Grafenauer Niko:
The Speech Of Silence

Stubborn forms still subdue you

and all that is ancient

in you, I mean these dark forces

full of passionate spittle

and feverish night sweat

that burn in gusts of confusion

like a shudder;

and then you are so unencumbered

when you walk without peace through the dark city

flattened by the falling snow,

you can sing within

like a hard crust of bread

in a bony fist.

Sometimes a black slit yawns

on the wall and through it

come the smell of mould, winter fruit,

urine and homeliness

and slowly disperses

in the bristling cold.

They accompany you

into the deaf underworld of earth

with the words you drank from

all your life

and now too

when the moist eyelid rises slowly

and beneath it the hunger of the earth

gapes at you,

no man has spoken of it yet,

because with it only shadows talk,

yet that moment of parting rings out louder

than all the rest -

the speech of silence.

Translated by Jože Lazar