Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Shadows of Birds: 5-7

Yannis Ritsos

in the empty room
the work boot standing upright
the other bent over to one side—
what passion do they point to?
what future?
the one standing upright
the other bent over.

He held
a leaf in his teeth
the river sang
a lizard glanced
I listened closely for
the breath of the horizon
I couldn't measure it.

The cement worker the carpenter the bricklayer
work in the heat of the sun
the house goes up—
out of clay
he fashioned
the statue of the bird—
it didn't peck at the grass
or fly away
yet it sang all the same.

Athens—May 6, 1980

from The Shadows of Birds (1980) [Collected Poems: IDelta ---pg 344-345]

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