Veno Taufer

(1933 / Ljubljana)

Orpheus

Poem by Veno Taufer

under a blossoming cherry tree he sings about spring
holds the music upside down in angelic hands
the song is seraphically sad a devilishly funny
women and children watch him without malice

petals flutter down on his brow there's an echo in his head
crows wait for the fruit to ripen
too much spittle in his throat his voice is stifled
already the women and children can feel the seeds in their teeth

his heart is a bird of prey
it sits on his nose looks in his eyes
cooling his death's sweat with its flapping wings

his heart is a bird of prey
it pecks out his eyes perches in his skull
its claws scratching in the dry remains for moisture

Translated by Michael Biggins


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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 23, 2017