Two Poems by Tomaž Šalamun

Willow Springs 20

Found in Willow Springs 20

Back to Author Profile

The Cross


I'll draw a cross

Serpentines on my rocking chair

How pathetically the shirt hangs

Once the body has left it

Yet it's still a shirt

And here's what clinches our defeat for us

Both a suitcase and a T-bar

Have you ever seen a chair

Running from the bathroom towards the kitchen

Or vice-versa for it doesn't matter

Hysterically asking

What about my eternal life

Have you ever seen a balcony railing

Saying I've had enough

I've had enough

I've had enough

I too am fond of my modest life

I too must have my share

And if you've walked down Glagoljaska street

And seen an old boot lying

Between house number four and the well

Left there from that year when

The last nighttime regattas took place and Mario won

Did the boot ask you

Hello excuse me

For bothering you here on the street but

Doesn't it seem to you

Doesn't it seem to you

Doesn't it seem to you

Things are inscrutable in their craftiness

Unattainable to the rage of the living

Invulnerable in their endless flight

You can't catch up with them

You can't seize them

Motionless in their staring


The Boat


Its geneses are tiny silken

shifts, thinner than

the nail of one's littler finger. Are earthquakes and wars

the collapse of galaxies? A couple of swipes

with a brush at the earth's skin,

a diary?

What is minimal?

What proves

the madness of a bud opening,

of a deer grazing? The poet bestows

wreathes, lays on hands. Yet only he who

veils his vision survives.

He who has seen too much has his eyes

pecked out by crows, and

rightfully so. The poet

kills the deer.


Leave a Comment