We seem to live, but how absurd, Itís been so long since last we heard The whistle of a passing train, A passing shipís foggy refrain. Some people know how to live it, They go deep down, to the sea-bed, And like dung beetles on their heap These smaller fry cavort and leap. While next to us, like bullets, chances fly, Haphazard or belated, blind, furious. We bare our chests to them as we walk by, And then some end up dead and others famous. Or else we donít pay heed to them. Some duck them on the ground: On purpose, or by accident, We stumble and fall down. Amid the clutter and the fuss, Straightness is alien to us: At times itís bow and scrape and drool, At times itís rope and knot and stool. We yearn to expand our minds, But even minds more refined Write everything between the lines: They like the longer term, you find. While next to us, like bullets, chances fly, Haphazard or belated, blind, furious. We bare our chests to them as we walk by, And then some end up dead and others famous. Or else we donít pay heed to them. Some duck them on the ground: On purpose, or by accident, We stumble and fall down. We yearn to soar above the crowd: At least our thoughts can, quiet or loud, And there they shimmer, lightly blown, Eternal, free, and never low. We yearn to soar, and as such The other night we had too much To drink, despite our bitter thoughts, And quite a bit to eat, of course. While next to us, like bullets, chances fly, Haphazard or belated, blind, furious. We bare our chests to them as we walk by, And then some end up dead and others famous. Or else we donít pay heed to them. Some duck them on the ground: On purpose, or by accident, We stumble and fall down. To bust things open everywhere, Denounce the crimes, lay them bare, Let light into the cellar, break the lock: For this our heads will brave the block. Stone sober, at a leisured pace, We knock the past right in the face. But weakís the hand that does the knocking, Itís cold and clammy, worse than nothing, While next to us, like bullets, chances fly, Haphazard or belated, blind, furious. We bare our chests to them as we walk by, And then some end up dead and others famous. Or else we donít pay heed to them. Some duck them on the ground: On purpose, or by accident, We stumble and fall down. To take a load off a manís mind, Revealing all to judge divine, To raise a trembling hand, displayed So as to show it holds no blade, Without fear that the gendarmes Will mow down the unarmed... We iron ones are prone to rust: Evasion is the thing for us. While next to us, like bullets, chances fly, Haphazard or belated, blind, furious. We bare our chests to them as we walk by, And then some end up dead and others famous. Or else we donít pay heed to them. Some duck them on the ground. On purpose or by accident, We stumble and fall down.
© de Cate + Navrozov. Translation, 1995