The Empty Days
The empty days, decayed adobe of years
Collapsed into their own emptiness,
Draught through a space unwon
For a hint of sense. A pile of newspapers growing
And ageing, layer by layer, like filthy snow.
Memories beaten from low-carat gold
And hallmarked by deliberate mistake. The
Empty days, winter on the withdrawal, defeat
Dosed as a drug: in the mornings and before
Sleep. The mill, gristless, obedient to the
Wheel’s turn, grinds moonlight. One last simile:
Ageing at a standstill, or engine out of gear.
whoever gathers his thoughts in emptiness
As in a church, learns the wisdom of silence, and
Slips inside its tongue, dark and distinct, will not
Be silent for nothing. He will be like a marionette
Which sees its strings, and senses a motion
Outplaying emptiness and the moment the string breaks.
The blessing of the empty days: a lesson on the limits
Of rational misfortune. Our daily rule.
The empty days, decayed adobe of years.
Ivan V. Lalić (1989)
Translated by Francis R. Jones