Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Gordana Benić

South Wind

And Theseus sails to harbour in the midst of the open sea.
The continents have pushed the ocean back, the islands erased
like pallid grass in the vestibules of abandoned
temples. Bring over the sea: sailors shout to him from their ships.
Dark has taken dominion over all.
Anchors float beside lighthouses.
Gulls already black from the night’s precipitated
sediment enter tunnels of air.
The land has slipped away from the Moon; although
constellations of fish bleach on cracked rock
with no high or low of tide. On the radio
they forecast a south wind.
The horizon creeps through the links of ships’ chains.
The open sea has drawn back.
Patches of damp dissolve between house walls,
nearer the cape and the tower. Dark falls inwards.
Rope won’t settle into mud. Inscriptions
and left-over letters melt on pavements like fishscales.
The inner yards in the port quarter smell
of swallows’ nests.
What painter sketched the tracks of the marathon
swimmers in an endless curve?
He switched the transparent waves for soot
freed from underground. Appointed good to be evil.
The shore’s caved in; under its slabs of stone green slime
spreads over the dry land. South wind.
Illusory fields sway in the building’s stifling corners,
the seeds of palm trees.
You study a water-logged branch, like the beak
of a beached wader. The wind has split the slats
of the window, overturns sunshades and wicker
chairs roped to the trees. Is the boat just a shadow
among submarine springs?
An awkward ship’s piano sounds from the café.
Someone calls from the ships, quiet curses.
Hurried steps along streets. A cigarette coal below the terrace.
Perhaps you forget the way, and where you were going?
The bell-tower’s vertical is erased, and the face
of the town clock. The square is like a cobweb
torn in a mass of mesh.
Likely it’s no better behind the high wall
surviving on the edge of the drowned shore.

Južina

Južina

I Tezej plovi do luke u središtu pučine.
Kontinenti su potisnuli ocean, otoci se brišu
kao bezbojna trava u predvorjima ispražnjenih
hramova. Prenesi more: doviknu mu s barke mornari.
Mrak je obuzeo sve predmete.
Sidra plutaju pred svjetionicima.
Galebi već crni od zgusnutih
taloga noći ulaze u zračne tunele.
Zemlja se udaljila od Mjeseca; iako bez plime
i oseke zviježđe riba zabijeli se
na raspuklu kamenu.
S radija najavljuju južinu.
Kroz krugove brodskog lanca promiče horizont.
Pučina se povukla unatrag.
Među zidovima kuća, bliže rtu i tornju,
rastvaraju se vlažne mrlje. Tama se urušila.
Konop ne tone u blatu. Natpisi i preostala
slova, otapaju se kao krljušti, na pločnicima.
Unutarnja dvorišta lučke četvrti mirišu
na lastavičja gnijezda.
Kakav je to slikar u beskonačnoj krivulji
nacrtao staze maratonskih plivača?
Prozirne valove zamijenio garom što se oslobađa
iz podzemlja. Dobro imenuje zlim.
Pod kamenim pločama urušene obale zeleni mulj
nadrasta kopno. Južina.
U zagušljivim uglovima zgrada njišu se iluzorna
polja, sjemenke palminih stabala.
Promatraš razmočenu granu, nalik je kljunu
nasukana ronca. Vjetar je rastvorio rebrenice
prozora, preokreće suncobrane i slamnate stolice
privezane uz stabla. Zar je brodić tek sjena
među morskim vruljama?
Iz kafea čuje se neugođeni pianino.
S broda netko se tihim psovkama odaziva.
Niz ulicu žurni koraci. Pod terasom žar cigareta.
Možda zaboravljaš put, i kamo si krenuo?
Briše se okomica zvonika, s njom kružnica
gradskog sata. Trg je kao paučina raskidan
u mnoštvu pregrada.
Vjerojatno nije bolje ni iza visokog zida
što je preostao na rubu potopljene obale.
Close

South Wind

And Theseus sails to harbour in the midst of the open sea.
The continents have pushed the ocean back, the islands erased
like pallid grass in the vestibules of abandoned
temples. Bring over the sea: sailors shout to him from their ships.
Dark has taken dominion over all.
Anchors float beside lighthouses.
Gulls already black from the night’s precipitated
sediment enter tunnels of air.
The land has slipped away from the Moon; although
constellations of fish bleach on cracked rock
with no high or low of tide. On the radio
they forecast a south wind.
The horizon creeps through the links of ships’ chains.
The open sea has drawn back.
Patches of damp dissolve between house walls,
nearer the cape and the tower. Dark falls inwards.
Rope won’t settle into mud. Inscriptions
and left-over letters melt on pavements like fishscales.
The inner yards in the port quarter smell
of swallows’ nests.
What painter sketched the tracks of the marathon
swimmers in an endless curve?
He switched the transparent waves for soot
freed from underground. Appointed good to be evil.
The shore’s caved in; under its slabs of stone green slime
spreads over the dry land. South wind.
Illusory fields sway in the building’s stifling corners,
the seeds of palm trees.
You study a water-logged branch, like the beak
of a beached wader. The wind has split the slats
of the window, overturns sunshades and wicker
chairs roped to the trees. Is the boat just a shadow
among submarine springs?
An awkward ship’s piano sounds from the café.
Someone calls from the ships, quiet curses.
Hurried steps along streets. A cigarette coal below the terrace.
Perhaps you forget the way, and where you were going?
The bell-tower’s vertical is erased, and the face
of the town clock. The square is like a cobweb
torn in a mass of mesh.
Likely it’s no better behind the high wall
surviving on the edge of the drowned shore.

South Wind

And Theseus sails to harbour in the midst of the open sea.
The continents have pushed the ocean back, the islands erased
like pallid grass in the vestibules of abandoned
temples. Bring over the sea: sailors shout to him from their ships.
Dark has taken dominion over all.
Anchors float beside lighthouses.
Gulls already black from the night’s precipitated
sediment enter tunnels of air.
The land has slipped away from the Moon; although
constellations of fish bleach on cracked rock
with no high or low of tide. On the radio
they forecast a south wind.
The horizon creeps through the links of ships’ chains.
The open sea has drawn back.
Patches of damp dissolve between house walls,
nearer the cape and the tower. Dark falls inwards.
Rope won’t settle into mud. Inscriptions
and left-over letters melt on pavements like fishscales.
The inner yards in the port quarter smell
of swallows’ nests.
What painter sketched the tracks of the marathon
swimmers in an endless curve?
He switched the transparent waves for soot
freed from underground. Appointed good to be evil.
The shore’s caved in; under its slabs of stone green slime
spreads over the dry land. South wind.
Illusory fields sway in the building’s stifling corners,
the seeds of palm trees.
You study a water-logged branch, like the beak
of a beached wader. The wind has split the slats
of the window, overturns sunshades and wicker
chairs roped to the trees. Is the boat just a shadow
among submarine springs?
An awkward ship’s piano sounds from the café.
Someone calls from the ships, quiet curses.
Hurried steps along streets. A cigarette coal below the terrace.
Perhaps you forget the way, and where you were going?
The bell-tower’s vertical is erased, and the face
of the town clock. The square is like a cobweb
torn in a mass of mesh.
Likely it’s no better behind the high wall
surviving on the edge of the drowned shore.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère