a cradle song

– William Blake. A Cradle Song



Who’s ashamed for having written about God?
God no longer has that letter: he tears up our requests.
Penetrates our diaries and kindly erases
confessions dictated by youth and naïve faith.

He could be more tenacious — L. says about God.
Let him be rather more like us — what a foolish human dream.
Quietly enters the room and wraps me up.
The body’s full of thorns. The sweat thick and sweet.

– Wojciech Bonowicz. Absolution

translated by Piotr Florczyk


his right shoulder lower than his left
heavy with rocky snowfalls from such endurance
It’s his motionless breath that fissures our walls in the night when one winter hands
    power over to another
The deaf bluetit’s wing-beats count for nothing
nor the mother’s invectives guilty of having grouted the tiles with her tears

Yet the storm announced festive disorder
erosion polished up by subtle winds
Everything smiled at us
and the mother who wore her tears around her neck like warm-sea pearls
counted them on our fingers that grew with the Persian lilac, the only one to
    sympathize with our sorrows

– Vénus Khoury-Ghata. God, the mother claimed, is behind every tree in the forest

translated by Marilyn Hacker