Poetry by Ly Seppel

by Richard Adang

Ly Seppel

The evening of nightbirds

Nightbirds sing all evening long.
How all the air and all the world breathes
in the screaming pain of nightbirds!
We are as exposed
as the chiming heavens.

How all the air and the world breathes
how they affirm themselves and their existence!
The eye of the Universe is upon us
also we see it reflected in our own being.

That look is filled with infinite benevolence
its touch everywhere,
so that suddenly you know the door
and the oppression of geometry melts away.

Everything around us
melts into pure and primeval nature
in this rare evening of nightbirds.
In the flash of a lightning bolt I see my openness
and can guess its dimensions.


Life is streaming
life takes shape for a while.
Stand up and leave--
look at yourself in the mirror of truth.

Life is caring
taking care of others through yourself.
Life is shadow-seeking
under the trees breaking out in new leaves.

Life is being rapacious--
is that the reason for the energy crisis?
Many people think life
is a mere way of existing.

Burning ourselves--
probably that is our life.
And it is beseeching God
asking him to help those in distress.

Fright and astonishment--
that is also our life
because our eyes are absolutely dazzled
by the living sun.

I grasp your dear arm,
I touch handrails,
door-handles, bag-handles,
I open and shut my mouth.

I feed my dog, I water my cactus,
tenderly I caress the head of my child.
In passing I read minds,
I can foretell a bit.

I run to my office, coat flapping.
I notice my watch has stopped.
I rush hatless
through the falling snow.

I am tired of footpaths trampled by other feet,
I am bored by parties, societies and crowds.
At the base of my soul
I feel the soiled ice melting.

I swallow morsels in a hurry
hearing the mass media talking about the Euro Union.
At the same moment I think about love--
the remnant of my busy life.

The snow is full of my footprints.
I cannot open the door.
When my heart aches on and off
I feel how I take part in life.

Translated by Richard Adang