To my Mother
If I could explain what it means to link these two words
I would have found myself
My own self the size of a sesame seed
Blue dust embarrassed by infinity
Is it time to start talking?
Language lined with white roses
Close your eyes, only now you can see
Rosebushes fly back to their native land
Swim through your tear to the other bank
What is lost, and what is found?
We were standing in the middle of the crowd we couldn’t even name
The light gave us itself and led us to the river
The river looked like a gown, which one of us put on
It reflected the sun and the light of the moon
I give you this river
I give you this river so you know that one drop can make all the difference
When you notice the detail, the whole escapes you
When you grasp the whole you are a slave to the detail
That’s why you should carefully put aside what’s irrelevant
That’s why out of excess you should select what’s poignant
A crescent tattooed on a naked foot
Feet, which are pain
They beckon, they grow impatient, wanting to run towards someone
Do they know who to run to?
We walk on and on never leaving our houses
We travel thousands of miles without moving
Who can teach this?
Do you know how many drops of rain fall on the earth?
Do you know how many grains of sand compose the desert?
A multitude holds singularity
Singularity, which leads out of the unknown
The unknown does not delimit, it reveals the pertinent:
Love is swans coming out at the sound of your cries
Love is deer approaching the hospital’s window
When we do not expect anything everything comes to us:
The trees, the flowers, the grass, the animals, the stones, all in sounds, colors and scent
I pronounced your name
Each time I doubted what’s next
I spoke your favorite season
The birds appeared
The birds are our road plan
They circle the place we leave for
They circle the place we come from
Day-by-day I learn precision and care
Precision which is not pedantry
Precision which is freedom
Care which is liberty
When we are going nowhere, amazed with ourselves
When we are going, only by going
Which way to go to get meaning
Where the fishermen of dreams moor their translucent ships
And the turquoise eye of the sea gazes furiously
Which way to get forthrightness and seeing
Where, reconciled with the obvious,
They open their hands full of promise and vows
Which way to fetch reticence
Where the light leans down to take the remnants of darkness
Which way to take helplessness
Where I can meet you
Where the abyss borders the world
Where the universe is a fraction
And to say: I bring so little, my belief in the impossible
The hint is the sunsets
When nature grows solemn for a while
Posing the perpetual question: do you believe?
Intently it gives the dusk back to you
The hint is you yourself
It writes through
I write through you
To cry you out
To whisper you
To measure the distance from you with a single line
What would a drawing like this look like?
The outside is your inner breath
You encompass the world in one sigh
A gate opens in space
The entrance which starts in the heart
In space there is a secret passage
Your heart is the key
Think, how can you enter?
Accidental or inevitable?
Where does this road lead to?
Space next to space
Which one is pertinent?
It sits down softly on the planets of events
Nudging them to keep unfolding
First, there was a heart
After a moment a meadow
Tender plane draped around you
Endlessness taken out of its limits
Behind the gate each leaf has a name
And each blade of grass is a road sign
The wind’s language gets so simple
A conversation sounds like a prayer
Who has changed the longing into a dance?
Who has replaced the mind with the heart?
Who has changed love into a road?
In the distance translucent body snuggled against emptiness
In what part of the earth has the universe hidden its heart?
In what part of the earth does the world’s touch turn into smile?
In the middle of the road a struggle consumes us
A struggle between two shadows of a single mind
The struggle engulfs the whole body
Torn between longing and lack
We drag this body behind us
Like someone whom we must teach liberty
We walk it on a leash of habit
Like wild animals we attempt to tame
Our bodies are vehicles in which the universe travels
Bodies, these costumes we wear like performers
I grasped objects without shape
The immaterial having for an answer
I was looking for you in a wondrous land of events
As if the matter could confess the truth
I was looking for a smile among many faces
Finding only weary wisemen and bored gentlewomen.
I was looking for that one sentence that gave you back to me
I can still hear you walking
Each day I hear the music of your feet
As often as you think of yourself
You also think of me
If you find yourself facing the light
Hide fear beneath the tiger’s skin and jump
If you see a falling star
Cut the air into halves and share yourself with someone
If you dare, come out to meet yourself
The clouds will be your sailing boat
Then so what
If you listen to the rain
You will reply to me with the music of silence
We adopt the fallen stars so they shine on our fingers
Rings dreamt up by water fairies
We adopt homeless words which we cannot write down
We feed them with dreams of the unspeakable
We adopt orphaned roads to teach them our history
Leaving behind aquamarine shadows of poplar trees
Maps like an old man’s cracked face
On which map is the right road drawn?
Perhaps the word “Voyage” will be the finding of the road
Perhaps without leaving the house you will find your road.
The gift has been spoken and named with the colors of the rainbow
Between the colors there is a place where the eyes get radiance
Do you remember the most important conversation of your life?
How long did it last?
How many words did it hold?
He rose out of time
He showed the simultaneousness of the past and future
A trivial temporality captured in all its detail
The distant and the proximate were the same sensation of fullness
The stones and the rocks were hot and tender like flesh
And I had no need for anybody
And nothing was sufficient
He rose out of the heart’s calling
Out of the moment when a scream hurt like silence
Black trees all around were like the first line of a holy book
The wind regained its earthly dimension
When under my feet the whole universe swayed
And I became a confession
And I became an answer
And I looked into you
He rose out of space
He tore apart here and now
He replaced reality with himself
Furious with superficiality and failure
In a moment he was all there is in the world
And there was only that moment burning like a blade inside me
I mature into the images I do not understand
I come out to meet the words that still remain a silence
Can I remember your face?
Words will not suffice for this description
The essential is a feeling without limits
I translate you in many ways
But none of them is adequate
Piece by piece you give what was lost back to me
That reality which is easier to be with
What distinguishes reality from illusion?
You looked at this page for so long
My shadow stayed on it
Have you noticed? Have you noticed?
I’ve noticed that what is beyond us rests inside us
Growing aware of a truth, which one has to abandon from the start
This is the only way to remain by the limitless
What words will tell you to me?
What words will tell me the road?
Kraków, Fall 2003
Translated by: Katarzyna Jakuibak