All of these poems are untitled in the original; we have used the first lines to identify them. Also, we've not used Polish accents.

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The poems and photo of Halina Poswiatowska are copyrighted to Malgorzata Porebska and Zbigniew Myga. All rights reserved.
Halina Poswiatowska Halina Poswiatowska



Translated by Sarah LuczajSarah Łuczaj


call me by name

call me by name
and I'll come
my soul
call me by name
don't ask
if my name is the name
of a passing bird
or a bush
growing into the earth
and dyeing the sky
the colour of blood
and don't ask
what my name is
I don't know myself
I'm looking
I'm looking for my name
and I know that if I hear it
I'll come
even from the depths of hell
kneel in front of you
and lay my exhausted head
in your hands


bird of my heart

bird of my heart
don't be sad
I'll feed you with the seed of joy you'll
dazzle

bird of my heart
don't cry
I'll feed you with the seed of tenderness you'll
soar

bird of my heart
with folded wings
don't thrash about
I'll feed you with the seed of death you'll
sleep


the mines of metaphor are inexhaustible

the mines of metaphor are inexhaustible
out of sheer spite
their open depths frighten
the dark
and I want life — level
and I want life — low
I don't want deep
I don't want across
or alongside

I want it to be coiled
around the jutting wall
the texture of wild vine
I want it to climb the windows
doors
its smell
to overrun the house
to circle with the earth
with my heart stuck inside

I want to be wet grass
in your mouth
in your hands
I only want to be wet grass
till I'm out of breath
I just want to be stupid grass
at your feet
to grow by the roadside