sue Clennell

Dementia’s tweezers pluck her apricot memories,
pop Wordsworth’s daffodils like spilt beads.
X-rays expose the bullet holes
while medicos check for the calibre,
sift through the embers of a dying skull.
There is a little Halloween here,
white ants in the art deco,
you get the picture.
The dice falls like a guillotine.


Date: 2015

By: Sue Clennell (19??- )

Friday, 21 May 2021

Everlasting Green by Susan Yuzna

They told us the green of Vietnam
Was so bright, it made your eyes hurt. They stood

In the doorway of the pizza parlor
In heavy boots, heads shaved, stomping for warmth,

These boys, our boys, shivering through their winter leave
As they told us appalling stories,

Giggling, darting glances at each other.
I can’t say we believed them. Who

Were these boys, gone not long, but so
Alien, they could have come from Mars?

They were bored with us now.
A friend’s brother came home spooky,

Spent every night shooting fireworks
Over the skies of Lake Calhoun

Until he re-enlisted, dying over there
In the bright green jungle, electric

As the morning my father gave up the ghost
Of a life gone wrong, deep in the frigid

Winter of my first year at college,
During the Tet Offensive, of all things.

Nothing was green then, not my tears, not one thing.

Upon returning home, one of them shot to death a family of five.

From: » Susan Yuzna Banango Street

Date: 2015

By: Susan Yuzna (1949- )

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Unfinished by Margaret Owen Ruckert

symphony concert, the mid-row
seat I approach by habit
from the sympathetic side

I’m conscious of a woman, seated
to my right, never looking my way,
but perfumed, like summer in a soap,
just enough to get me interested

I see her in profile, if I turn my head,
which I never do – we’ve not known
each other for four seasons now

we sit still, emotionless,
connecting through the music
a greeting would freeze us – and free us


Date: 2015

By: Margaret Owen Ruckert (1951- )

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Ocean Angel by Sagawa Chika (Kawasaki Ai)

The cradle rings loudly.
A spray shoots up,
As if stripping off feathers.
I wait for the return of those who sleep.
Music marks the bright hour.
I try to protest, raising my voice –
The waves come erase it from behind.

I was abandoned in the ocean.


Date: c1930 (original in Japanese); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Sagawa Chika (Kawasaki Ai) (1911-1936)

Translated by: Sawako Nakayasu (1975- )

Saturday, 20 March 2021

On Death by Ahmad Shamlou

Never have I dreaded death
thought its hands were more brittle than banality itself.
My concern—anyhow—is entirely that of dying in a land
where a grave-digger’s wages
exceed the worth of human freedom.

To search
to discover
and then
to choose of one’s will
and to project the essence of oneself into a fortress—

Even if death could bring a higher price than all this
I deny, and again deny, that I have ever dreaded death.

From: Shamlu, Ahmad and Mohaghegh, Jason Bahbak (transl.), Born Upon the Dark Spear: Selected Poems of Ahmad Shamlu, 2015, Contra Mundum Press: New York, p. 47.

Date: 19?? (original in Farsi); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000)

Translated by: Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh (1979- )

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Even Coughing by Ozaki Hōsai/Hideo

Even coughing,
I am


Date: c1920 (original in Japanese); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Ozaki Hōsai/Hideo (1885–1926)

Translated by: Richard Medhurst (19??- )

Monday, 25 January 2021

Pocket Dialing Through Air Raids by Thira Mohamad

slow evening / carpet bombing / dust
mite colonies scatter / mud bodies below

head on tails / on tales of aladdin
thief of fate / no djinns & magic lamp

one flying carpet overturned / soil shake
kosher salt / peppering souks / special soup

seasoning / orphan blood & jasmine tears
telephone wires / partition & pillage calling

lost lovers / wrong numbers
butt dial / ass cheeks spread

like rye bread / whole wheat
burnt fields / lamb to the slaughter

for dinner later / rib shank & breast
no different from the rest / compiled collateral

pile / unsent messages & power trip / error
screen not loading / image censored

pixel grain / habibi of no name face
by the byline / vanishing without a trace.


Date: 2015

By: Thira Mohamad (19??- )