Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Gordana Benić

Port Sounds

Sometimes ships are greater than houses,
brighter than streets. Cracks in the walls draw them together
to the city’s innermost, disperse them to the beach.
Palm shadows bleach there slowly, yellow grains
of sand crumble.
Like a shoal of red fish whose fever the seas
washed away, sunshades float at the shore\'s edge.
An inscription sunken in the shallows, Marinero,
hip-hop beats from the port café’s juke-box
muffle the long waves.
Torn posters on the pavement. Stairs mouldered by wet
near a white boundary wall. Fishbones everywhere,
and signboards below eaves of canvas,
their message long bleached out.
The port swells to infinity with the play of sun and clouds
and dwindles, pressed close along the sea-wall.
Stars like seeds drop from the stone-pines.
Between the benches where the sea chipped away evergreen 
steps crease. Strollers and sailors meet and pass by
exchanging voiceless messages.
I imagine their muted conversations, questions or answers,
in a dialect of Tuscany. Among strangers they have the scent
of African sands, exotic isles and chill seaweeds.
Spilled puddles share out a cubist image of the
port. Hawsers from the ships measure out the remnant of dry
land. Granite squares like pieces of black glass
on the dockside. Dull echoes under blocks of
stone. Boats sway by the breakwater like plants
braided with wet rope. Condensed damp gurgles
behind the drawbridges. Smoke or dew evaporates
from empty decks. Between the lighthouse and
the harbour master’s office ships pass without
sound, in a blurred mirror.
They drown in a haze scented with
menthol and salty dregs.

Glasovi u luci

Glasovi u luci

Ponekad brodovi su veći od kuća,
svjetliji od ulica. Do unutrašnjosti grada
približe ih pukotine bedema i rasprše sve do plaže.
Tamo polagano blijede sjene palmi, drobi se
žuto zrnje pijeska.
Poput jata crvenih riba kojima je more ispralo
groznicu, uz rubove obale lebde suncobrani.
U plićaku potapa se natpis Marinero,
hip-hop sound iz glazbenog automata lučkog kafea
prigušuje duge valove.
Na pločniku potrgani ulični plakati. Uz bijeli
ogradni zid vodom nagnjile stube. Posvuda riblje kosti,
a pod platnenim strehama cimeri,
odavno izblijedjeli natpisi.
Poput igre sunca i oblaka luka se povećava
do bezmjerja i smanjuje stiješnjena uz nasipe.
Kao sjemenke s pinija padaju zvijezde.
Između klupa, gdje je more načelo zimzelen
mreškaju se koraci. Šetači i mornari u mimohodu
razmjenjuju bezglasne poruke.
Njihove utihle razgovore, pitanja ili odgovore, zamišljam
na toskanskom dijalektu. Među strancima miriše
na afrički pijesak, egzotične otoke i hladne
alge. Kubistička slika luke dijeli se u razlivenim
lokvama. Užad s brodova premjerava ostatak
kopna. Na dokovima granitne četvorine
kao crna stakalca. Muklo odjekuje pod kamenim
blokovima. Uz lukobrane lađe se njišu kao biljke
opletene mokrim konopcima. Iza pomičnih mostova
šumi zgusnuta vlaga. Dim ili rosa isparavaju
s praznih paluba. Između svjetionika
i zgrade lučke kapetanije, u mutnom zrcalu,
brodovi promiču bez šuma.
Potapaju se u izmaglici što miriše
na mentol i slane taloge.
Close

Port Sounds

Sometimes ships are greater than houses,
brighter than streets. Cracks in the walls draw them together
to the city’s innermost, disperse them to the beach.
Palm shadows bleach there slowly, yellow grains
of sand crumble.
Like a shoal of red fish whose fever the seas
washed away, sunshades float at the shore\'s edge.
An inscription sunken in the shallows, Marinero,
hip-hop beats from the port café’s juke-box
muffle the long waves.
Torn posters on the pavement. Stairs mouldered by wet
near a white boundary wall. Fishbones everywhere,
and signboards below eaves of canvas,
their message long bleached out.
The port swells to infinity with the play of sun and clouds
and dwindles, pressed close along the sea-wall.
Stars like seeds drop from the stone-pines.
Between the benches where the sea chipped away evergreen 
steps crease. Strollers and sailors meet and pass by
exchanging voiceless messages.
I imagine their muted conversations, questions or answers,
in a dialect of Tuscany. Among strangers they have the scent
of African sands, exotic isles and chill seaweeds.
Spilled puddles share out a cubist image of the
port. Hawsers from the ships measure out the remnant of dry
land. Granite squares like pieces of black glass
on the dockside. Dull echoes under blocks of
stone. Boats sway by the breakwater like plants
braided with wet rope. Condensed damp gurgles
behind the drawbridges. Smoke or dew evaporates
from empty decks. Between the lighthouse and
the harbour master’s office ships pass without
sound, in a blurred mirror.
They drown in a haze scented with
menthol and salty dregs.

Port Sounds

Sometimes ships are greater than houses,
brighter than streets. Cracks in the walls draw them together
to the city’s innermost, disperse them to the beach.
Palm shadows bleach there slowly, yellow grains
of sand crumble.
Like a shoal of red fish whose fever the seas
washed away, sunshades float at the shore\'s edge.
An inscription sunken in the shallows, Marinero,
hip-hop beats from the port café’s juke-box
muffle the long waves.
Torn posters on the pavement. Stairs mouldered by wet
near a white boundary wall. Fishbones everywhere,
and signboards below eaves of canvas,
their message long bleached out.
The port swells to infinity with the play of sun and clouds
and dwindles, pressed close along the sea-wall.
Stars like seeds drop from the stone-pines.
Between the benches where the sea chipped away evergreen 
steps crease. Strollers and sailors meet and pass by
exchanging voiceless messages.
I imagine their muted conversations, questions or answers,
in a dialect of Tuscany. Among strangers they have the scent
of African sands, exotic isles and chill seaweeds.
Spilled puddles share out a cubist image of the
port. Hawsers from the ships measure out the remnant of dry
land. Granite squares like pieces of black glass
on the dockside. Dull echoes under blocks of
stone. Boats sway by the breakwater like plants
braided with wet rope. Condensed damp gurgles
behind the drawbridges. Smoke or dew evaporates
from empty decks. Between the lighthouse and
the harbour master’s office ships pass without
sound, in a blurred mirror.
They drown in a haze scented with
menthol and salty dregs.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère