Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Shadows of Birds: 26-28

Yannis Ritsos

Despite your willful refusal
what do you consider beautiful?
three clothes pins on the wire
two women's slippers
in front of the bathroom door
or this one hand
raised to the forehead

May 9th the murdered
May 9th the flags
and Tasos Tousis
upon the wooden door
in the middle of the street
and the mourners
and an ant that walks
across his forehead
the slow wandering ant
that adds poetry
to the history of
May 9th.

Small islands float
though the golden evening
perhaps clouds
perhaps ideas—
on one a chair
on another an oil lamp
on a third nail clippers
that belong to the young acrobat
that are nickel colored
I hid them in my pocket
looked far off to the mountain
the silver colored mountain
silver like me.

Athens—May 10, 1980
Kalamos—May 10, 1980

from The Shadows of Birds (1980) [Collected Poems: IDelta ---pg 354-355]

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