Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Shachar Mario Mordechai

LANGUAGE


I am snared in the language trap
between strong emotion and a lazy tongue
I awaken, toss and turn and fall asleep
besieged by the body, a slip of the tongue.                          
 
Now I say: sea. And can’t contain it.
I say: sky. Is that where His army and all His soldiers are?
Oh no no no. I meant something else.
But I repeat the words. As I do now. Here:
 
I am snared in the language trap
between strong emotion and a lazy tongue
again I awaken, toss and turn and fall asleep
besieged by the body, the silliness of the tongue.

But asleep and awake I’ll knock on your door
until you open it. Open up, open up.
You’ll hear the wordless
tap tap tap,
I’m here and won’t leave until you open
and greet me and my lips part.

And even if my face were stone
and my eyes a rising river
as in the Valley of Giants or the Valley of Tears;
if my voice were a high groan
contriving to crack,
the day will come, and with it wellbeing.
Because this is between you and me:
 
There is speech made of silence.
An obstacle may be a path. 
There is hunger that can’t be sated,
desire that can’t be starved.
There are disagreements (after agreements are signed).
A hunger in the heart, ticking, that doesn’t give up.
Clouds that make their way
to a stormy winter. There is spring, a cure.
There is a watchman on my path among the passersby,
a lit pathway from the shoreline to the stars.
 
Here I said: sea. Skies and soldiers.
I can contain them.
Because I desire you and many suns,
and many waters
cannot quench this.
Let me be a seal upon your heart.

שפה

שפה

 
אֲנִי נִצּוֹד בְּמַלְכֹּדֶת הַשָּׂפָה
בֵּין עָצְמַת הָרֶגֶשׁ לְלָשׁוֹן רָפָה
אֲנִי מֵקִיץ וְנָע וָנָד וְהוֹלֵךְ לִישֹׁן
בְּמָצוֹר שֶׁל גּוּף, עִם כֶּשֶׁל הַלָּשׁוֹן. 
 
אֲנִי אוֹמֵר עַכְשָׁו: יָם. וְלֹא יָכוֹל לַהֲכִילוֹ.
אֲנִי אוֹמֵר: רָקִיעַ. וְאֵי צְבָאוֹ וְכָל חֵילוֹ?
הוֹ, לֹא, לֹא, לֹא. הִתְכַּוַּנְתִּי לִדְבַר-מָה שׁוֹנֶה.
אֲבָל חוֹזֵר עַל הַמִּלִּים. כְּמוֹ עַכְשָׁו מַמָּשׁ. הִנֵּה:
 
אֲנִי נִצּוֹד בְּמַלְכֹּדֶת הַשָּׂפָה
בֵּין עֹצֶם הָרֶגֶשׁ לַלָּשׁוֹן הָרָפָה
שׁוּב מֵקִיץ וְנָע וָנָד וְהוֹלֵךְ לִישֹׁן
בְּמָצוֹר שֶׁל גּוּף, עִם כֶּסֶל הַלָּשׁוֹן.
 
אֲבָל אֶתְדַּפֵּק עַל דַּלְתְּךָ עֵר וּבִתְנוּמָה
עַד שֶׁתִּפְתַּח לִי. פְּתַח לִי, פְּתַח.
גַּם בְּלִי מִלִּים אַתָּה תִּשְׁמַע
אֶת הַ – תַּח תַּח תַּח
אֲנִי כָּאן וְלֹא אֵלֵךְ עַד שֶׁתִּפָּקַח
עַד שֶׁתְּבָרֵךְ, וּשְׂפָתַי תִּפְתַּח.
 
גַּם אִם פָּנַי מְסֻלָּעִים,
וְעֵינַי נָהָר גּוֹבֵר
כְּעֵמֶק רְפָאִים אוֹ עֵמֶק הַבָּכָא;
אִם קוֹלִי אֶנְקַת גְּבָהִים
מְחַשֵּׁב לְהִשָּׁבֵר
הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים, וּבָאָה רְוָחָה.
כִּי אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר בֵּינִי לְבֵינְךָ:
 
יֵשׁ דִּבּוּר שֶׁל שְׁתִיקָה.
יֵשׁ מִכְשׁוֹל - הוּא נָתִיב.
יֵשׁ רָעָב שֶׁלֹּא נִתָּן לְהַשְׂבִּיעַ,
יֵשׁ תְּשׁוּקָה שֶׁלֹּא נִתָּן לְהַרְעִיב.
יֵשׁ הִתְנַצְּחוּת (הוֹאִיל וְהֻסְכַּם).
יֵשׁ רַעַד בַּלֵּב, מְתַקְתֵּק, לֹא מַרְפֶּה.
יֵשׁ עֲנָנִים שֶׁעוֹשִׂים אֶת דַּרְכָּם
לְחֹרֶף סוֹעֵר. יֵשׁ אָבִיב. יֵשׁ מַרְפֵּא.
יֵשׁ שׁוֹמֵר דְּרָכַי בֵּין הַהוֹלְכִים וְהַשָּׁבִים,
נָתִיב מוּאָר וָחָי בֵּין קַו הַיָּם לַכּוֹכָבִים.
 
הִנֵּה אָמַרְתִּי יָם. שָׁמַיִם וְחֵילָם.
אֲנִי יָכוֹל לַהֲכִילָם.
כִּי אֵלֶיךָ תְּשׁוּקָתִי וְהִיא שְׁמָשׁוֹת רַבּוֹת,
וּמַיִם רַבִּים
לֹא יוּכְלוּ לְכַבּוֹת.
שִׂימֵנִי כַּחוֹתָם. שִׂימֵנִי כַּחוֹתָם.
Close

LANGUAGE


I am snared in the language trap
between strong emotion and a lazy tongue
I awaken, toss and turn and fall asleep
besieged by the body, a slip of the tongue.                          
 
Now I say: sea. And can’t contain it.
I say: sky. Is that where His army and all His soldiers are?
Oh no no no. I meant something else.
But I repeat the words. As I do now. Here:
 
I am snared in the language trap
between strong emotion and a lazy tongue
again I awaken, toss and turn and fall asleep
besieged by the body, the silliness of the tongue.

But asleep and awake I’ll knock on your door
until you open it. Open up, open up.
You’ll hear the wordless
tap tap tap,
I’m here and won’t leave until you open
and greet me and my lips part.

And even if my face were stone
and my eyes a rising river
as in the Valley of Giants or the Valley of Tears;
if my voice were a high groan
contriving to crack,
the day will come, and with it wellbeing.
Because this is between you and me:
 
There is speech made of silence.
An obstacle may be a path. 
There is hunger that can’t be sated,
desire that can’t be starved.
There are disagreements (after agreements are signed).
A hunger in the heart, ticking, that doesn’t give up.
Clouds that make their way
to a stormy winter. There is spring, a cure.
There is a watchman on my path among the passersby,
a lit pathway from the shoreline to the stars.
 
Here I said: sea. Skies and soldiers.
I can contain them.
Because I desire you and many suns,
and many waters
cannot quench this.
Let me be a seal upon your heart.

LANGUAGE


I am snared in the language trap
between strong emotion and a lazy tongue
I awaken, toss and turn and fall asleep
besieged by the body, a slip of the tongue.                          
 
Now I say: sea. And can’t contain it.
I say: sky. Is that where His army and all His soldiers are?
Oh no no no. I meant something else.
But I repeat the words. As I do now. Here:
 
I am snared in the language trap
between strong emotion and a lazy tongue
again I awaken, toss and turn and fall asleep
besieged by the body, the silliness of the tongue.

But asleep and awake I’ll knock on your door
until you open it. Open up, open up.
You’ll hear the wordless
tap tap tap,
I’m here and won’t leave until you open
and greet me and my lips part.

And even if my face were stone
and my eyes a rising river
as in the Valley of Giants or the Valley of Tears;
if my voice were a high groan
contriving to crack,
the day will come, and with it wellbeing.
Because this is between you and me:
 
There is speech made of silence.
An obstacle may be a path. 
There is hunger that can’t be sated,
desire that can’t be starved.
There are disagreements (after agreements are signed).
A hunger in the heart, ticking, that doesn’t give up.
Clouds that make their way
to a stormy winter. There is spring, a cure.
There is a watchman on my path among the passersby,
a lit pathway from the shoreline to the stars.
 
Here I said: sea. Skies and soldiers.
I can contain them.
Because I desire you and many suns,
and many waters
cannot quench this.
Let me be a seal upon your heart.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère