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by De Waal

Swan song

2014/07/22 in Uncategorized

original

 

O Fortuna

An hour or two
after midnight
I heard the sound
of the motorbike,
a rapid series of explosions
in the quiet belly of the night.
It was driving up in the air,
I could hear the sound change
as it lifted off.
Closer it came,
but the closer it came,
the quieter it became.
It circled above,
now humming,
it was the sound of a male choir
singing O Fortuna, composed by Orff!
A countertenor broke loose
and started wailing about the swan
who used to dwell on lakes,
who used to be so beautiful,
but now is roasted black,
served on a dish.
At last the motorbike
ran out of fuel.

The Middle Ages had come to an end.
So will this one.

OLIM LACUS COLUERAM

Olim lacus colueram,
olim pulcher exstiteram,
dum cygnus ego fueram.
Miser, miser!
modo niger
et ustus fortiter!

Girat, regirat garcifer;
me rogus urit fortiter;
propinat me nunc dapifer.
Miser, miser!
modo niger
et ustus fortiter!

Nunc in scutella iaceo,
et volitare nequeo;
dentes frendentes video.
Miser, miser!
modo niger
et ustus fortiter!

Once I had dwelt on lakes, once I had been beautiful, when I was a swan. Poor wretch! Now black and well roasted!
The cook turns me back and forth; I am roasted to a turn on my pyre; now the waiter serves me. Poor wretch! Now black and well roasted!
Now I lie on the dish, and I cannot fly; I see the gnashing teeth. Poor wretch! Now black and well roasted!

Avatar of De Waal

by De Waal

Objets trouvé

2014/07/21 in Uncategorized

 

Photo: De Waal Venter

Photo: De Waal Venter

 

Words found on a beach

On the walking trail
I often stop
to peer down at something
at my feet.
Sometimes I pick up
something that winks at me:
a tiny black stone
shaped like a teardrop,
a crab’s claw,
with with orange marks
clinically clean in the salty water.
Once I found some words
of the poet Tranströmer
lying strewn about in a clear pool.
I diffidently picked them up
and arranged them on the coarse, moist sand:
over the bending body
of the coast
the sea spreads its grey presence,
in the fisherman’s cottage
the sleepless woman listens to the groans
of the earth.