Miroslav Válek - The land beneath your feet (A translation)

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Miroslav Válek - The land beneath your feet (A translation)

Post by Yatib » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:30 am

Miroslav Válek - The land beneath your feet
(Zem pod nohami)

Deep oceans of mud. Roaring rain. The skies of lead
fell on the plain. My lonely rook, where do you want to land ? Where is the firm ground, where is the land ? Your land is what you must not lose. The taciturn man are absorbed in booze. They drink for courage, they drink for they fear. Until the pub becomes a smear. The heads are light and empty, but the liquor purges. The yellow sad candles burn in churches. The deaf heavy water falls since the morning. And land only sleeps replete with graves and mourning. The faces are hid, from the tears rid, but the bitter wails last. As at the beginning, the same at final blast.


A minute before sleep, in the total immobility of time, facing you, I retreat.
That is where the green sun from my childhood drawings sleeps,
A three-legged dog speaks in the clear human voice,
A blackbird of ink quietly whistles on the blotting paper.
The genuine aspect and meaning of things appears.
Far away, but all the same it used to be,
Untouched and clean, because everyone's childhood is locked with a key lost forever.
When we feel hard, we come here,
Bang on the gate and request : Open !
But the house on magpie's leg would not stop,
Only the mute blacbird foolishly flies right to the sun.
Locked. Locked for million years, forever.
That is why when we talk about the past,
our children weep and ask us : Stop !
Stop the terrible story where everything is so sad.
Sad dreams, sad sunrise, sad sinking stars,
torn from the night sky.
Thus the death kept coming, lighting the blue fires of liquor in fathers' heads.
The black slice of bread, hanging over the mouth like a fantastic moon,
But waning a hundred times faster,
And the desperate planets of children's eyes, clinging to it until total destruction.
The sweet mother tongue and the bitterness of two
quite innocent words : Mom, give.
What is the sound of a tear falling
in the absolute darkness, clear, transpatent ?
Head in palms, I wonder if it might be true.
Where are you, the plain of landowners' buggies
Marking your face like the pox ?
Where are you, the plain of seasonal workers,
full of mud, tired,
the plain of hoboes and local fools,
humiliated and naked,
trembling under the poor cloth of its poverty,
before the eyes of the just god
bought for three sacks of valid indulgences
We have forgotten you,
we have forgotten the hands buried alive,
the jobless hands, without any concrete meaning, unnecessary.
In the wonderful darkness of a night in July,
in the strained quiet before the fruits ripen,
while putting the last tile on the roof of your house,
while closing your eyes before sleep,
you all, who praise your day,
call for the waters.
Call for the waters that have flown away,
speak to them in every form :
Come back, ancient rivers,
flow again in your old troughs.
Circles on the water, get more narrow until
the fatal fall of suicide's body.
Green up, blind eyes of wells,
wipe your mirrors containing the words :
diseases, poverty and famine.
Bloody sweat, raise from the Earth depths,
praising the hands that sowed you in.
Have mercy, oceans,
return your salt to the tears of women and mothers,
who were sinking under the life's gravity.
Join together, waters of recent and ancient past,
render the testimony for the alive,
who, touching the sun,
need the certainty of knowledge,
the solid point,
land beneath their feet.
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