Azriel Kaufman


The wisdom of animals
arises from
long and immense days
when the hummingbird
sucks the same drop
from the goblet
and the ascending eagle
carries in its parts
the gauge of altitude and limitation


A man turns to the mountain
asks for a well
and a stone pierces his voice.
Without replying to the bird
he meets a shadow
and gives it a name.
What would he do
for his own good -
would dress up like a rock that stabs.


I sleep and my heart is awake to the sand pebbles
which are a part of me -
They contain no pain.
And my voice and the stones
are close to the sea
creeping near the basalt.
A full moon floats in the east
and in the mountain range in the water -
desire like copper,
light as yearnings.
With the first light
I whistle down a path of water mist
and am answered
by a crow and a bird trying its voice.
The Eucalyptus is a tree, creaking from the bones of a large animal.
The sun rushes through the arc of day
and above it
a seagull stops, drops, and hunts.
Without the hungers
of those who wear clothes
there is in this the full half of beauty.

translated by Karen Alkalay-Gut home