Bertolt Barkowski


                        it made him nervous,
                               when, all of a sudden,
                    I knocked 'gainst the pane of the terrace door.
                           Hastily, in a fast rhythm – 
                          and merely to warn that animal,
                                       the small rat,
                                                       tiny creature,
                                                             still so young,
                                 that was moving
                                                 in the shadow of the pine.

                         I saw the cat 
                                          that was ready
                                                                    to jump.

                             From the kitchen, a voice.
                                                       It was also warning.
                                                   It warned me:
                          “But you can't 
                                     change the world, after all – 
                               and all that is flowing...
                                  Even you will not stop that!”

                                         It echoes,
                                                in my head.
                               Echoes:  You won't stop it... 
                                     Hold it up!, 
                                           says the other voice.
                                    Not the cat, now, 
                                                        that is ready to jump: 
                                  No –  the greater doom...
                               But the letter, recently, said,
                                     “To change the world
                                                  is something you'd better leave
                                                        to more intelligent folks.”
                                   That's how it is,
                                                     I thought again.

                                         Again and again – : 
                                             It repeats itself.
                                            They surrender so quickly. 

                                                               (Transl. by AW, Oct. 25, 2013)



           go back to Street Voice # 5, Contents