Artificer - Poem by Czeslaw Milosz
Burning, he walks in the stream of flickering letters, clarinets,
machines throbbing quicker than the heart, lopped-off heads, silk
canvases, and he stops under the sky
and raises toward it his joined clenched fists.
Believers fall on their bellies, they suppose it is a monstrance that
but those are knuckles, sharp knuckles shine that way, my friends.
He cuts the glowing, yellow buildings in two, breaks the walls into
pensive, he looks at the honey seeping from those huge honeycombs:
throbs of pianos, children's cries, the thud of a head banging against
This is the only landscape able to make him feel.
He wonders at his brother's skull shaped like an egg,
every day he shoves back his black hair from his brow,
then one day he plants a big load of dynamite
and is surprised that afterward everything spouts up in the explosion.
Agape, he observes the clouds and what is hanging in them:
globes, penal codes, dead cats floating on their backs, locomotives.
They turn in the skeins of white clouds like trash in a puddle.
While below on the earth a banner, the color of a romantic rose,
and a long row of military trains crawls on the weed-covered tracks.
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