Breyten Breytenbach

1939 / Bonnievale, Western Cape

This is the season

this is the season when the dreamer,
swathed in dark remembrances
like an infant swaddled in the weavings of night,
often sobs in his sleep

this is the season when he finds a copper coin
under stripped trees in the lane,
the bankrupt moon, a rusted leaf,
the barking dog,
and precipitously the heart tumbles
and memory brings back
widgeons in the reed-bush,
crackling evenings,
waves combed in tresses on the beach,
your beautiful hips
a violin with a scroll at heaven's door
for the tongue to enter your bliss

awareness is a boat nosing for the open sea
and life a body slithering over its side,
sinking like a sob
to wash up tomorrow among rocks
for the postmortem opening-up
in search of meaning

when the moon is full of rot
I shall go to Santiago de Cuba
I shall go to Santiago
in a carriage of black water

this is the season when church bells peal
and snow must slip over towers and spires and peaks
silence shroud the hollows of the city
like cold come from heaven

Estos dias, iguales a otros dias de otros aƱos:
these days exactly like the days of earlier years
with people exactly like those of then
with the same hours and the dead
with similar desires
and the old-old restlessness of before
is here

nothing happens
you're not alone
with the sleepless cold, you come
you go, you don't know where
or why

put on angel wings, love,
and I'll suck my tongue
while playing the violin
in a carriage of black water
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