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Poem

Jan H. Mysjkin

THE INNER SANCTUARY

The slightest difference to the naked eye initiates me into things that I otherwise would never have seen.
     Jesus is seated under bare, white vaults. She is wearing a Greek helmet and assumes the attitude of a discus thrower. On a low table in front of her burns the sacred fire, consisting of a cone of kindlings in a large copper dish. She is praying, with a book in her left hand and a rosary around her right wrist. This mystical figure is not Jesus – it is Zoroaster.
     Who stands there rather like a copyist who now loathes humanity because of competition from the Xerox. Her head droops between her wings as between the shoulders of a hunchback; her skull and scraggy neck are those of a vulture. Thick-set and firm-footed, she holds a metal rod with which she pokes the sacred fire in a brazier the height of a man. This mystical figure is not Zoroaster – it is a tiny old man.
     With golden spectacles, posing as an artist in a boater’s singlet that totally resembles the outfit of a queen of the kitchen. In her hand she holds upright the crook of the good shepherd, her face lit up by the gleaming of the sacred fire. Not a single button of her gaiters is missing.
     On leaving, I note that nothing is comparable with blindness. I have forgotten all of them, and that settles the matter.

SANCTUM SANCTORUM

SANCTUM SANCTORUM

Het minste verschil op het blote oog initieert me in dingen die ik anders nooit had gezien.
     Jezus zit onder kale en blanke gewelven. Ze heeft een Griekse helm op en neemt de houding van een discuswerpster aan. Voor haar brandt op een laag tafeltje het heilige vuur, bestaande uit een kegel van houthaksel in een grote koperen schaal. Ze bidt met een boek in haar linkerhand en een rozenkrans om haar rechterpols. Dit mystieke personage is niet Jezus: het is Zoroaster.
     Die erbij staat als een kopiiste die de mensheid niet meer ziet zitten vanwege de concurrentie door de kopieermachine. Haar hoofd ligt ingezonken tussen haar vleugels als tussen de schouders van een bultenaar, haar schedel en kale nek zijn die van een gier. Gedrongen en stevig op haar poten wakkert ze met een metalen stang het heilige vuur in een manshoge vuurkorf aan. Dit mystieke personage is niet Zoroaster: het is een oud mannetje.
     Met een gouden brilletje dat zich uitgeeft voor een artieste in het badpak van een roeister dat geheel en al lijkt op het kostuum van een keukenprinses. In haar hand houdt ze de kromstaf van de goede herder; haar gezicht wordt verlicht door de gloed van het heilige vuur. Ze komt geen knoop aan haar slobkousen te kort.
     Bij het weggaan merk ik dat je blindheid met niets kunt vergelijken. Ik ben ze allemaal vergeten, en dat zet een streep onder de rekening.
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THE INNER SANCTUARY

The slightest difference to the naked eye initiates me into things that I otherwise would never have seen.
     Jesus is seated under bare, white vaults. She is wearing a Greek helmet and assumes the attitude of a discus thrower. On a low table in front of her burns the sacred fire, consisting of a cone of kindlings in a large copper dish. She is praying, with a book in her left hand and a rosary around her right wrist. This mystical figure is not Jesus – it is Zoroaster.
     Who stands there rather like a copyist who now loathes humanity because of competition from the Xerox. Her head droops between her wings as between the shoulders of a hunchback; her skull and scraggy neck are those of a vulture. Thick-set and firm-footed, she holds a metal rod with which she pokes the sacred fire in a brazier the height of a man. This mystical figure is not Zoroaster – it is a tiny old man.
     With golden spectacles, posing as an artist in a boater’s singlet that totally resembles the outfit of a queen of the kitchen. In her hand she holds upright the crook of the good shepherd, her face lit up by the gleaming of the sacred fire. Not a single button of her gaiters is missing.
     On leaving, I note that nothing is comparable with blindness. I have forgotten all of them, and that settles the matter.

THE INNER SANCTUARY

The slightest difference to the naked eye initiates me into things that I otherwise would never have seen.
     Jesus is seated under bare, white vaults. She is wearing a Greek helmet and assumes the attitude of a discus thrower. On a low table in front of her burns the sacred fire, consisting of a cone of kindlings in a large copper dish. She is praying, with a book in her left hand and a rosary around her right wrist. This mystical figure is not Jesus – it is Zoroaster.
     Who stands there rather like a copyist who now loathes humanity because of competition from the Xerox. Her head droops between her wings as between the shoulders of a hunchback; her skull and scraggy neck are those of a vulture. Thick-set and firm-footed, she holds a metal rod with which she pokes the sacred fire in a brazier the height of a man. This mystical figure is not Zoroaster – it is a tiny old man.
     With golden spectacles, posing as an artist in a boater’s singlet that totally resembles the outfit of a queen of the kitchen. In her hand she holds upright the crook of the good shepherd, her face lit up by the gleaming of the sacred fire. Not a single button of her gaiters is missing.
     On leaving, I note that nothing is comparable with blindness. I have forgotten all of them, and that settles the matter.
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