So the multilevel sounds of the city run through the alley.
Height after height, falling on another like notes in a chord.
The diurnal street clamour, where yellow walls are a levee,
Seethes between banks in garlands of oak shadow.
The day compels, with its light, a glass of gold tea,
Purged azure and acoustic cloud.
People walk the sepia streets, their eyes gleaming,
Though they conceal sorrow within, a bitter seed.
Churches, confectioneries, wagon halts, travel
Through the body and spirit and stars fall
To coins in a pocket beyond happiness, some other goal,
Despair probes the wound that is our soul.
From over the wall we hear jazz, the dance of lanterns
And gas canisters, a choir of colours and oboes
In the yellow breasts of vast stadiums,
The deafening sigh of the crowd, its human storms.
A ceiling of smoke levitates up my legs, the compliant birds fly,
The sun, a spider casts its arc of light askance on the wall,
The spider’s web’s crimson antennae crucify
Dead insects, the sounds they catch and kill.
Plants are artists, tulips attentive to form,
Fall to their knees and beautifully, colourfully perish,
In accord with scientific formulae, unknown
Dental probes of days and towns all excavate us.
Trembling nerves of wire, the warm white sheet
Is a star in an envelope with some words and dog rose petals,
As withered leaves, the dreams of dentists twist
Above cavities and turgid melodies of dental drills.
Bohdan Ihor Antonych, translated by Stephen Komarnyckyj
First published by Almost Island.
From Night Music - available through your local bookshop, Amazon and numerous other outlets
Publication Date: 5 October 2016