|From the book The Wild Rose|
|Legends and Fantasies|
(1976 - 1978)
|Portrait of the Artist in his Picrure|
|All the beauty when the heavens laugh,|
and the sigh of the earth when the snow flows down:
all of this lies down together like straw,
and the blessed stable is wide open.
Let the angels dance on the roof
and kiss precious stones
and then run off to the top corner,
and from that top corner they run sparkling,
scattering silver twigs
and changing staffs as they run.
Let all this go off into the murk,
let it turn away its embarrassed face.
Below, like juniper bushes in the wind
children will embrace each other,
and at the sides of the picture the oxen, the oxen –
the constellations of the hard-working earth.
They lie like newborn calves:
they sense their invisible mother.
The shepherds though, the parents of children,
approach slowly, like countryfolk.
Their poor clothes are darkest dark,
and this darkness almost goes away from us
and so almost brings to us,
as if it were Lot walking away from Sodom...
But alongside the shepherds, turning aside
stands the artist. Sapienti sat.
Everything disappears like a hanging garden,
and he alone stands in the empty steppe.
His arms are folded on his throat
as though they were holding a gift in store,
but his eyes doubt that.
He loves himself more than we do.
He speaks like deaf and dumb light:
“You, my thought, you, clear Kithaira,
you, the vision of the rose of the world,
you, like a refrain, not the proper size
for my huge darkness: coming up to it
you repeat these outlines:
thus my face appears in the mirror
and what is there takes it to itself,
and donning a flat form on itself
pines in it like a bird under a handkerchief,
then throwing it off needs no one.
He, to whom you want to bring armfuls
of flowers and smiling things,
and bring tormented children
so that they could laugh like water
when they rock the full saucer
and lay everything down by his feet, and smile.
He is not Laban, and nobody shares the flocks with him.
Return to him all the crazed garden:
Sodom, transfigurated before the eyes
is in the coloured water, in the consolation of tears.
And everything will be a lie and nothing like a lie.
You bring the empty mirror.
There is a man, and he is like the living world,
bigger than the world – and no one called
him here. I stand like a howl.
He is what is always in the mirror.
He is I, thought up by you.
He stands like an image of salt
and does not follow others.
my gift lies in my own grave,
like a wailer at a funeral:
she somehow tears open the earth,
flings out nicknames, omens,
steps, manners, habits,
she digs up a fresh passage in the heavy clay...
and passes on
the heavy torch of the darkness
to the place where light goes like blood.
and the clear Kithaira,
and the archipelago is sailing with her,
and the sphere answers the early sphere
and the darkness is upturned by the first rose.
And I go on, poorer than others,
in dark clothes, darker than all,
with a sick smile, like sick flowers,
like the earth sighs when the snow flows down”.