BARBARA LACHOWICZ: translated from the Polish by Agnieszka Ryszka


Years of incapability and disbelief.
Too many unnecessary worries.
And those things I had to polish
That cluttered my home
With illusory wealth -
I am closing now.
I leave them behind.
In sealed packages I send them back
To my old teachers
To let them learn from their own mistakes.
I don’t want to be another one
They’ve made.

13. October '99

Johnny stopped the Sun
Before it stepped off the horizon:
Tell me, Sun, what do you think of
And feel like
When you rise,
As you mount the sky at dawn,
As you hang there at noon?

It depends on the angle
I am watching you from

17. Hen's wisdom

Hens were observing
A swallow high above

- Why is she flying so high?
If she falls she could die.

Why do we
Have such respect for everlasting truths
and keep to our safe yard?

Then one night a fox
Stole into their house
And ate them all.


Our love was imprisoned
As Gin
Poured into a water bottle
We looked into its eyes
Touched it with our palms and thirsty lips
Waiting for a miracle
To set it free.

Then there were the apologies -
we didn’t pray
For the miracle zealously enough.
We were still alone.
Soon there was nobody to be forgiven


I am enlarging, getting more beautiful,
As a bunch of flowers in a florist’s hands.
He is preparing me for somebody’s wedding.
But not mine.


Good night, green buds,
Swollen with the March sun.
Thorns of blackberries and hawthorns,
Stony shores - good night!
The lake hurries to fall asleep.
Its waves shimmer and shine
Like fish scales.
It fades away into darkness and silence.
Alive and shining water!
Calm me into sleep with your swaying,
Your roar, the seagulls’ cry.

While I dream
Fill me
With the charms of the silver park,
Eden’s foliage,
Our traces on the paths,
Lost steps in the grass.
I want to take it all
To my solitary island
Reading my diary to you, my Lord.