December, morning; Rescue; Literature 1; Death Valley, 2003; The outdoors; Secret at work

Oravecz Imre  vers, 2004, 47. évfolyam, 9. szám, 859. oldal
Lapszám letöltése

December, morning


The dogs have been fed

and are locked in the kennel

to sleep it off,


the cat, too, is filled up

and is having a nap

in the warm hallway,


as for me, I’ve had breakfast,

finished my tea

and washed up the dishes,


my wife’s not at home,

she’s off at work

and won’t be back before afternoon,


nothing moves in the house,

everything is quiet,

only the heater is humming in the kitchen,


I am sixty,

and was taken to hospital yesterday

but it wasn’t a heartattack,


I am sitting in the study,

looking out the window

and still have chest pains


but I am ignoring it

and waiting for the sun

to break through the fog.





Someone’s been trapping pheasants

in the reeds on the valley bottom,


the snares of coiled wires

are placed across their trails,


the other day I managed

to free one on my stroll,


hearing the desperate flapping of wings

I ran off the footpath

to where it came from,


it did not resist,

once I grabbed it,

it became very calm, silent

and let me remove its neck

from the deadly noose,


only when I put it down

and it dashed headlong away

did it start crying

in such an unearthly voice

that it chilled me to the spine.



Literature 1

(Theodor Dreiser: An American tragedy)


Reading the novel,

especially that disastrous scene

up on the lake at Big Bittern

makes me feel guilty, almost sick

as if I had been

Clyde’s accomplice

in killing Roberta

by not rescuing her from the water

that she was thrown in

after he unintendedly had hit her

with the camera and capsized the boat.



Death Valley, 2003


 We are coming in from Nevada,

in August, the wrong time to visit,

in addition, odd enough,

exceptionally the sky is overcast

and the air so humid

that we can hardly breathe,


with no sunshine, the mudhills of Zabriskie Point are vulgar

and to make it worse

the pittoilets of the rest area

are awfully stinking

as if the shit were boiling in them,


lowspirited, we descend to the bottom

and stop at Furnace Creek Visitor Center

to fill our canteens with cold water,


passing by the closed campground

I am trying to locate in the distance

the very site with the slant, dead treetrunk

where I and my son had our tent in January, 1986

but only to discover

they developed the whole place

and turned it into a hookup area,


that adds to my disappointment

I give gas and without going to see

Sand Dunes, Devils Golf Course, Artists’ Palette

and Twenty Mule Team Canyon, etc.

we are driving through the big alluvian ditch,

a former scene of a happy time in my life

and heading relieved for Lone Pine.



 The outdoors


A planet in outer space,

a continent on the planet,

a country on the continent,

blue sky over the country,

a mountain under the blue sky,

two ridges of hills in the mountain,

a valley between the two ridges,

the floor of the valley,

a creek in the middle of the floor,

broken ice in the creek,

water in the broken ice,

an otter family playing in the water,

banks above the playing otter family,

dead reeds on the banks,

a pathway in the dead reeds,

me standing on the pathway,

and trying, in vain, to embrace

all this over and under me

while I rest on my winterstroll.



Secret at work


A line from Frank O’Hara’s poem Music:

„I am naked as a table cloth, my nerves humming:"

I was 10 when he wrote this

and I had no idea of what poetry was all about.

Now I am 60 with a record of

some venturing into this craft

but I still have not made much progress

it only gives me a thrill

and in my mind I am with him in 1953

when he is buying a liversuasage sandwich

with 35 cents in his pocket

while they are putting up

Christmas trees on Park Avenue.