You will grow old and regret it,
that you hurt – what you are proud of today.
The conscience will knock in
and there will be no memory in which it would leave you to flee.
You will have an old dog and it will settle down next to you.
You will rest during the day, taking a nap in a chair,
because at night you will be afraid staying only on you.
Shadows hit the shivering gammer.
The old dog will squeak sometimes,
but there will be silence in the room, all in order;
but someone will be missed from old times
to be there in that lonely silent corner.
Then you will toddle: and if you toddled enough
with your bad legs, you sit down. Above in a golden frame,
there’s your younger picture. You mutter to that stuff:
“I didn’t hug her because I didn’t love her name.”
“What could I have done?” – you ask
but your toothless mouth can no longer respond;
and you close your eyes by the sun’s cast,
you can’t wait it to be mooned.
Because if you fall asleep, the bed will bounce,
like a young horse to take off the harness.
And fear is wondering, not romance,
in your head: to love, not to love, nevertheless.
You decide in yourself. I’m in pain
that I can’t answer if you ask: is he alive.
Because in me there’s an exhausted pain,
falling asleep as a child, and with that I will also dive.
Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Majd megöregszel” (1936).
Whether you are a parent,
or it’s not yet apparent,
I do call upon you
– for the sake of everybody,
and for my sake as well
(since I had no such education),
you need to enlighten your child.
People are wild –
animals living in the wild will be less;
less brutal, brute and brutish than man.
Real predators have language –
the tongue of people kills and torments;
not for the weekly nutrition,
not for meat or blood,
but for their own pleasure
they kill and wound by their words.
Tell your child the truth:
that fear that makes you jump feets
from spiders or snakes,
that fear that freezes you with a cramp
from rabid dogs or wolves
have all mistaken the real object of fear:
(the merchant, the classmate,
the servant, the stagnate,
the young and the old and even the dead,
then even the poet by whom this lecture is said)
are all worse then animals,
from the bottom of your heart,
for that fear may save your heart
may save your heart from becoming like us.
Enlighten your child:
the beasts are human-kind;
the witches – mongers, roosters.
(Bastard dogs, not wolves!)
They either bargain or philosophize,
but they all trade hope for money;
some sells coal, some lovely lies
and some such poetic symphony.
And comfort him if it’s a comfort
to the child that it is a true sort.
Maybe, mutter a new tale,
with fascist-communist detail –
whereas there must be order in the world,
and the order is only for,
so that the child can hold worth
and be not free, that is fair.
And if the child opens his mouth
and looks up at you or cries, shouts –
don’t fall for him, don’t believe these
to stun your principles!
Look at the crafty baby:
growls to make you feel sorry beneath,
but while he’s smiling at the tittie,
he grows his nails and teeth.
Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Világosítsd föl” (1936).
Give them a moment of happiness,
a life-long watering and care;
they will make you bleed
with your first mistake
All started with a smile
of an unconscious state of mind
led by hormone-made happiness
sealing a smile with sealing-wax
on a man of fusioning confusion.
All startled with a cry
of a subconscious mindlessness
led by childhood-made traumas
sealing cries with high unpaid tax
on a poor heart without happiness.
You wouldn’t get it
even if you could get into the mind
of collapsing blurred, fake-realities
sealed by the possible impossible
truth of all this has been just real.
The abyss is too huge between you and me,
even if you managed to undress me.
I tried for a while to be the one for you,
even if sometimes it seemed untrue.
You think too easily and so you sense
your complex actions are fencing common sense.
For my emotions, a thousand thoughts wouldn’t be enough,
my actions are so few, I don’t tell to prevent the laugh.
The abyss is breaking, I’m waving from its side,
I really loved you, if I look inside.
My love is eternal, it will stay with you forever
but wee need to accept, this break won’t cease ever.
Many times, the break up hurts, as it will do now,
but there’s been worse than this, and will be better somehow.
We weren’t for each other the one
but then it will come, that person will come.
I’m thanking you every single minute,
I will not forget you, I promise. Salute!
Translated from my Hungarian poem, “Szakad a szakadék” (2008)
What a dread dream I had as a child
to be once one of the dead poets
seeing no remedial meaning in life
as I’ve been followed up with bad omens.
Now, as grown up, I couldn’t be more childish
to think I could change those bad omens
trying to bring the never had happiness to others’ life,
only luring them to mourn one of the dead poets.
The sadness doesn’t come from my failure,
neither from that I’m alone,
but rather that I’m seeing those lives’ remedy
in my absence; as I was the bad omen after all.