Wheatfield by Alceda
Do not explain or clarify
your meaning or technique.
Let the poet sit silent. Let
the poetry rise and speak.
Flippant flight on a butterfly’s wings —
life, adult life, life, life:
born from coincidence, changing, passing,
soaring above the riverbank’s grass,
shaped from the yearnings of distant childhood,
venturing over the menacing waves,
lured by the nectar of pulsing flowers,
sharing the sun with invisible stars.
I am the reed
translating the crude,
the boundless whine,
the pleading sigh
of the wandering wind
into formal song
in praise of the wonder
of wounded nature.
Kindle the wind
and stir up the storm:
the fiercer the wind,
the finer the sound.
Like a River
Like a river, you carry me down
washing over my senses
the fort of my seven skins has abandoned
the rite of defence to the waves
unsheltered, my nerve-raw flesh in its freedom
spatters into the current
like a river, you carry me down
between singing, mountainous shores.
While there’s still time to sing and laugh
I shall attempt this epitaph.
He was a jester and a king,
and at his best he was much more:
a child, enjoying everything.
Thomas Ország-Land is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent who writes from London and Budapest. His poetry has been published by The New York Times and The London Magazine, his reviews and polemics by The Baltimore Sun and The Times Literary Supplement (London). Last major work: Deathmarch: Holocaust Poems Translated from the Hungarian of Miklós Radnóti (Snakeskin, England, 2009).