in memorium

crematorium

Life will always be dwarfed by death. In fact, life arises, frail and brief, with all its attendant joys and sorrows, from death. Perhaps one could say that emptiness is the great mother, giving forth life, silently nurturing, without bias, all who thrive within her compassionate embrace. And it is within this silence, this most intimate silence at the core of being, or not being, whatever the case may be, that our relationship with our mother, our true relationship, is so deeply personal as to be hidden, and so remains wordless and ineffable, yet still so very present, transcending time and place. It is through this that the darkness is illuminated, through this that the unseen light of knowing, without hope or fear, shines forth, in a subtle, most often unwitnessed, glow; an unseen luminescence which is as inherent and steady in death as it is in life; both giver and given, mother and son, or sister, husband, friend, yet, in all cases, provider, nurturer, caregiver; the one light overcoming all darkness; the very light, in fact, which brings forth that darkness; that one light which provides comfort even in death. And so, embracing and embraced, there can be no parting, no need for farewell, but rather a pregnant silence by way of gratitude, and a sauntering forth bathed in her gentle knowing.

we are in the dark

Jean Wahl by Avigdor Arikha

We are in the dark, unknown, ignorant,
Floating down the river of time,
Rooted in the fields of space,
And everything passes and nothing ceases
Except, soon, ourselves
When at grave’s edge
We will see that we lived in the great light
And never knew it.

Jean Wahl
tr. Michael Tweed
ill. Avigdor Arikha

(Nous sommes dans le noir, ignorés, ignorant,
Flottant sur le cours du temps,
Enracinés aux champs de l’espace,
Et tout passe et rien ne cesse
Que nous-mêmes bientôt
Quand au bord du tombeau
Nous verrons que nous vivions dans la grande lumière
Et ne le savions pas.)

Song of the Golden Tree by Claude Margat

One day
the mouth named
the never lifting mist
the wordless support
the imageless breath
how long ago
how long?

Then came
this other day
a thousand years of desire and sorrow
between sky and path
grass frozen beneath a white wind
and in the eyes
of long histories of the blind

Elsewhere
an impeccable blue
let blood and sand trickle down
present past no matter
silk wall or golden leaves
if the murmur of things is broken
who will rediscover the melody?

The gaze goes
another in the heart of the same waits
the presence of the thing
replaces the thing
but does nothing

The whirling wind
that bears the soul
making dead leaves
fly into the corner of the old wall
is like today
the one twirling
in the hollow of your hand
it speaks
but who listens?

It is said that one day at some point
time stops going
but is it the going that time stops
or the coming?

Suddenly in the hearth
the fire flares up
in the heart of the blaze appears
the cave where
the immaculate Phoenix is born
every word like a cloud
advances between its shadow and its opposite
every living being
towards their own absence

In the distance
in the furthest depths
the hermetic memory frees itself
the foam of the wave where
the rock begins
to lean towards the pebble
the tree towards the air
the sky towards the earth
thought towards its own abeyance

One is well aware that it comes from afar
the powerful call
well aware that it comes from before
like a great gust of space and
there where it loses momentum and
turns back on itself
beats the right time
the time that animates the wing and bears
the light where nothing
is ever
played again.

from En marge d’une vie (L’atelier du Grand Tétras, 2016)
translated by mt

En marge d'une vie

New Publication

Poèmes_sm

translated by Jean-Paul Auxeméry and Claude Margat

 

On One: The Writings of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte

Roger Gilbert-Lecomte

In Rain Taxi (winter 2015/16) Garrett Caples reviews my collection of writings by Roger Gilbert-Lecomte.