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Sport 40: 2012

Prose Variations

page 240

Prose Variations

Something will appear that will cover over the person who attempts to cover it.Leonardo da Vinci

And what was there accepted us, what was lost was
what, as yet a smile, caressed the question presently of
whether, for where that was, so close and branching
out, was like a fruit that mellowed, and there what
was lovely fell, largesse, a thing unblemished, it was a
way, a fragrance, and what ranged breeze-like through
the leaves was seeing, was like fury, remembered now
as rapture, and look, how by the lake we stood in the
light, the clusters full, and the day all but embracing
us, benign, its arms as if in drunken blossom sinking,
sweet and soft.

Only now, the dahlias up and standing, did the roses
start to droop, the branches shedding their leaves,
so that something in late summer went deeper into
colour, warm and yielding, as if, with shadows flitting
past like birds, staying on was cradling, gentle when
it sank among the leaves, and the yellowy pears and
apples flushed, or lay in the grass, fermenting under
the thinning crown, when no wind lifted, hardly broke
through, swaying but a single tendril faintly, a sweet
pea on the rusting fence.

page 241 And the persons we once were, under trees in the rain
or in the falling leaves, walked as if lost to that drift
in days that were long and mellow, gleaming blue and
gold by the lake where poplars, silvery, stood beside the
birches, whose leaves, already yellow, falling, fragrant,
lay as if caressed by the desire to dream of a life where
no cry would stay forever a question, where flowers,
shadows, would still be found, come winter, when the
sun laid its shine into the deeper branches.

Neglect too answered to hierarchies,
when, in the autumn, the shedding of leaves took hold of us, and
the gardens gleamed, so spellbound by their years of
fallow and decay, that what worked miracles yielded, or
soon, amongst the blossom, forgot, or wilted, crashing
down, or sinking in a roundel, when no day grasped
like a heart could what to us was rich and kindly with
promise, and cold now, abandoned by desires, lay there
in abeyance, overgrown, and surrendered for nothing
to the evening.

Even if a day, beckoning to us, was warmer, or so
seemed, when thorns in the thicket and the berries
reflected the blue and the clouds in the distance rose
like a wall, the vault of the sky bright and autumnal,
the branches surging as, turning with a sigh, now
gently sinking like the leaves, now bowing its head like
the long grass, something opened, ripe to burst, a kind
of offering even, as gently, uncertainly yielding, a chill
breath of heartfelt dejection blended as shadow into
the milder air.

© Michael Donhauser 2012. English translations © Iain Galbraith 2012.