It is a huge curtain,
stretched at a distance around me.
Aimless gypsies crawl up and over the curtain.
They are my days.
They neither sing nor laugh
but hop over the top of my sadness.
Here and there one wears a gay shirt.
He is faster than the rest.
Even in my sleep with closed eyes
I cannot pierce this drapery.
Some day I will wind a child's smile around my face
and thus disguised
Slip through the curtain and jump...
Where?
Ah, yes, where?

More by William Saphier

Flamingo Dreams

A green and copper-backed frog
keeps me from seeing
brick-colored eucalyptus flowers
dancing on an apple-green sky;
large rose-hued cotton fists
with gold knuckles
chase a blushing sun
into a purple, lead sea:
I am hungry and he is cautious.

Conscience

This evening more than ever
my ancient, despised Hebrew priest,
warped by the hot Arabian sun,
inflicted his heart-scorching sermon;
burnishing with impatient feet
a whisper of duty in my heart,
commanding, beseeching,
that I offer on his altar.
And a strong white-hot wind blew
my brothers’ woes into my viens.

Rain

Like crawling black monsters
the big clouds tap at my window,
their shooting liquid fingers slide
over the staring panes
and merge on the red wall.
Some of the fingers pull at the hinges
and whisper insistently: “Let us come in,
the cruel wind whips and drives us
till we are sore and in despair.”
But I cannot harbor the big crawling black clouds,
I cannot save them from the angry wind.
In a tiny crevice of my aching heart
there is a big storm brewing
and loud clamour and constant prayer
for the reflection of snow-capped mountains
on a distant lake.
Tires and dazed I sit on a bear skin
and timidly listen to the concert of storms.