A Train Journey

A wisp of light remained ‘til dusk,
Just then, at the window a bat clung;

Lined up, hate, fear, jealousy, boredom,
Unsettled in the grave, the skeleton.

The precipitous plunge of thought;
Wheels turning: torture.

Hair hanging from the lowering ceiling…
Trees waved their arms.

A fire; on the earth, in the sky, in memories,
In stillness: all remnants of a whirlwind.

A crash! A broken window?
No, the crack of my skull.

A flash of green light inside my brain
Scurried here and there inside my brain.

But, a poetic, sad serpent
At the end of a bough… just gazed at the moon.

O these faces, faces like masks,
Beautiful, ugly, strange faces;

A day of love, a day of loathing,
The lips you kissed with hate, with love…

Constantly calling out to me:
“How do they look, my legs? My eyes?”

Alas! What crowding and confusion, how loathsome!.. just then,
Closer, closer and closer came and passed a train.

Ahmet Muhip Dranas (1909-1980). Bir Tren Yolculuğu. Translated from the Turkish.

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