Friday 29 May 2009

tell us a story

Mr Story-teller, tell us a story,

let it be a "riwaya"

Tell me about the people of old times.

tell me about "Alf layla wa layla" (thousand nights and a night)

And about Lundja (the Daughter of the Ogre.)

And about the son of the Sultan.

Take us away from this world.

Every one of us has a story in him (in his heart) (*2)

Tell us and forget that we're Grown Ups.

Imagine that we're little kids.

Tell us about Heaven, Tell us about Hell.

About the bird that never managed to fly away.

Teach us the meaning of this world.

Take us away from this world.

Every one of us has a story in him (in his heart) (*2)

Oh story-teller, tell us exactly like they told you

Dont add, dont take anything from it,(from your head.)

For we can remember, put that in mind.

Speak and let us forget about this time.

Leave us with "kan ya ma kan" (Once upon a time)

Every one of us has a story in him (in his heart) (*2)

Every one of us has a story in him (in his heart) (*2)

(dedicated to the Black Sun, in sign of gratitude for that last Roxana-description which has made me laugh with tears :-)

Wednesday 20 May 2009

the death of the lilac goddess

i am in my mother’s garden, filled with lilac bushes. is there a word for the childhood hidden in lilac dew? no, there is none. instead, i look for heavy branches to put them in those improbable vases of mine, to find the unique configuration of a space inhabited by an abundance of flowers and yet empty at the same time.

i cut my finger. i put my finger in my mouth and lick that one drop of blood. in the other time, the possible time that was once the real time, out of the blood drop a small boy would have been born. the small boy would have jumped in his small boat and gone out to find the small girl dancing on the tip of my tongue, her breasts white as milk and her teeth sparkling with laughter. holding their hands, they would have climbed the lilac bush and at their marriage celebration they would have drunk the dew out of a thousand lilac blossoms. a thousand lilac worlds would have been born, rotating in each pore of my skin, a lilac sun hanging at the centre of their thousand lilac skies.

but this time is not the time. it is only the time of my mortal breath and lilac is only a word tumbling down my tongue. i turn around and go inside, my arms full of flowers, my hair wet with dew, and each step is small as that of one who walks at a funeral.

(a small gift for Manuela, not unrelated, i think, to my post, how wonderfully she talks about the feminine time and the goddess of love...)

Tuesday 19 May 2009

the lilac thief

She is aghast
as I explain that once each year,

just about now,
I drive slowly through the neighbourhoods casing likely targets,

and when I find one,

I park just across the street and walk over
with a great inner calm.

I use the very sharpest snips possible,

and cut one, two,
but never more than three
of perfectly bloomed purple lilacs,

then move on
until the lead-heavy scent

inside the car makes me almost dopey.
I bring them home
and arrange them in vases,

place them where they will find afternoon light.

But, she cries,
that is just wrong!

Lilacs belong to all the people.

Yes, I say. Yes.

And I am one of the people.

Young Dawkins

Sunday 17 May 2009

the kiss

Diana Krall - Do It Again (live)

(you can listen to a better quality version here)

Saturday 16 May 2009

be drunk (2)

It is the season of flowers, intoxicate yourself

don’t be so persistent, intoxicate yourself.

O imbibers! The heavy-cast clouds burst forth to me

its mercy for you, and misfortune for penitence.

Intoxicate yourself.

Swaying dark clouds have come from the direction of Mecca.

At least now intoxicate yourself.

O abstinent! Drink a little at least today

the night is dark and no one would see.

Smile as it is spring.

Let the flowers bloom in the days of spring.

If there is no wine then drink the tears of suffering

[but] drink as these are the days of spring.

Fasle Gul Hai

Qawwali - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Friday 15 May 2009

be drunk

Il faut être toujours ivre, tout est là; c'est l'unique question. Pour ne pas sentir l'horrible fardeau du temps qui brise vos épaules et vous penche vers la terre, il faut vous enivrer sans trêve.

Mais de quoi? De vin, de poésie, ou de vertu à votre guise, mais enivrez-vous!

Et si quelquefois, sur les marches d'un palais, sur l'herbe verte d'un fossé, vous vous réveillez, l'ivresse déjà diminuée ou disparue, demandez au vent, à la vague, à l'étoile, à l'oiseau, à l'horloge; à tout ce qui fuit, à tout ce qui gémit, à tout ce qui roule, à tout ce qui chante, à tout ce qui parle, demandez quelle heure il est. Et le vent, la vague, l'étoile, l'oiseau, l'horloge, vous répondront, il est l'heure de s'enivrer ; pour ne pas être les esclaves martyrisés du temps, enivrez-vous, enivrez-vous sans cesse de vin, de poésie, de vertu, à votre guise.


Charles Baudelaire

You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it—it's the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: "It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish".

Be Drunk
Trans. by Louis Simpson

Tuesday 12 May 2009

the soul silences the blue springtime

Es schweigt die Seele den blauen Frühling.
Unter feuchtem Abendgezweig
Sank in Schauern die Stirne den Liebenden.

O das grünende Kreuz. In dunklem Gespräch
Erkannten sich Mann und Weib.
An kahler Mauer
Wandelt in seinen Gestirnen der Einsame.

Über die mondbeglänzten Wege des Walds
Sank die Wildnis
Vergessener Jagden; Blick der Bläue
Aus verfallenen Felsen bricht.

The soul silences the blue springtime.

Under moist evening branches

The forehead of lovers sank in shudders.

O the greening cross. In dark conversation

Man and woman knew each other.

Along the bleak wall

The lonely one wanders with his stars.

Over the moon-brightened forest ways

The wilderness

Of forgotten hunts sank; gaze of blue

Breaks from decayed rocks.

O des verfluchten Geschlechts. Wenn in befleckten Zimmern jegliches Schicksal vollendet ist, tritt mit modernden Schritten der Tod in das Haus. O, daß draußen Frühling wäre und im blühenden Baum ein lieblicher Vogel singe. Aber gräulich verdorrt das spärliche Grün an den Fenstern der Nächtlichen und es sinnen die blutenden Herzen noch Böses. O, die dämmernden Frühlingswege des Sinnenden. Gerechter erfreut ihn die blühende Hecke, die junge Saat des Landmanns und der singende Vogel, Gottes sanftes Geschöpf; die Abendglocke und die schöne Gemeine der Menschen. Daß er seines Schicksals vergäße und des dornigen Stachels.

O of the cursed race. When in maculate rooms every destiny has been fulfilled, death enters the house in moldering steps. O, that it were spring outdoors and a lovely bird was singing in the blossoming tree. But grayish the scanty green withers around the windows of the nocturnal ones and bleeding hearts still ponder evil. O, the dusking spring paths of the pondering. More righteously he rejoices in the blossoming hedge, the countryman's young seed, and the singing bird, God's soft creature; the evening bell and the beautiful community of men. So that he might forget his fate and the thorny sting.

Sehr leise sinkt ihr Lächeln in den verfallenen Brunnen,
Der bläulich in der Dämmerung rauscht. O, wie alt ist unser Geschlecht.
Jemand flüstert drunten im Garten; jemand hat diesen schwarzen Himmel verlassen.

Very quietly her smile sinks into the decayed fountain

Which murmurs bluish in the dusk. O how old is our race.

Somebody whispers down there in the garden; somebody has left this black sky.

Purpurn zerbrach der Gesegneten Mund. Die runden Augen
Spiegeln das dunkle Gold des Frühlingsnachmittags,
Saum und Schwärze des Walds, Abendängste im Grün..

Purple, the blessed one's mouth broke. Round eyes
Mirror the dark gold of the spring afternoon,
Edge and blackness of the forest, evening-anguishes in the green.

Bläulich dämmert der Frühling; unter saugenden Bäumen
Wandert ein Dunkles in Abend und Untergang,
Lauschend der sanften Klage der Amsel.
Schweigend erscheint die Nacht, ein blutendes Wild,
Das langsam hinsinkt am Hügel.

In feuchter Luft schwankt blühendes Apfelgezweig,
Löst silbern sich Verschlungenes,
Hinsterbend aus nächtigen Augen; fallende Sterne;
Sanfter Gesang der Kindheit.

Erscheinender stieg der Schläfer den schwarzen Wald hinab,
Und es rauschte ein blauer Quell im Grund,
Daß jener leise die bleichen Lider aufhob
Über sein schneeiges Antlitz;

Und es jagte der Mond ein rotes Tier
Aus seiner Höhle;
Und es starb in Seufzern die dunkle Klage der Frauen.

Spring dusks bluish: under sucking trees

A dark shape wanders into evening and decline,

Listening to the blackbird's soft lament.

Silently the night appears, a bleeding deer,

That slowly sinks down at the hill.

In moist air blossoming apple branches sway,

Labyrinthine shapes loosen silverly,

Dying away from nocturnal eyes; falling stars;

Soft song of childhood.

Appearing more the sleeper descended the black forest,

And a blue spring murmured from the ground,

So that the other one quietly lifted pale eyelids

Over his snowy countenance;

And the moon chased a red animal

From its cave;

And in sighs the dark lament of women died.

Ein blauer Augenblick ist nur mehr Seele.

A blue moment is only more soul.

Leise sank von dunklen Schritten der Schnee,
Im Schatten des Baums
Heben die rosigen Lider Liebende.

Immer folgt den dunklen Rufen der Schiffer
Stern und Nacht;
Und die Ruder schlagen leise im Takt.

Balde an verfallener Mauer blühen
Die Veilchen,
Ergrünt so stille die Schläfe des Einsamen.

Quietly snow sank from dark steps,
In the shadow of the trees
Lovers raise the rosy eyelids.

Always star and night
Follow the mariners' dark calls;
And the oars beat quietly in time.

Soon by the decayed wall
Violets bloom,
So silently the temple of the lonely one turns green.

Feierlich rauschen die Wasser. O die feuchten Schatten der Au,
Das schreitende Tier; Grünendes, Blütengezweig
Rührt die kristallene Stirne; schimmernder Schaukelkahn.
Leise tönt die Sonne im Rosengewölk am Hügel.
Groß ist die Stille des Tannenwalds, die ernsten Schatten am Fluß.

Reinheit! Reinheit! Wo sind die furchtbaren Pfade des Todes,
Des grauen steinernen Schweigens, die Felsen der Nacht
Und die friedlosen Schatten? Strahlender Sonnenabgrund.

Schwester, da ich dich fand an einsamer Lichtung
Des Waldes und Mittag war und groß das Schweigen des Tiers;
Weiße unter wilder Eiche, und es blühte silbern der Dorn.
Gewaltiges Sterben und die singende Flamme im Herzen.

Dunkler umfließen die Wasser die schönen Spiele der Fische.
Stunde der Trauer, Schweigender Anblick der Sonne;
Es ist die Seele ein Fremdes auf Erden. Geistlich dämmert
Bläue über dem verhauenen Wald und es läutet
Lange eine dunkle Glocke im Dorf; friedlich Geleit.
Stille blüht die Myrthe über den weißen Lidern des Toten.

Solemnly the waters murmur. O the moist shadows of the floodplain,

The striding animal; greening shapes, flowering branches

Touch the crystal forehead; shimmering swaying boat.

Quietly the sun sounds in the rose-colored clouds by the hill.

Great is the stillness of the fir forest, the serious shadows at the river.

Purity! Purity! Where are the terrible paths of death,

Of grey stony silence, the rocks of the night

And the peaceless shadows? Radiant sun-abyss.

Sister, when I found you at the lonely clearing

Of the forest, and it was midday and the silence of the animal great;

Whiteness under wild oak, and the thorn bloomed silver.

Enormous dying and the singing flame in the heart.

Darker the waters flow around the beautiful play of fishes.

Hour of mourning, silent vision of the sun;

The soul is a strange shape on earth. Spiritually blueness

Dusks over the pruned forest; and a dark bell rings

Long in the village; peaceful escort.

Silently the myrtle blooms over the white eyelids of the dead one.

All excerpts from Georg Trakl
(translated by Jim Doss and Werner Schmitt)