Monday, October 26, 2015

Angel with a Pair of Scales - Ludwig Steinherr (trans. Rita Dove)

      St. Michael, Altenstadt (Bavaria)

The way I move
through these flowing
autumn days
breath eat sleep
make arrangements
touch someone's face
turn the leaves of journals

an acrobat gingerly on his high wire --

and only
the angel
in the mighty light
of the fresco
is holding his breath

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

European Signs I Woefully Misread

During my recent expedition to Scandinavia and the Baltic, I encountered perplexing signage which I admit, being American and not used to subtle European symbols, got me in more than a few sticky situations. Here are a few:

Do not give flowers.

The American dream (a car, house, and children) is strictly
prohibited.

Jump the shark.

Though dogs and cigarettes are not allowed. Pole dancing, on the
other hand, is fine.

Modern art this way.

Push button for inferno.


In 100 meters, run someone smaller than yourself down and punch
them in the armpit.

I have no idea.

Free hugs within.

An Epitaph - Callimachus (trans. William Johnson Cory)

They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept as I remembered how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.

And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest,
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.