Wednesday, July 13, 2011

setting sun

Quelques vieux bâtiments et les champs en friche

Comme si le soleil
était l’ombre d’un abîme
qui approfondirait
l’horizon en nous,

l’après-midi mourant
trempe les murs
d’une clarté de cuivre.
Le lierre miroite et pense

quand une brise
dans le piège de vignes
cherche des mots
comme des tessons de verre.

S’envolant d’un toit,
un corbeau rauque
d’un seul trait d’aile
peint le retour de nos noms

dans la bouche de la terre.

A few old buildings among the fallow fields

As if the sun were
the shadow of an abyss
that would deepen
the horizon in us,

this dying afternoon
soaks the walls
in coppery light.
The ivy glimmers and thinks

when a breeze in the trap
of vines seeks words
like shards of glass.
Flying from a roof,

a hoarse crow
in a single wingbeat
paints our names’ return
to the mouth of the earth


  1. Merci pour votre visite sur mon blog.Je vois que vous jonglez aussi bien avec les mots qu'avec les images. Joli jeu d'ombre. Un cache-cache entre le toit et l'émoi.

  2. "As if the sun were
    the shadow of an abyss"

    This is actually quite a dark poem yet written with such a gentle beauty. I love the title, amidst the fallow fields the evocation of (abandoned?) buildings. The daily death of the sun, the darkening abyss of the shadow of sunset is balanced by the coppery light and the glimmering ivy. But it's that hoarse crow at the end returning 'us' to dust that give one the shivers!

  3. maia: “Un cache-cache entre le toit et l’émoi.” Vous aussi, vous jonglez assez bien. Je souris.

  4. Marion: There is always something somber in the approach of night. It is the oldest trope in the world, but no less true for that.... Thank you for such a careful, insightful reading :-)

  5. and yet we resist this gentle returning of our names into the mouth of earth, we want the light of the dying afternoon to be forever, in a photo, in words, be they broken like glass...

    did you write the poem in english and translated into french? did you think in both languages at the same time? :-)

  6. Roxana: perhaps we long for transformation ... but we long equally much to stay in the threshold, infinitely prolonging the moment just before transformation ... photos, words, do this so often, so often they are not about the change, but about the moment just before, the little instant of dreadful potential and magic in the back of the throat between inhaling and speaking....

    i wrote the poem in french, and translated into english ... sometimes, for no reason i know or perhaps for no reason at all, the words come in french ... it is madness, i'm sure, writing in a language i can barely speak :-)

  7. I would really like to listen to that, and watch your mouth as it moved from the first to the last word. French is a beautiful language I wish I could speak.

    I love the photos and the setting feeling in the poem. I enjoy the silence of sunset, it feels like a pat on the shoulder, as if the universe were saying 'it's ok, you've done well'.


  8. Kenia: i wish we could read it together!!

    sunsets and dawns are important times, moments of transition from one state of being to another, times of magic and risk and ritual ... i like to stand in the sunset and feel that the light is changing as much inside me as it is changing in the sky :-)