|From the book The Wild Rose|
|Legends and Fantasies|
(1976 - 1978)
|Cat, Butterfly, Candle|
|Chat séraphique, chat étrange|
I will light this weak narrative
like a candle in the light
from suspicion, muttering
from faltering in flight:
let the spirit, returned from the woods,
roll up on the rug, like a cat:
the seraphic, silent cat –
and its most precious malachite eyes
will recognise in me an event.
A disturbing force looks on –
the water that has not yielded to us.
It once came out
to meet the first ships,
it chilled around the Argo,
like death itself, but looked with it,
and its prophetic sides
unclenched and clenched,
as music does its beginning,
as the iris round the pupil.
We will go, like a spell,
into the cat’s vision, into nowhere,
into a shadow, reflected in shining,
into the shining of the shadow on the water:
the soul crowns the generations,
like dream-sleep, the enemy of awakening,
crowns the vigilant day, –
and a little mirror flies above us,
holding in its magic amalgam
the shadow of an unprecedented face.
What if a moth
flies in –and will turn time round
and longing to reflect something,
will strike out and mark –
you will not be drawn to turn round,
splashing life out of the saucer,
to there, where everything has happened:
where the dumb scene of an appearance
looks in the Narcissus glass.
But risking being caught
the spirit searched out myriads
of fluttering close together
When the fragment of reflection
arouses in the child suspicion
of something that is more looking than sight -
quicker than we jerk back our hand
seeing an adder in the raspberry-canes,
the spirit will become withdrawn from us.
But oh grief! filling with shadow,
madly loving to take a step –
and to tear vision from vision,
and to turn light from light! –
and the matter of existence,
again without centre and name
scattered among the others,
like dust pierced with consciousness
and endless compassion
and the calling of the living...
Priceless, cat’s candle!
You fill this house
with which memory walks in tears,
like a madman with a lantern.
The soul, crowning the generations
is not dream-sleep, the enemy of awakening,
but only a free step into sleep.
You shine in the dacha night,
in surroundings that are opaque for the heart,
in the garden high as an attic.
And you shine beyond the limit
of that darkness where I live,
so that the darkness could be more beautiful
and the dream could see in reality
a sober, dense shining,
the golden shining of vigil,
that remembers it:
as though the whole soul had fallen
to the earth, from which was disappearing
the most loved being...