By the River
Talking with contemporaries I saw heard behind their faces
that flowed and flowed and pulled with it the willing and the unwilling.
And the creature with stuck-together eyes that wants
to go right down the rapids with the current
throws itself forward without trembling
in a furious hunger for simplicity.
The water pulls more and more swiftly
as where the river narrows and flows over
in the rapids—the place where I paused
after a journey through dry woods
one June evening: the radio gives the latest
on the special meeting: Kosygin, Eban.
A few thoughts drill despairingly.
A few people down in the village.
And under the suspension bridge the masses of water hurl
past. Here comes the timber. Some logs
shoot out like torpedoes. Others turn
crosswise, twirl sluggishly and helplessly away
and some nose against the riverbanks,
push among stones and rubbish, wedge fast,
and pile up like clasped hands
motionless in the uproar . . .
I saw heard from the bridge
in a cloud of mosquitoes,
together with some boys. Their bicycles
buried in the greenery—only the horns
(Translated by Robin Fulton)