In Memory of a Flower

I’ve been living on a little planet,
Just as the most poet;

I had nobody to talk, to chat,
The people whom I met
Are gone.

My planet is bare and grey,
By the way;
As usual.

But, it happened that
I wonder’d at
A flower.

What she’s doing on such a land,
Where living can’t pretend
To live?

In my surprise, in my hurry-
I shelter’d her in worry;
To protect.

What a beauty, what a pureness,
My planet was in happiness;
A flower!

I had a flower to talk, to chat,
Laughing with and at –
That was magic.

My planet was no more solitary,
She named it as the galaxy
Of Flower.

Flower, flower. I thanked God,
For the surprise I have got;
A living planet.

Not just divine, but enchanting
Was this happening,

Once upon a time, I woke up:
My planet just broke up –
Where’s Flower?

Where’s Flower? She was mine.
Alone, how could I be fine
On such a planet?

Dead, coarse, dry and dreary,
Without my dearie,
But mine.

Live the life of the dead,
Forget what you had;
You are alone.

Keep teaching as you taught
Her by your thought;
As a poet.

Then, write a poem “in memory”
On the land of a solitary
Pocket poet.

Write “in memory” to believe,
Even if it’s hard to believe;
She’s gone.

A flower that coloured the bare,
That could give life if dare;
But no.

Since the planet on which I’m living,
Are for poets, not for living;
I’m dying with memories.

Benyamin Bensalah



I’ve watched the movies of my ages,
Even those that were before,
I’ve read books of teenage feelings,
I’ve read about leprechauns.

The world has become an endless series,
The scenes repeat in every lore,
There’s no book that could surprise me,
The same stories in every store.

My eyes are saying they are full of seeing,
They are replete of colours,
Even my mouth is fed of disagreeing,
They both wish to remain closed.

While my eyelids are feignedly sleeping,
While my lips are firmly closed,
The darkness is calling and appealing,
But the movie colours shout.

The films keep shooting everywhere,
Like an ever writing Molière,
But do the plays interest me more,
Or not seeing them anymore?

Benyamin Bensalah


The Eye of the Storm

For the one who has no rest from tempest to tempest,
What does the word mean: summer?
What does the word mean: winter or weather?
Would he believe ever that there’s a good weather?
Would he believe in warmness and sunshine or any similar form,
Or rather, would he see them as the lull before the storm?
Wouldn’t he see the sun as hiding new tortures?
Wouldn’t he hide under a tempest’s cloak as turtles?
Saying: Oh Sweet Home, I know you and you know me,
Oh Sweet Roar, Thunder and Rain; follow me.

Benyamin Bensalah


The mad race

My muscles are tied to two wild horses,
The Morning and the Night,
The lines are held by the work I’m doing,
And the wipes by the time.

The days are yielding to their courses,
Absorbing my might,
The fatigue obliterates what I’m doing,
Any good thing or crime.

The only clean things are these morses,
Crying s.o.s. in the fight,
But the horses are just pursuing,
They listen to no rhyme.

Benyamin Bensalah



I felt unfelt;
My world’s unheard.
That embraced, beset me.

Stoical flow the life is;
A shoreless sea.
Water is water;
Be wavery or plane.

Why plaint,
On the surrounding sea?
Why plaint again,
If only desert is seen?

Time is a river.
Dip, sip, hit the water;
You are fooled.

Life is a diabolic vortex;
Amazing mazes.
Tunes are to seduce you,
A superfluous being.

If you hesitate,
Then you are near to cry.
If you make water,
The water turns into cry.

The life is stoic;
It unfeels, uncries.
I am Stoïc,
Unfelt, but not cried.

Benyamin Bensalah


The first eclogue – Miklós Radnóti

Quippe ubi fas versum atque nefas: tot bella per orbem, tam multae scelerum facies…

“Here, – where a committed sin is the honour itself, with rumbling wars all over the world – sins might take shape in many forms… “


I have not seen you for a long’, did the birds call you out?


I’ve been listening to the woods, being full of sounds and clatter, Spring must be coming!


It’s not spring yet, just the sky is playing, look at that puddle,
now, it mildly smiles… but if it’s woven by the nightly frost
it will snarl! This is April, never let yourself for the fool –
The little tulips are already frost-bitten, just look, over there.
Why are you so sad? Wouldn’t you like to have a rest next to me, on that rock?


I’m not even sad, I’ve got so used to this horrible world
that sometimes it doesn’t even hurt – it just disgusts me.


Indeed, I’ve heard that on the wild ridges of the Pyrenees,
White-hot cannons argue among the corpses frozen in blood,
that the bears and soldiers flee together from that terrible place,
that flocks of women, children and old folks run with their bundles
throwing themselves to the ground when the death starts to circle above them, and
that there are so many dead that no-one can clear them away.
…I think you knew Frederico. Tell me, did he escape?


He did not escape. Two years ago now that he was killed in Granada.


Garcia Lorca is dead! He is dead and no-one has told me!
News of the war can travel so fast – and, just like that,
how could a poet just disappear! Wasn’t he mourned by Europe?


Mourned? No-one has noticed. And we are lucky if the wind,
hovering through the pyre’s embers, remembers – at least – an odd, broken
line of a poem: that’s all remaining work to be left to a frustrated future.


He didn’t escape. He is dead. True, where could a poet run anyway?
Just as our dear Attila did not escape, he just nodded a no
to the rule of this world, then say, who mourns his caused death?…
And you, how do you live nowadays? Might any of your words leave an echo on the days?


In the gunfire’s roaring? Among mortified ruins, abandoned hamlets?
Still, I go on with my writing and live in this crazy world like
that oak-tree over there that knows it must be cut out, and although it bears
the white cross that marks it out for the woodcutter’s axe tomorrow,
it bears forth new leaves regardless while awaiting its fate.
You’re fortunate, for this place is calm and even wolves rarely trouble you,
you can forget even that the flock which you’re watching is not your belonging:
it must have been months since your master been seen around.
The blessings of heavens, – must go – the night will be old before I reach home.
The moth of the evening is fluttering, shedding its silvery wings.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from Hungarian, Miklós Radnóti – Első Ecloga