Vinko Kalinic

Rookie (1974. / Split, Croatia)

We Woke Up - Poem by Vinko Kalinic

See, just like that, we woke up one morning
not even thinking about what was happening yesterday
and what could really be tomorrow
on some wet ground, beneath the naked stars
we woke up, bro, on flagging grass, completely naked
no underpants and no feathers, like two crazy confused herons
who haven't even managed to build their nests

and there was scirocco blowing, or something else that was
or one or the other, don't know what to say
it was blowing forcefully, but that was less important
because the face I was holding in my hand was so warm and soft
- was mine like that too, who would have known?
dreamily, she reclined her head on my thigh
waving it with no words - bit closer, bit further
as an ancient boat carried by its sail -
and I was complete, God forgive
as I fell down from the pear tree

the Moon was still full, diffused and dense
it was dawning - see, don't even know which day,
everything was orange, and up so high
the sky, land and the dream mixed
don't ask me brother, what was prettier, her eyelids or her eye only
- I still wouldn't know
I don't remember that I've ever seen anything so gentle
not even when I was a child, I wasn't that young
inside me the hoar frost has fallen, and all was snowy
behind drawn eyelids, I saw
soaring blizzards and fallen rains
some horrible rains, madly and heavy rains
and it looked - like a crazy swing
the whole world was swinging in those eyes
again, as soon as she opened her eyes, you could hear it so close
- those eyes, they had such power! -
where seashore is rustling and the sea is breathing
looks like days change into nights in there
suddenly, who knows where from, it would come to me too
to jump, to swim, to get wet
to dive into that foamy iris
just like that, see - after the strong winter
summer would shine again

we woke up, brother
she and me - as two poor, penniless thieves
that climbed down, who knows from where
whether from Triglav or from Carpathians
no citizenship and birth certificate
our only witness was the dew
in every drop, like in the mirror
our clean faces glittered
like thousands flags,
only our hair was waving

see, we woke up that morning
crazy and funny, like Buga and Tuga
and everything was, God forgive
like the Earth was mocking the sky
bro, we woke up somewhere
where joy and sorrow wake up together
unnamed - we were waking up the same way that butterflies,
caterpillars and creepy forest worms do

who knows what language her lips spoke then
even without any words they were warm, red end full of blood

we tangled up our tongues and whispered something
about sorrow, happiness, love and pain
and like Eskimos we were rubbing noses
drawing hieroglyphs and making funny faces
like Japanese and Chinese, knowingly and skilfully
although those languages we never studied at school

ancient like a cypress, playful like a cloud
she was raising like a dawn, you could hear the heart jumping
always new, fluent and endless, unreal and light
but still elementary - when she laughs and when she cries
like an aria distant, and her echo -
thrown as a curse in my hand
she was murmuring like a stream and overflowing like a river
and me, like a Charlie Chaplin in his own anguish
I was funny to myself
-oh God, you, who created her ''in your own image''
be merciful and say - I was calling up God -
what should I be kissing, because I don't know,
which part was even nicer on her: her navel or her foot

who knows what country that was
who knows what time that was

on some lawn we were standing
-her and me

she - the most gentle woman of all women
like the resonant bell gong

inside of me there are still thousand screaming beasts
and each of them is preying their own peace of skin

-oh, God!
I really don't know why we did wake up at all,
because when we were asleep we felt
quite nice

this way, when all other things become irrelevant for me,
all inside me will be thirsty just when she looks at me

brother, my bones are still painful
from that awakening
and God forgive,
since then,
on this Earth,
we just remained guests


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 1, 2012

Poem Edited: Monday, April 2, 2012


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