Sunday, December 07, 2008
This Shameless Moment
In the Romanesque church round stones
that ground down so many prayers and generations
kept humble silence and shadows slept in the apse
like bats in winter furs.
We went out. The pale sun shone,
tinny music tinkled softly
from a car, two jays
studied us, humans,
threads of longing dangled in the air.
The present moment is shameless,
taking its foolish liberties
beside the wall
of this tired old shrine,
awaiting the millions of years to come,
future wars, geological eras,
cease-fires, treaties, changes in climate—
this moment—what is it—just
a mosquito, a fly, a speck, a scrap of breath,
and yet it's taken over everywhere,
entering the timid grass,
inhabiting stems and genes,
the pupils of our eyes.
This moment, mortal as you or I,
was full of boundless, senseless,
silly joy, as if it knew
something we didn't.
(translated from the Polish by Carol Cavanagh)