Friday, July 24, 2009

Spatial relationship*

When winter's heart is speared, hours are spared
to carry pastel skin far, and I, far,
only to depart. Fallow limbs follow
yearning's gravity, sink in porphyry.

Slender bloom gifts that noble radiance,
disappearing before touching my lips.
I am left to taste most prosperous chains;
stasis bursts forth heretical distance.

Imprisoned image on occulted walls
comes and goes through prophesied ports and roads
whose provenance I dream. Far, far away
you seem; outremer veiled, vanishing.

For the love of conviction, joy appears
near, by exegesis of what you see,
say. Speak with delight, undress charms between
until I awake for the thousandth time.

Under plague's watchful gaze, heat befalls me
only to curse once, twice. Only to be
traveling far, far past pen, ink, be drunk,
be stricken by blushing, blustery rose.

All law crumbles but that which makes brittle
the great harper's lament. Wailing stones fall,
torn by gardens planted with your blessing,
ancient as palatial song, blissful sleep.

Covetous of unmapped harmonies, depths,
I strive for the far, far side of glass. You,
ab astra, compass across divisions,
declare that our repentance melt away.

*a stripped-apart, translated, mutated and poorly reassembled Lanquand li jorn son lonc en mai by Jaufré Rudel (fl. 12th c.).


okjimm said...

//a stripped-apart, translated, mutated ..///

and way over my head. I was working on a new prayer...for agnostics....

Now I sit me down to beer
the wrath of God I do not fear
yeast,Barley, Water & Hops

ok. it's a work in progress. I like it so far. whadda ya think?

sunshine said...

Very beautiful. I think you did a great job translating!
I guess you really don't drink at work! ;)

Dr. Zaius said...

"Exegesis"? To explain, interpret, an explanation or critical interpretation of a text?

afeatheradrift said...

Yeah, I write a poem and then you write a POEM. Show off! ;-D

La Belette Rouge said...

You had me at:"When winter's heart is speared, hours are spared
to carry pastel skin far, and I, far,
only to depart." As much as I love your poetry it always makes me want to quit writing( I mean that as a compliment).

Freida Bee, MD said...

Buck up Randal, the Republicans will do something stupid so you have blog fodder by tomorrow.

(which is not to say that this is not lovely in the deepest senses. did it perchance rain there, because I'd rather have a verse than a lousy $5, and I'm claiming credit here and now in the perchance.)

Tom Harper said...

Socialists are taking over America and you're dithering with poetry?

Randal Graves said...

okjimm, in all seriousness, seriously, go for it. The Rime of the Ancient Beerdrinker.

Ale, ale, everywhere,
And all wallets did shrink ;
Ale, ale, everywhere,
Whole stole my goddamn drink?

sunshine, I had help from the frog who translated from the original Old Occitan, which I cannot read!

dr.zaius, oh shit, I meant to use exoskeleton since it's a verse about the Terminator.

sherry, hey, the more poems the better. Too bad no one reads 'em like they used to, you bastard nation.

LBR, if you stop writing, I'll stop, and since neither one of us wants that, do we have a deal?

FB, well, I am simultaneously sad and flummoxed that I didn't receive an invitation to this. More fun than Annette Funicello with a spray-on.

Actually, it did rain yesterday, my sneakers were soaked by the time I got to work. See the toil I suffer to bring you, Controller of the Weather, poems?

tom, oh, but this is my secret plan. Only patchouli homersexual pinkos like poetry, so I figure if I distract them, it'll give Real Americans® a chance to riddle them with assault rifles.

Übermilf said...

Quit trying to impress people. It's annoying.

Randal Graves said...

You think this is annoying, you should see me clog dance.

S.W. anderson said...

"For the love of conviction, joy appears near, by exegesis of what you see, say. Speak with delight, undress charms between until I awake for the thousandth time."

I know just what you mean, Randal; been there myself. But don't sweat the small stuff. Provenance brought me to this place with a dream-come-true opportunity, one you dare not sleep through. Or even blink during. :)

Spartacus said...

Jaufré Rudel is no John Milton, but your translation (if that's what it is) works for me.

Beach Bum said...

Dammit, I picked a fine day to quit smoking, drinking, and taking the hard drugs.

Randal Graves said...

SWA, you know, I love a scantily-clad booth babe as the next geek, but that has to be one of the worst non-sewage treatment jobs around. Maybe they get free games.

spartacus, well, Milton owns, but in Jaufré's defense, his stuff was meant to be sung. Mine is less a translation and more of a Randalization, for good or ill.

BB, don't worry, there's always sniffing glue to fall back on.

S.W. anderson said...

Randal, it almost sounds like they are free games. Just shows how badly people need a job these days, and that's no joke.

susan said...

This goes far beyond anything the holy babelfish can render. I'm very impressed.

mandt said...

I beerly understood it, and it WAS very cool....