EN / SLO

Mark Whelan

Ireland, 1960

Mark Whelan was born in Limerick City in 1960 where he lives and works. He has had work published in various Irish Journals including Cyphers, Revival, and The Stony Thursday Book.  Works have also been translated in to French, Farsi, and Spanish. He was co-editor of On The Counterscarp: An Anthology of Limerick Writing 1963-1993.He was guest Editor of The Stony Thursday Book 2001-2005.He is presently co-editor of Revival Poetry Journal. He is co-founder and remains on the committee of Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival, now in its thirteenth year. He has read at the Murcia International Poetry Festival 2000, at the Bad Language International Poetry Festival Brighton 2004, and at the Pulse International Poetry Festival Brighton 2006. He has published two collections: Scarecrow Diptych illustrated by Irish Artist John Shinnors (Anam Press 2004), Always Pushing The Pull Door illustrated by Irish Artist Thomas Delohery (Revival Press 2007)

ON THE PLAZA
for Bertha McCullough based on a line by Miguel Ortega

These women
clasped
arm in arm

across the Plaza
where do they go?

What do they talk of?

The first day after the first night of their marriage?

The first day of their first child?

Or perhaps…the first day of
the first dead child born to them
no poem can explain…amend…
nor make hope for…perhaps…their talk
is a speech beyond men…perhaps

Where do they go
as they walk arm in arm
along the street leading from the Plaza
as the echo of their footfall
broadens the cracked flint
of a cobbled distance?

Arm in arm
where do they go
along the streets
ignoring with simplicity
spiralling winter-ghosts
of whom they are only too aware
yet do not grant to them
the grace of entrance?

Where do they go
as they go    arm in arm
laughing loudly on narrow streets
their story of the baker with a hairy chest
and a wife who is so jealous
of the smiles with which they give him their
-God be with you
in the early hour of their morning
the afternoon of his day?

Smiling as he wraps
up the bread to go
he thinks secretly to himself
there is no scent entices longing
as exquisitely as the scent of bread

These women!
Love and sacrifice    sorrow and happiness
Sorrow and love       happiness and sacrifice

Where do they go
arm in arm
carefully careless of intrusion
as they seemingly fade out of sight
the strings of their pearls and poverty
a mile from where they are?

All these women
clasped arm in arm
along the street
where do they go as they go
into a distance of what
cannot be more wholesomely presence
in the fragrant repercussions
of their having-being?

Perhaps they go toward
that distance which is the present
of who they are…perhaps

Remembered to the present
as the girls they once were
arm in arm along the streets
girls full of women’s talk
of what it means to be
and to be that which means to be

Women the summer balm
rustling the first leaves
of the first tree   recognise
and has never forgotten

THREE GYMNOEPEDIE

I
When from the landscape of your eyes
summer-sorrows emerge
dream no more of vacant rooms    empty restaurants
of morning rain   of busy streets in the afternoon

Beyond the pale pulse of your breath
beyond  the warm pulse imbedded in your hands
there remain the remnants of the vanished light of rivers
and a still-voice    distilling tears into newer firmaments

II
                         When at last
you exhume your living breath from mine
When at last you turn from the beds
of ferns and willow-cloth never truly ours

Do not leave your weightless ghost behind
do not leave your ghost among dead flowers
With a white stranger   with a musical friend
resolve that you walk on your own feet

III
White the hour   White the rainfall
Snow fires the font of your eyes
Frostlight on leafdark braids of your hair
Gather it   you who are journey-bound

Such forests await your arrival
Such last words beg your peace
Yet…here you reappear   in the white hour
beneath falling rain   the persistent falling rain

V slovenščini:

TRI GIMNOPEDIJE

I
Ko s pejsaža tvojih oči
poletna žalost pride
ne sanjaš več zapuščenih sob praznih restavracij
jutranjega dežja prenapolnjenih cest popoldanskih

Onstran bledega utripa tvojega dihanja
onstran toplega utripa vtisnjenega v tvojih dlaneh
ostajajo drobci izginjajočega sija reke
in tihoglasje prekapa solze v novi nebes.

II
Ko nazadnje
izleviš svoj dih življenja od mojega
Se nazadnje obrneš od postelje
grmičevja in žalujkinih vej nikdar zares najinih

Ne puščaj breztežnega duha
ne puščaj svojega duha med uvelimi cveticami
z bledim tujcem z veselim prijateljem
razkrivajoč da sam hodiš po lastnih nogah


III
Pobeli ure   pobeli deževje
sneg gori v čaši tvojih oči
ledeni sij na listnotemnih kitah tvojih las
naberi ga    ti popotovalec

Taki gozdovi te pričakujejo
take zadnje besede prosijo tvoj mir
vendar … znova se pojaviš tu v bledi uri
med deževanjem med tem nenehnim deževanjem
(Prevedel Jani Kovačič)

GYPSY ROVERS NO. 3 from GYPSY CYCLE
for Galvin and Tracy

He brings her a night-basket woven of a breath of wrens
covers it with a silk cloth of gossamer-mornings
beneath which sleeps    the immense world
living behind the eyes of Humming-Birds

She brings him a day woven from a delicious scent of hyacinths
a seamless weaving of the past weaves its history of the present
into the blood of his heart    plants there    a day
when he will never again be tired of being a man

He brings her   hidden flames of the sea
a conch-shell by which she can hear the memory
of a story of running streams   a language of fish
heard only by fields  hills   and mountain-plains of their country

She brings him a country startled by the will of butterflies
A forest filled with secret incantations of love 
as they step   to and fro   fro and to 
beneath a blue-sky-gauze of mizzle-dawn

When she dresses in the morning
He dresses her with night

When he undresses at night
She dresses him with morning


Ciganska poroka št. 3 iz Ciganskega ciklusa
za Galvina in Tracy

Prinese ji košaro noči spleteno iz sape stržkov           
jo pokrije s svileno tkanino pajčevinastih juter
pod katerim spi  velikanski svet
ki živi za očmi kolibrijev

Prinese mu dan spleten iz slastnega vonja hijacint
pletivo preteklosti brez zank vpleta svojo zgodovino sedanjosti
v kri njegovega srca    tam nasadi     dan
ko ne bo nikoli več naveličan tega da je človek

Prinese ji    skriti ogenj morja
školjko v kateri lahko sliši spomin
na zgodbo žuborečih potokov    jezik rib
ki ga slišijo le polja    hribi    gorske planote njihove dežele

Prinese mu deželo vznemirjeno od želja metuljev
gozd poln skrivnih ljubezenskih zaklinjanj
ko stopata    sem ter tja    tja ter sem
pod modro nebesno tenčico rosne zore

Ko se ona zjutraj oblači
jo on obleče v noč

Ko se on ponoči sleče
ga ona obleče v jutro
            (Prevedel Tone Škrjanec)


ATTENDING-ON-WAITING
i.m. Samuel Beckett

Because the leaves of the uncertain
and the familiar
are  the intimate unfolding embrace
of the one tree

Because there are harvests of
moonlit conversations
gathered to the silence of
the no-word   no-how   no-where

Because there are whispers of
ghosts rustling beneath
the feathered flight of words

Because yesterday arrives by instinct

Because of the word
that will never be possessed

Because today survives by intuition

Because of the language which will never be possessed

There will remain always
the slow walk from bareness to birth


V češtině:

NÁVŠTĚVNÍKEM V ČEKÁNÍ                                                                                             
i.m. Samuel Becket

Neboť listy neurčitého
a důvěrného
jsou tou náručí z niterných částí   
k objetí stromu

Neboť jsou těmi ženci                               
lunou osvícených  rozhovorů
posklízených do tichosti
zásloví  bezcestí  nezemě

Neboť jsou tím šelestem
zaslechnutým pod                         
opeřeným hejnem slov

Neboť včerejšek vchází instinktem

Neboť pouty slov
se jich nikdy nelze zmocnit

Neboť dnešek přežívá intuicí         

Neboť žádnou řečí se jich nikdy nelze zmocnit 

Navěky zůstanou   
krokem z nahoty ke zrodu. 
(Přeložila Martina Komárková)


LITTLE PSALM NO. II
for Jane Hirschfield

I
There are days
which have traveled to a place
toward which no man can follow
nor no woman dream of

Neither past
nor present
they remain in sight
at a distance
no word can describe

Just as the boy becomes the man
and the girl the woman
the autumn of their being
still amazed by the lack of
the apprehension of their corporality


II
There are days
which have yet to arrive
from which no man can return
nor no woman wake from

Neither past
nor present
they are kept out of sight
even as words
vaguely sense the inevitability
of what they cannot   must not say

Beneath the moon   a man
pulls his coat-collar to the wind
Beneath a night-soft rain
a woman opens a pretty parasol

The ends of creation
sleeps toward their dreams
as the word   corporal
hits the bottom of a hollow
in the shadow of a flowing river


III
There is the day present
which never arrives
which never passes
it is ever-living   eternal
a man speaks toward it
a woman sings from it
and there is something frighteningly terrible
and unerringly beautiful
in the songs of poet
listening from
the life of trees and birds
and things which seem
to have no voice at all
but are simply here
in the pure simplicity
of their being here

The myriad silence of the speech
listen through words
toward that which is voice
and which can never be spoken
nor worded   nor possessed
only given

The day present
does not pass
nor does it arrive
it is ever-living   eternal
transparent as a surface of water
consumed by light



from SONGS FOR CHILDREN: SONG NO. II
for Joseph Clarke

If love command your heart
temper strength with gentleness
Michael Hartnett

May all manner of seasons
Budding to the growing-cycles
Of your seedling heart be known to you

May all manner of weather
Navigating your unique climate
Lead you safely out and safely home

May butterflies of many colours
Halo your dreaming   and bees
Make honeypoems from the pollen of your mortal blood

May the intuition of birds
Nest in you   the tenacity
Of badgers be your vigour

May the land root you firmly
The land from which you
Will furrow your own path

May the sky and sea
Those intimate sisters of silence and mystery
Harken to the language of your breaths pulse

May the world inside and out
Be never closed to you   Nor your soul
Be distracted from its hearts course

May your mothers love be your wisdom
May your fathers love be your strength
May your brothers love be your strong shoulder




Three blessings this poem gives you

May you be carried by the torrent of a quiet tide
Smoothing stones as you travel
That your heart and spirit may always live
In the light that breathes without sorrow or spite

May time be a slow and pleasurable drink for you
That the earth will not forget
The light pressure of your footfall
Nor riversong let you go unrecognised

May night and day be clean fresh parchments for you
That you words may always follow
The way of breath that lacks not
The openness of a leafy path


PHOU PAH IN THE TAVERN

One night Phou Pah sat in the tavern
with no one else about
he gazed the candle alight on his table
silenced to himself

through winter
sit
between two candles

sometimes
wax
extinguishes the flame

in a well
of melting wax
a flame alight

what is it a candle-flame
remembers
what is it  it forgets
dawn
shattering light
of a candles frame

nothing   between
the candle
its flame
a hungry flame
on a wick
of a candle

wax disappearing
in its flame
hunger


soon
the flame   remembers
to go

a candle
unlit
consequences ensue

wax candle
wick
a possible flame

the way
a candles
flame


So for a time    Phou Pah sat



  From The Story Of A Poem As A Small Town/ The Yellow Shark Chronicles Volume III
 Of Poor Phou Pah
V slovenščini:

PHOU PAH V TAVERNI

Neke noči je Phou Pah sedel v taverni
nikogar nikjer
strmel je v svečo prižgano na svoji mizi
v tišini s seboj

pozimi
sedi
med dvema svečama

včasih
vosek
zapusti plamen

v ponor
topečega voska
ognjenega sija

kaj je plamen sveče
se spomni
kar je   se pozabi

zora
trepetavi sij
plamena sveče

ničesar ni   vmes
sveča
njen plam

pogoltni plamen
s stenja
sveče

vosek izginja
v plamena
lakoti

kmalu
plamen prešine
in odide

sveča
ugasne
kar se zgodi sledi

vosek sveče
stenj
možni ogenj

pot
sveče
plamen

In ves ta čas      Phou Pat sedi
(Prevedel Jani Kovačič)

*
From Section Four of Lazarus Sunday ( A Sonata)  i.m. of my father Patrick Joseph Whelan

PSALM I

There will be wine for drinking…
and the advent of love
soft as rainmizzle
on a forever-narrow-mountain-path
your beloved   more beautiful in your eyes
than when your dead went down
The destiny of the candle knowing its own weight
will reveal how the child sleeps and sings
and the man   elsewhere
will arrive to be in his life
At this table inscribed with silence
there will be no farewells   no need for forgetfulness
And there will be wine for drinking…


PSALM IV 

There will be bread for eating…
beneath the orchard-sky
landmarks born of flags of loss
opening to a small country of sanctity and candles
There will be the mystery of answers
hidden in the letters of your name
and truth no longer veiled within
leaves aflame with tears
here will be wine and the fluid movement
of bodies passing from the web of waiting
Under a full whey-yellow moon
there will be no more see you soon but always
And there will be bread for eating…      


TODAY

Today is a day for my father
the way he was
full of love   of early prayers
under a dawn-bright sun

Today is a day for my father
the way he was
a beautiful child about the town
wrapped in the museum of his peace

Today is a day for my father
the way he was
as someone else again
in the envelope of his darkness

Today is a day for my father
the way he was
in the tears of his visibility
healing wounds   opening scars

Today is a day for my father
the way he never was   dead
beneath a bright sun   a crisp cold wind
blowing over the depth now settling him

blowing through the streets
through which once
he so lovingly walked
Today   is a day   for my father

PSALM II

There will be water for giving…
an address in the wind
that will lead finally
to the destination of undoing
There will be the frantic ease of
the rising and fading of scents come evening
when your enemy   will be left to stand
at the doorway of the coming in or going out
On one effortless day
without the need for caution
there will be one who will comb
the summer of your hair
And there will be water for giving…

PSALM III

There will be blood for receiving…
a home in the hills
deep in the thronged silence of
streams and clouds
There will remain the remains of all
that you have spoken and left unsaid
carried by the shape of a voice
excavated from the distance of the near-by
One night the desert-shoemaker will simply remark
houses   homes   churches   synagogues   mosques
there will be the balm of a desert breeze
there will be a comfort of rain
And there will be blood for receiving…

DAYS

innumerable days have slipped by
they passed   unrecognised   unlived
and are gone forever

days   when something could have mattered    perhaps
days   when something could have been done   perhaps
yet those days are gone

just as this one slips its moorings to follow them
timid    tired with waiting
shamefaced with poverty   lack

anxious   to be over
to be   gone

*

days of those days    unattended
when what  wakens of the-what-is-not
so rises from its undergrowth
even animals are startled to panic

days when ache fades from the invisible
and you long again to deepen toward
the presence of your failing silence   up there
on  an  unheard   wail   of an whitening sail
hoisted   leaving at last
the raving rhythms of a solitude
you could no longer harmonise

*

days which arrived by stealth
those days when talk
was finally reduced of meaning

even the breath of deception
hidden in the pulse of pain
ached for wordlessness

nor could the word for
rainfall-patterning-the-quiet-river
reach for you

you were no longer there
no longer among them or their shades
the words of old

for you too had been reduced with them
growing cold as the long day grew longer
unfurling into the length of its own shadow


*

a day    passes                    
a night    passes
all     as is as all
changed
all is as it was

you
have grown
one day
older

*

days of
those days of
missing-the-mark
realised

those days when light falls
and you must begin again
with a leaner heart   a keener spirit

days of those days
when the question
no longer asks
What you would do if…?
rather
What must be done because…?

*

daily   you cross the line
a line that disappears
as soon as you are beyond it
it is yesterday
filled with regret at your leaving
awaiting your return

nightly   you settle to a line
a line not yet broached
it is tomorrow
full of promise   expectancy
attending-on
the hope of your arrival

Literary association IA

The 7th Golden Boat Poetry Translation Workshop 2009

(Film from The Golden Boat 2009 translation workshop was directed by Hana Kovač.)

Monday, 7 September:  Arrival
19:00 – Dinner
    
Tuesday, 8 September    
10:00 – Start of the workshop
13:30 – Lunch
15:30 – Workshop
19:00 – Dinner

Wednesday, 9 September    
9:30 – Workshop
13:30 – Lunch
15:30 – Workshop
17:30 – Walking excursion (Škocjan caves)
19:00 – Dinner

Thursday, 10 September    
9:30 – Workshop
13:30 – Lunch
15:30 – Workshop    
19:00 – The Golden Boat reading in Škocjan

Friday, 11 September
9:30 – Workshop
13:30 – Lunch
15:30 – Excursion to Ljubljana
20:00 – The Golden Boat reading at the Cultural Centre Cankarjev dom

Saturday, 12 September    
9:30 – Workshop
13:30 – Lunch
15:30 – Excursion to a nearby village
19:00 – Dinner

Sunday, 13 September    
Departure after breakfast/in the day

Zlati Čoln 2010