Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Shachar Mario Mordechai

History of the Future

 


Again a new era has been promised. It’s
already here, curled like a fetus. About to be born.
They say it’s a new world. But here is the history of its future:
 
Somewhere at some point in time
documents and papers will be required.
There will be a receptionist at a government office
or a security screener at an airport, but
in every era somewhere in the world
a gendarme is liable to demand papers.
 
This means: Somewhere in the world a passport will be forged.
 

And someday an army will invade a city, called
Prague or Baghdad
or New York. Any name is possible.
Many things will happen under cover of night.
Knocks on the door.
Arbitrary arrest.
A father torn from the arms of his child,
His disappearance.

Many things will happen in broad daylight.
Looting
rape
slaughter.
In the marketplace and the stock market, trade will continue as usual. So will
the pogrom.
 

Very soon the mob will join in:
Spraying slogans against one minority or another
for one reason or another. A demand
will be made to prohibit entry to the continent, the country
or the grocery store.
At its door a puppy will wait for its master.
Someone will leave behind books and photos,
an old blanket, a magnificent armchair of happiness.
And someone he loves.
But he will not forget to take a coat.
With pockets. As long as he leaves in time
with his face. And with cash.
Many will flee on foot.
Some will escape by train.
 

There is no escapee without a pursuer.
There is no shelter without a storm.
The world is a rifle butt
The night -- flashing police cars.
 
At least one person -- perhaps even you? -- will lose
the way, pray it ends. There he is, look,
leaning on the parapet of the dark;
boats going by downriver
and cars on the bridge
grab him
for a fraction of a second.
He jumps.
Or stays. But manages to fall away
like a view through a window.
 

Your window, perhaps?

תולדות העתיד

תולדות העתיד


 

שׁוּב מֻבְטָח עִדָּן חָדָשׁ. הִנֵּה
הוּא כְּבָר מֻנָּח בִּתְנוּחָה עֻבָּרִית. קָרוֹב לְהִוָּלְדוֹ.
אוֹמְרִים: זֶה עוֹלָם חָדָשׁ. אֲבָל אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדוֹת עֲתִידוֹ:
 
בְּמָקוֹם כָּלְשֶׁהוּ בִּנְקֻדַּת זְמַן כָּלְשֶׁהִי
יִדָּרְשׁוּ תְּעוּדוֹת וּמִסְמָכִים.
יְהֵא זֶה פְּקִיד קַבָּלָה בְּמִשְׂרָד מֶמְשַׁלְתִּי
אוֹ קְצִין בִּדּוּק בִּשְׂדֵה תְּעוּפָה, אֲבָל
בְּכָל תְּקוּפָה אֵיפֹשֶהוּ בָּעוֹלָם עָלוּל
זַ'נְדַרְם בְּמַעֲבַר גְּבוּל לִדְרֹש תְּעוּדוֹת.
 
כְּלוֹמַר: אֵיפֹשֶהוּ בָּעוֹלָם יְזֻיַּף דַּרְכּוֹן.
 
וּמָתַיְשֶׁהוּ יִפְלֹש צָבָא אֶל עִיר. יְהֵא שְׁמָהּ
פְּרַאג אוֹ בַּגְדַד אוֹ
נְיוּ יוֹרְק. כָּל שֵׁם אֶפְשָׁרִי.
דְּבָרִים רַבִּים יִתְרַחֲשׁוּ בְּחָסוּת הַלַּיְלָה.
דְּפִיקוֹת בַּדֶּלֶת.
מַאֲסָר שְׁרִירוּתִי.
קְרִיעַת אָב מִזְּרוֹעוֹת יַלְדָּתוֹ.
הֵעָלְמוּתוֹ.
 
דְּבָרִים רַבִּים יִתְרַחֲשׁוּ לְאוֹר יוֹם.
בִּזָּה
אֹנֶס
טֶבַח.
בַּשּׁוּק הָעִירוֹנִי וּבַבּוּרְסָה יִתְקַיֵּם הַמִּסְחָר כְּסִדְרוֹ. גַּם
הַפּוֹגְרוֹם.
 
עַד מְהֵרָה יִצְטָרֵף הֶהָמוֹן:
רִסּוּס כְּתוֹבוֹת נְאָצָה נֶגֶד מִעוּט כָּזֶה אוֹ אַחֵר
עַל רֶקַע כָּזֶה אוֹ אַחֵר. יִתָּבַע
אִסּוּר כְּנִיסָה לְיַבֶּשֶׁת אוֹ לִמְדִינָה
אוֹ לַחֲנוּת מַכֹּלֶת.
בְּפִתְחָהּ יְחַכֶּה כְּלַבְלַב לִבְעָלָיו.
מִישֶׁהוּ יַשְׁאִיר מֵאָחוֹר סְפָרִים וְתַצְלוּמִים,
שְׂמִיכָה יְשָׁנָה, כֻּרְסָה מְפֹאֶרֶת שֶׁל אֹשֶר.
וְאָהוּב.
אֲבָל לֹא יִשְׁכַּח לָקַחַת מְעִיל.
עִם כִּיסִים. כָּל עוֹד יַעֲזֹב בַּזְּמַן
עִם פָּנָיו. וְעִם מְזֻמָּן.
רַבִּים יָנוּסוּ בָּרֶגֶל.
יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁיִּמָּלֵט בְּרַכֶּבֶת.
 
אֵין נִמְלָט בְּלֹא רוֹדֵף.
אֵין מִקְלָט בְּלִי סְעָרָה.
הָעוֹלָם הוּא קַת שֶׁל רוֹבֶה
הַלַּיְלָה – הִבְהוּב נַיְדוֹת מִשְׁטָרָה.
 
לְפָחוֹת אָדָם אֶחָד – אוּלַי אֲפִלּוּ אַתָּה? – יִתְעֶה
בַּדְּרָכִים מִתְפַּלֵּל שֶׁיִּגָּמֵר. הִנֵּה הוּא, רְאוּ,
נִשְׁעָן עַל מַעֲקֵה הַחֹשֶךְ;
סִירוֹת שֶׁחוֹלְפוֹת בְּמוֹרַד הַנָּהָר
וּמְכוֹנִיּוֹת עַל הַגֶּשֶׁר
תּוֹפְסוֹת אוֹתוֹ
לְשַׁבְרִיר שְׁנִיָּה.
הוּא קוֹפֵץ.
אוֹ נִשְׁאָר. אֲבָל מַצְלִיחַ לְהִשָּׁמֵט
כְּמוֹ נוֹף מִבַּעַד לַחַלּוֹן.
 
אוּלַי הַחַלּוֹן שֶׁלְּךָ?
Close

History of the Future

 


Again a new era has been promised. It’s
already here, curled like a fetus. About to be born.
They say it’s a new world. But here is the history of its future:
 
Somewhere at some point in time
documents and papers will be required.
There will be a receptionist at a government office
or a security screener at an airport, but
in every era somewhere in the world
a gendarme is liable to demand papers.
 
This means: Somewhere in the world a passport will be forged.
 

And someday an army will invade a city, called
Prague or Baghdad
or New York. Any name is possible.
Many things will happen under cover of night.
Knocks on the door.
Arbitrary arrest.
A father torn from the arms of his child,
His disappearance.

Many things will happen in broad daylight.
Looting
rape
slaughter.
In the marketplace and the stock market, trade will continue as usual. So will
the pogrom.
 

Very soon the mob will join in:
Spraying slogans against one minority or another
for one reason or another. A demand
will be made to prohibit entry to the continent, the country
or the grocery store.
At its door a puppy will wait for its master.
Someone will leave behind books and photos,
an old blanket, a magnificent armchair of happiness.
And someone he loves.
But he will not forget to take a coat.
With pockets. As long as he leaves in time
with his face. And with cash.
Many will flee on foot.
Some will escape by train.
 

There is no escapee without a pursuer.
There is no shelter without a storm.
The world is a rifle butt
The night -- flashing police cars.
 
At least one person -- perhaps even you? -- will lose
the way, pray it ends. There he is, look,
leaning on the parapet of the dark;
boats going by downriver
and cars on the bridge
grab him
for a fraction of a second.
He jumps.
Or stays. But manages to fall away
like a view through a window.
 

Your window, perhaps?

History of the Future

 


Again a new era has been promised. It’s
already here, curled like a fetus. About to be born.
They say it’s a new world. But here is the history of its future:
 
Somewhere at some point in time
documents and papers will be required.
There will be a receptionist at a government office
or a security screener at an airport, but
in every era somewhere in the world
a gendarme is liable to demand papers.
 
This means: Somewhere in the world a passport will be forged.
 

And someday an army will invade a city, called
Prague or Baghdad
or New York. Any name is possible.
Many things will happen under cover of night.
Knocks on the door.
Arbitrary arrest.
A father torn from the arms of his child,
His disappearance.

Many things will happen in broad daylight.
Looting
rape
slaughter.
In the marketplace and the stock market, trade will continue as usual. So will
the pogrom.
 

Very soon the mob will join in:
Spraying slogans against one minority or another
for one reason or another. A demand
will be made to prohibit entry to the continent, the country
or the grocery store.
At its door a puppy will wait for its master.
Someone will leave behind books and photos,
an old blanket, a magnificent armchair of happiness.
And someone he loves.
But he will not forget to take a coat.
With pockets. As long as he leaves in time
with his face. And with cash.
Many will flee on foot.
Some will escape by train.
 

There is no escapee without a pursuer.
There is no shelter without a storm.
The world is a rifle butt
The night -- flashing police cars.
 
At least one person -- perhaps even you? -- will lose
the way, pray it ends. There he is, look,
leaning on the parapet of the dark;
boats going by downriver
and cars on the bridge
grab him
for a fraction of a second.
He jumps.
Or stays. But manages to fall away
like a view through a window.
 

Your window, perhaps?
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