English Poems

English blog (Butterfly War)
English biography


behind high walls
in a quiet garden
under old trees
on the edge of town
where streets run out
hidden deep in the grass
a spring bubbles forth
drink your fill

there is no map
no one knows the way
what’s with the spring
wine’s the drink
the city’s full of fountains
of parks with flowers blue
if you went to the garden
you’d be alone

the birds fly south
children grow up
walls get cracks
rivers turn into canals
you must look for the garden
find the spring in the grass
drink from its water
just this once


by the river (big change)

the moon swims yellow in the warm wind
the boat swings gently on dark breezes
the summer touches the thick reeds
and water licks your feet
yes we have seen so much
and at the hight of august
november smells far-off and good
yes I dreamed of snow
but the grass stands on the bank
and laughsall those hard frontiers now have crumbled
the city on the river is getting loud
a pleasant unfamiliar taste to everything
greedily tickles our mouths
the lights over the water
gleam rich and mild
the compass that we followed here
has lost its needle now
and the grass stands on the bank
and laughsthe country where we learned to walk
an vision sunken long ago
now see that sparkling down the riverbed
the bleaching bones of the past
and warm and gentle waves
carry us above
and now already proof is needed
that this was once our life
and the grass stands on the bank
and laughsthe summer grabs us gently by the hair
it knows percisely what we lack
we let it happen and we travel
with eyes wide open through the world
the war is not yet over
but at the hight of august
we’re filled by summers silent power
that always returns
and the grass stands on the bank

whole for two seconds

the field of wheat somewhere way out there
the paths long overgrown with grass
lost high blue sky
the deep dark green of poplar leavesa moment like something cut out
(out) of a dream from some old book
warm midday air fills up my lungs
and I am sure that I could flythe field of wheat rocked by the wind
no pole no cable cuts the sky
only grasses nodding their heads
summer’s silence is a big rejoicingsummer’s silence is a big rejoicing
the calm run trough with heat and dust alone
how many days and towns I had to cross
to see this field of wheat


new songs

from the duty of revolution
we enjoy the later morning
and the grumbling of the ageing
joggers that in former times
everything used to be bad
in better ways and the youth
did not smile so mildly

we take pleasure in the special reports
on the daily apocalypses of course
we are worried and a little bit indignant
well-behaved rebels
we go and take a shower

we are accused
of accepting everything
and of not being discontented enough
we nod assent and switch off the magnificent music
coming out of the radio we whistle
a little tune
not new but who cares

we are offered
revolutionary soft-drinks
exciting creations and hand-selected
pro-biotic world-cultures
we are amazed
but we say thank you

granted, a glass of water
is not new
but still quite good

English versions by Rebecca Jany and Nicholas Grindell.
© martin jankowski 2012