Translated from Macedonian: Zoran Ančevski
“A world to be born under your footsteps.”
‒ Saint-John Perse
The jungle stretches like a field of mirages.
The air holds its puzzling celestial pantomimes.
A prayer’s veil descends on the water’s maze,
like a silken scarf over flaming hibiscus petals.
It glides like pure sweat over the boatman’s back,
down the banyan’s knotted, many-fingered body.
We sail through a labyrinth of green altars,
over waterlillies spread in blue, archipelagos in bloom,
discovering the weight of great fears and prejudices,
while our feet sing the silence of the world
hidden in the ancient brotherhood of trees,
nestled in wide palms like ears open and alert.
Broken pieces of night fall mutely on the grass,
melt with milk spilling from cracked coconuts.
Here bridges flow silently with passing crowds.
The alien air smells of poverty and beauty,
in the distance a soft baritone drowned in prayer
reaches us like an echo from the jungle’s depths…