Duncan McGibbon, Poet

I Think translated from Georg Trakl

 

I think, I dreamed of falling leaves,

Of broad woodland and darkened lakes,

sad words an echo leaves-

yet I could not find in what their sense partakes.

 

I think, I dreamed of stars’ demise,

in pallid eyes the tear that makes,

a smile an echo leaves-

yet I could not find in what their sense partakes.

 

Like falling leaves, like star’s demise,

So I saw my eternity that takes and retakes.

the dream an immortal echo leaves-

yet I could not find in what their sense partakes.


Sunflower; Eugenio Montale


Bring it to me, the sunflower and I’ll carry it back  

to the cinders of my salt-slaked garden 

that its yellow daylong face will track
the blue of sea and heaven.

The stuff of darkness rises to light

Masses wilt in stress of paint

which is their music: to be gone from sight

to flame, is thus the fate of fate

Bring me the flower of ambition,

where fairness mounts, transparent.

Bring all that matters into its condition.

the sun’s mad hierophant.

Translated by Duncan McGibbon from Cantares by Antonio Machado.

Soon You Will Sing...

All passes and all still is.

We pass on by,

to pass by making ways,

ways into  the sea.  

I do not want glory,

nor to have my songs

remembered by men.

I love subtle, light

and gentle worlds

like soap bubbles.  

I like to see them fly.

painted of sun and seed,

under the blue sky,

to tremble quickly

and to break… 

 I do not want glory

Voyager, you travel your  footsteps

your footsteps  and no more;

Voyager, you have no voyage.

You voyage where you walk ,

Where you walk , you voyage

When you come back

the backward view

is a path you never saw,

a coming back above.

Voyager, you have no voyage.

except your traces on the sea.

Once upon a time to-day

the hawthorns deck the forest,

hear the voice of a poet shout

“Voyager, you have no voyage.

You voyage where you walk “

Blow by blow and verse by verse.

The poet is dead away from home,

 Covered by another country’s dust

As he died they heard him cry,"Caminante no hay camino,

.Voyager, you have no voyage.

You voyage where you walk .”

 When the finch no longer sings

And the poet is only a pilgrim

and we have to say “It’s nothing.”

 “Voyager, you have no voyage.

You voyage where you walk ,”

 Blow by blow and verse by verse.


 

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