The Cemetery

He reached the graveyard, - grass, death, oblivion,-
He who had noticed how the world goes on.
It must have been a graveyard for dead ships.
He heard shrouds snarl under the wind's whips
Yet quietness unravelled from the grass.
He let his silence into that silence pass.
And shaped from air a cross among the birds
While the first tombstone let him read these words

"I did not die by chance but through the will
Of winds that found in me an easy kill.
They promised me safe anchor in my death,
Death in that anchorage : now they break faith.
The winds persist, and shipwreck underground.
New fears, not those I lost with life, resound.
Though slack with nothingness my buried forms
Are still judged worth their steerage through those storms.
Who blows the wind that makes my mainsails pout?
Why is a ship, once started, always out ?
I can say only that, without life, this hull
Plods sleeplessly, and misery bakes the skull.
For more than plain endurance none can pray,
But pray for me to Mary, traveller, pray."

He plucked some leaves and gave them to the air,
Then knelt, and three times prayed that formal prayer.

Translated by Jerzy Peterkiewicz and Burns Singer
(Contributed by daniel on Friday, April 8th, 2011)
 
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