Psalm III in what language should I speak to you, sun so you’ll rise tomorrow for my child, so you’ll rise and stimulate our food to grow circulation how should I sing it for my child how should I sing to you planet so you’ll forgive me for giving birth to plea to appetite for giving birth fastened to nothing how can I win the generosity of the creator-bacteria how can I win clean rain air glucose la la so we’ll lie down and fall asleep, so we’ll wake up so we’ll lie down and fall asleep, so we’ll wake up, gravitation: tfi tfi la la so you’ll lie us down and fall us asleep, and wake us— Psalm IV forty-one years of a human life without war and a single body is not enough (survivors of a winter of bad news now vacation) (survivors of a spring of bad news 2500 drowned) here are your people and those who are not yours (survivors in the cities of kale the gluten-free cities) we expect life the length of our life has doubled and is growing (survivors in the cultivated marvels of nature) don’t be afraid (in the rain of pixels the labyrinth of manmade hunger) don’t be afraid, little daughter the number of our scientists continues to increase expect life more and more life (in the red desert under the tall azure wave) don’t be afraid little daughter of mine and not mine the green meadows are quiet the bottomless nourishment (survivors of a winter a spring of bad news now vacation) here are your people here are those not— Psalm VI seconds tumble like confetti the sun descends the window panes onto the snow as I lose my outline vision bones and the building (my Warsaw home of concrete) is making noises that sound like weeping: day, who fell from my hands who slipped out from under my feet straight into the black mud among the stars, feed out what’s left of you among my mothers my children share me out— Psalm VII I saw the roots of the sprouting grain this is where I’ll build my temple I saw the tidy skeleton of the lizard cleaned of flesh by the ants this is where I’ll build my temple I recognize the hunger of the little creatures the sweet sounds of a language whispered low on the ground to the steadfast wind I saw the columns of sunlight reaching to the bottom of the sea it’s here I shall seek a hideaway where the shoals of nameless fishes play in poisoned water in the fear of little shining creatures the salty words of a language wave after wave “let the enemy persecute my soul and take it let him tread down my life upon the earth” this is where I’ll build my temple this is where I’ll seek shelter to feed myself out among the little creatures wave after wave of everyday human time and recognize the joy of honest lungs stomach hands and the language in which I was spoken before there was a she before there was an I— —translated by BILL JOHNSTON © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 6, 2018
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