Peter MacKay  (Pàdraig MacAoidh)
Translator

on Lyrikline: 14 poems translated

from: gaélico escocés, inglés, alemán to: inglés, gaélico escocés

Original

Translation

Bàta Taigh Bàta

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

Rinn i seòmar-cèilidh
à sparran tràlair a h-athair:
sin neo am fàgail nam malcadh
an àiteigin air cladach cèin.

Nan cuireadh tu do bhas air an darach
bha e eadar sàl agus gainmheach;
nan gnogadh tu air,
dhèanadh e scut.

Chrom sailthean an tobhta-bhràghad
ris a’ mhuir, dà mhile air falbh;
gach oidhche ghluais an taigh
ann am bòchain, a’ tarraing air acair.

Dh’fhuaimneadh mic-talla tron fhiodh
mar ghlaoidhean uilebheistean-mara,
dh’fhàs polaip agus grom fo sgeilp an TBh,
rinn an uinneag dùrdan drabasta,

fhuair a’ghaoth an similear mun amhaich
a’ feuchainn ri tharraing o mharachadh.
Fon bhòrd-chofaidh bha stòbhan-air-bòrd
a’ cagar gu gnù, ann an ceannairc.

Chumadh cas-cheum sean mharaiche a’ chamhanaich,
thairngreadh ròpanan an latha. Ri tìde
fuasglaidh i na snaidhmean, ga giùlan tron t-sìl.
Thèid a bristeadh air an t-slighe.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

Boat House Boat

inglés

She made her living room
from the spars of her father’s trawler;
it was either that or leave it to rot
on some distant shore.

If you smoothed your palm on the oak
it was between sand and salt:
if you chapped it,
it gave out a scut.

The beams of the bow curved out
towards the sea, two miles away.
Each night the walls would catch
in the tide and pull on anchor,

echoes would sound through the wood,
like the calls of sea-monsters.
Polyps and coral started to form under the TV shelf,
the bay-window murmured bawdily,

the wind caught the chimney by the scruff
and tried to lift it from its moorings,
under the coffee table stowaways gathered
whispering in sullen mutiny.

A sailor’s boottaps keep the smallhours;
the pulling of ropes fills the day.
Over time, she will work open the knots,
force herself to the sea. Be broken on the way.

Translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)

The Leak

inglés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

There must have been a leak for days,
from the loose slates of the upstairs flat
into our box room ceiling
before the silence of wood and water
broke its seal and water dripped then streamed
in the bent of its nature,
taking genuine liberties as it passed
through the nails & tins of paint & Hoovers:
bric-a-brac turned into a public road
of dissolved varnish with its fingerprints
corresponding down plywood walls.

It is Christmas, though, and the leak
will not be fixed for days. Till then time
is measured in buckets and stains,
the exposure of the tacky innerworkings
of plywood walls, the profits
that can be derived from nature,
and a constant drip drip into and through our lives.

It is almost as if we cannot live now
in silence as before,
as if we are only what we leak,
and distrust the pristine transparency
of what we speak.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

An t-Aoidean

gaélico escocés

Feumaidh gun robh aoidean ann son grèis
o sglèatan sgaoilte an fhlat shuas staidhre
gu siomal ar phreas, mus bhrios
cèir tost fiodh agus uisge
agus thòisich a’ bhùrn a’ sileadh agus a’ sruth
in the bent of its nature,
a’ smeacharanachd air na tarragan,
na tionaichean-peanta, na Hoovers:
a public road of bhàirnis leaghta
air a dhèanamh à bric-a-brac agus tiùrr
le meuran-lorg co-fhreagrach air ballaichean plywood.

’S e là na Nollaig a th’ann, ge-tà,
agus cha theid a charadh airson dreis.
Gus an uairsin tha sinn a’ tomhais tìd’
ann am peilichean agus smail,
ann an taisbeanadh mionach ruadh
bhallachan agus fiodh, am prothaid
a gabhas a dhèanamh à nàdair,
agus brag brag an t-uisge
a-steach ’s a-mach às ar beathan.

Cha mhòr gun urrainn dhuinn bhith beò, tèarainte
in silence as before,
gu bheil sinn a-nis dìreach na tha sinn ag aoidean,
nach urrainn dhuinn earbsa a chur
ann am fìor-ghloine ar cainnte.

Translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)

nur mut, mond

alemán | Dagmara Kraus

         Ich verstehe nicht, wie man Gedichte
         über den Mond schreiben kann …
         
Zbigniew Herbert


                               fast fipsig : der mondspion, das zwergen
                mal der mitternacht; ein perlensprenkel,
sonnezwistig, listig, lausig angefacht

                               weltab; ein klicker, eisstein, flohnst du
                glarend übers große rad – fadenöse, lose,
waise, am gestärkten kragen kahler nacht

                               flugsand? blesse? hat nicht david dich da
                hochgeschafft, mit der schleuder, himmels
tresse, orion um den ruhm gebracht ?

                               hab den nachtflor ausgemessen, mir einen
                fummel draus gemacht; mit der brosche,
deinem halo, allen stoff des alls gerafft –

                               ach wie die gammaeulen neiden … und
                der verkrachte goliath, dem du trendelstern
die stirne kreidelst, hat jetzt doppelt keine macht
 

© kookbooks
from: kummerang
Berlin: kookbooks, 2012
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2014

Be brave, moon

inglés

        I don’t know how people can
        write poems about the moon
        Zbigniew Herbert


                               so teensy: this spying-moon, dwarfish
                midnight mole; a pearlsplatter,
sun-feuding, shrewd and crudely lit

                               a world away; a marble of ice-gneiss, you stravaiged
                glaring over the whole sky-wheel – a sloppy orphaned
popper on the starched collar of bald night

                               sand-drift? little horse blaze? didn’t David
                fling you up there with his sling – O heaven’s
braid – and steal Orion’s fame?
 
                               i’ve measured out the night-lace, made myself
                a stole from it; with your halo
brooch, i bunched up the stuff of the whole universe –

                               och, how envious are the moths … and
                that wannabe Goliath, on whose heid you chalkillied
a saunterstar, has twice nothing your power

Translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh [Peter MacKay] 
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

---------------------------------------------------------------------

another translation, made by Joshua Daniel Edwin
 

        i don’t understand how people
        can write poems about the moon…
        zbigniew herbert


                               pink pipsqueak: moonspy, dwarf
                mark of midnight—fizzdapple, a sun-
disputing tricky dick, faintly lit and

                               distant. a clicker, ice-stone, you stray glossy
                over the huge arc; loose eyelet, orphaned
on the starched collar of stark night

                               —drift-sand? blaze? didn’t david work you,
                with his sling, high into the heavens’
braid, and steal orion’s fame?

                               i portioned out the nightcrêpe, made
                myself a shift of it; with the brooch,
your halo, gathering the universe’s fabric—

                               how the gamma-owls will envy… and
                the broke goliath whose brow you chalk,
lodestar, now has twice no clout

 

Version 1 translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh [Peter MacKay]
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin
Version 2 translated by Joshua Daniel Edwin

triskele

alemán | Dagmara Kraus

der grüne baumpython ist ausgezogen
es webt sich keine schlinge ums gelege
das raue hauthemd hat er mitgenommen
er hatte sonst nichts zu vererben
und hängt jetzt turban hoch im edenbaum

der grüne baumpython ist ausgezogen
er hinterließ nur ein paar klumpen erde
auf welchem friedhof ist er beigesetzt
hat die hyäne ihn gefressen
die heut so faul im schatten pennt

der grüne baumpython ist ausgezogen
leer bleibt die gitterklause ohne licht
wie froh sind alle klauen krallen pfoten
allein sein raum im zoo trägt trauer
hat pythons jade angenommen

ein grüner raumpython ist eingezogen
ich floh apophis und res kähne
direkt in rereks schlangenbauch
verfolg dort faucher durchs gehege
sie führen mich in adams traum:

der müde baumpython war ausgezogen

© Dagmara Kraus
from: kleine grammaturgie
Solothurn: roughbooks, 2013
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2014

Triskelion

inglés

Triskelion

the green tree-python’s moved out
it weaves no noose round its clutch
it has taken with it the rough skinshirt
which is all it has to pass down
and turban-hangs high in a heaventree

the green tree-python’s moved out
has left just a few clods of dirt
is he buried in some grave
was he eaten up by the hyena
that naps lazy today in the shade

the green tree-python’s moved out
its lattice cell’s empty and dark
how happy the claws talons nails
in the zoo just one house mourns
decked in the snake’s cast-off jade

a green room-python’s moved in
i fled from Apep and Re’s boats                
straight into Rekrek’s snakegut
and chasing snarlthings in their hutch
i fall into Adam’s dream:                                          

the tired tree-python’s moved out

Translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh [Peter MacKay]
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

fatrasie # 3

alemán | Dagmara Kraus

nehmen wir einmal an
das vogelmot schliche 
mit geknickter schnute
vielleicht sogar leicht eingestochen
und das doch mit guter vorsichtigkeit
halb von auswärts
und in lange schweife verschlungen
zum domestizierten mund
handelten säfte verborgen und eilends
von der zeitstellung
dieser widrigkeiten

© Dagmara Kraus
from: Scherben. Das Erbe der Morrien (hg. v. Mechthild Beilmann-Schöner und Susanne Schulte)
Rheine: Falkenhof Museum, 2014
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2014

fantrasie #3

inglés

so let us consider now
the birdword that sneaks
its crooked and maybe dented beak
with all due caution
from outwards halfway in   
and tangled in its own antitail                                
towards the domesticated mouth
then consuming themselves
hidden and hasting
the humours would convey
the chronosite of these obstacles

beachdaicheamaid ma-ta
gun do snàig an eunfhacail
le a bheilleag eagach
tolgte ’s dòcha gu h-aotrom
agus fiù ’s gu h-iongantach fhaiceallach
leth-slighe a-staigh on a-mach
ann an earballlùib fhada shnàgte
a dh’ionnsaigh a’ bheòil challaichte
’s le sin dheanadh an leanntras deannta ’s air a chleith
malairt le  làraicheantìd’
nan cnapan-starra-sa

so let us consider
that the wordfowl crept
with its petted lip notched
maybe gently scratched
and even nailfully cautious
halfway in from outwards
tangled in a long tailcurve
towards the domesticated mouth
and with that the humours hurrying and hidden
would barter the timetracks 
of these stumbling blocks

Translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh [Peter MacKay]
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

fatrasie # 2

alemán | Dagmara Kraus

durch die tode des testanden zogen
als fußwärmer pfeifvögel fronten
er war schillernd in allen veralienirt
maximale wasser waren passiert
gerissen konnten die älteren
den hohen fuß der ursache
am horizont mit harz versehen
wenn die glashäfen langsam schwanken
ehe abschluss seine hände wusch
ist er deutlich
an der tischdecke abzuwischen

© Dagmara Kraus
from: Scherben. Das Erbe der Morrien (hg. v. Mechthild Beilmann-Schöner und Susanne Schulte)
Rheine: Falkenhof Museum, 2014
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2014

fantrasie #2

inglés

through the testamenter’s deaths flew
a front of foot-warm whistling-birds
in them he was iridescentransmogrified
passing beyond the ends of the waters
the older cunning ones
could apply resin to the high stand
of the cause on the horizon
when the glass harbours sway softly
before completion washed its hands                  
it is obviously
to be wiped off on the tablecloth

tro bhàis a’ thiomnaiche theich
eòin fheadanach chas-teasach aig aghaidh
unnta uile bha e sionn ’s air chaochladh
seachad air fìor-iomall nan uisgeachan
b’urrainn dha na feadhainn seòlta na sine
bìth a lìbhrigeadh air fàire
air cois àrd na cuise
nuair luaisg na callachan glainne gu socair
mus do nì iomlanachd a làmhan
tha aige ri bhith
suathadh gu follaiseach air anart a’ bhùird

through the testamenter’s deaths flew
itchyfeet whistling birds in a v
in them he was changelinged and lustrous
beyond the very ends of the waters
the older craftier ones
could administer birdlime on the horizon
to the high stem of the cause
when the glass harbours rock softly
before completeness washes its hands
it must obviously
be wiped off on the table linen

Translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh [Peter MacKay]
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

fatrasie # 1

alemán | Dagmara Kraus

ein turm kniff ziemlich pelikan
aus drei kugeln deutlich feucht
sie fanden die den grund verband
war verbren weißes porzellan
am hafenton zerbrochen
und restwas das mit glut versorgt
noch kett nicht ihre tülle an
weils zauberwort vom ammenhang
fast fünfzehn einfache flinten
und gut zwei paar kutschen
zu stark dafür ist kleine blase

© Dagmara Kraus
from: Scherben. Das Erbe der Morrien (hg. v. Mechthild Beilmann-Schöner und Susanne Schulte)
Rheine: Falkenhof Museum, 2014
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin 2014

fantrasie #1

inglés

a pelican clipped heavily by a tower
visibly damp from three orbs
they found combined in her the ground
a verb-deer of white porcelain
shattered in the harbour’s notes            
and the trace feeds it with embers                       
do not tie down her tulle                          
because the magic word ontext                            
is almost fifteen simple shotguns
and two good pairs of carriages
too strong for that, little bulge
 
peileagan air giorradh gu mòr le tùr
gu follaiseach tais o thrì chruinnichean
lorg iad co-cheangailte innt’ an grunnd
gnìomhairfèidh obair-chrèadha ghil
na spealgan ann an suaim a’ chala
’s tha am mar-thà-fiamh na ghrìosadh
na cuibhrich a tulle
leis gu bheil an t-seun co-theac
cha mhòr coig gunna-froise deug
agus dà phaidhear charbad
ro laidir son sin, a bhuilg bhig

a pelican curtailed by a tower
clearly damp from three globes
they found bound in her the ground
a verbdeer of white ceramics                                
in fragments in the sound of the port
and the alreadytrace is stirring the ashes
don’t fetter her tulle
since lism the magic spell
is almost fifteen shotguns
and two pairs of broughams                                   
too strong for that, o little blister

Translated by Pàdraig MacAoidh [Peter MacKay]
VERSschmuggel 2014, Poesiefestival Berlin

An t-Aoidean

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

Tha a’ shisteal a’ snigheadh –
tro na bùird tha an t-uisge na ruith,
uisge ronnach ruadh
air drùidheadh tro stùr ’s iarann ’s fiodh.

Tha seo, neo rudeigin coltach ris,
a’ ruith tromhad, nad dubhain,
nad chuislean:
uisge le uallach tìd ’s cuideim.

Tha e a’ sileadh, oracail le smùid air,
a’ taisbeanadh rùintean-dìomhair an-oifigeil
na tha beò eadar dùrdain, ann an sgàinidhean,
nach bu chòir fhacinn ridobheò.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

The Leak

inglés

The cistern is leaking –
through the boards the water flows,
a tacky rusted water
percolated through dust & wood & iron.

This, or something like this,
is what flows in you, in your renal system,
in your veins:
water that has put on time & weight.

It drips, a boozy oracle,
reveals unofficial secrets
of what lives between motes, in cracks,
that forthelifeofyou shouldn't be seen.

Translated by the author

Ann an Ard-Mhuseaum Bhreatainn

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

Gabh sinn oirnn, o sheòmar gu seòmar,
a’ togail selfie-an
ann an cumaidhean fhanaideach
a’ faighinn corra plathaidhean
dhen bun-dealbhan sna lòsan:

Venus a’ blaomadh san amar
Dionysus agus a phanthair
agus a bhoc-dheamhan ithyphallic
an rùda sa phreas à Ur
Takhebkhenem ’s am fear-tàileisg na bhoile

agus air a’ mharmor ud, an dèidh lidrigeadh
agus droinneadh, nan taigh-aire,
a’ cheud each, a’ bocadh le uamhas,
a’ giùlain marcaichean gun chinn
tro bhallachan pòrach, neo-phòrach.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

In The British Museum

inglés

We pass from room to room
taking selfies
in mimic poses
occasionally catching the originals
reflected in the glass:

Venus surprised at her bath,
Dionysus and his panther,
Dionysus and his ithyphallic satyrs,
the ram in the thicket from Ur,
Takhebhkenem, the beserker with his teeth,

and on those marbles,
buttressed, bruised, ordered, in state,
the hundred horses rearing in terror
bearing their decapitated riders
through walls that are pervious, impervious.

Translated by the author

Nuair a smaoineachas mi air na tha do-thuigsinneach

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

bidh mi a’ smaoineachadh air The Coffee Pot,
leis a bhùird gheail formica,
glut ’s geir pònaireain, isbeanain ’s chips,
guthan inbhich, cèin nan cainnt,
brot ach ’s Thioraidh ’s maebe,
an dòigh a lionadh tu glainne Choke dham bile
agus dhannsadh nan curracagan
mar shìthichean siùcair os cionn an duibh,

air neo tractor faisg air Anstruther,
a’ spreidheadh achaidhean,
Air Ride sunburst buidhe-uaine,
a’ gualain daoimeanan, boghachan-froise gun fheum,
eadar a’ chlach san sgrath neo air ais a-rithist
a rèir ’s mar a choimheadas tu air

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

When I think of the incommunicable

inglés

I think of The Coffee Pot
with its white formica tables,
the glut & clot of beans & sausage & chips,
the adult voices, alien in their languages,
in a broth of achs and Thioraidhs and maebes,
and the way you’d fill a glass with Coke
to the brim and the fizz would dance
like sugarplum fairies above the black

or of a crop sprayer near Anstruther,
a green and yellow sunburst Air Ride,
carting diamonds, good for nothing rainbows,
from pillar to post, or back again,
depending how you look at it

Translated by the author

An Gearra-Bhall mu Dheireadh

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

Canar gum bristeadh gearra-bhall
deigh nam marannan a tuath –
a sleagh mar phìc a’ sgrìobadh
san uisge reòite ioma-uaine –
an tòir air mhurcan agus shìolagan,
a sgiathan crùbte ga sparradh
tro chriostailean solais a’ phòla
a dh’fhàsadh air a bhian,
agus gun do dhùin an deigh
os cionn a’ cholca, a thum ’s a shlìob
mar dadam ann an clinamen
air neo aingeal na thuiteam,
’s an uachdar a’ fàs nas tighe ’s nas tighe.
Fhathast uaireannan fon dheighe
cluinnear cacradh nam mìle gob.

Aon là thèid mi a’ sealg le slat, dubhan
agus dineamait. Bu toil leam
mo chrògan fhaighinn air an iasg-eun,
a chnàimhean sgaoileadh fad ’s farsaing –
dhan Mhet, dhan Kelbhingrove –
ugh a reic o a brù airson leth fhortain,
a bian a lìonadh le gainmheach
gus acrachadh ann an seo, an-dràsta,
gus glugair a sgòrnain a chlàradh.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

The Last Great Auk

inglés

They say the gairfowl would break
through the ice of the northern seas –
its spear like a pick hacking
at the frozen celeste and turquoise –
in search of lumpsuckers and sandlances,
its stunted wings propelling it
through the crystals of polelight
that would grow on its pelt,
and that the ice closed over the auk,
which dived and swerved
like an atom in its clinamen
or an angel mid-fall
as the crust grew thicker and thicker.
Under the ice you can still hear
the crackle of a thousand beaks.

One day I will go hunting with rod,
hook and dynamite. I would like
to get my hands on the fishbird
and share its bones far and wide –
with the Met, the Kelvingrove –
sell the egg from its womb
for a small fortune,
and fill its skin with sand:
to anchor it in the here and now,
to arrest the gurgle in its throat.

Translated by the author

Oighreachd

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

Tha mi ag iarraidh ort creidsinn
gur e seo tobhta
air Loch Sgiopoirt

às an do dh’imrich
do shinn-seanair
o chionn linn:

uinneag gun arabocan,
clachan garbh-shnaighte,
faontraigh.

Tha laimrig gun bhùird
a’ màbachadh
o mhuir gu tràigh

mar chnàimhneach beathaich
a bhàsaich
a-mach à nòs.

Tha mi ag iarraidh
labhairt
mu eilean a chruthachadh:

cuimhne a dh’fhàgadh tu
gun aon sùil a-mhàin
a thoirt air ais.

Ach gu h-àraidh
tha mi ag iarraidh
gun ceannaich thu

còir
m’ ìomhaighean,
mo dhàin.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

Real Estate

inglés

I want you to believe
this is a ruin
on Loch Sgioport

your great-grandfather
emigrated from
generations ago:

window without lintel,
rough-cut stones,
raised beach.

A plankless jetty
creaks
from sea to shore

like the frame of a beast
that died
out of its element.

I want
to talk
about creating an island:

a memory
you could leave,
with one backward look.

Above all
I want to
sell you

my image-
rights,
this book.

Translated by the author

Ann an Cordoba

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

Fhad ’s a bhios mi a’ feitheamh, deiseil, lem chamara
gus an leig thu le do ròb tuiteam dhan làr

bidh mi a’ smaoineachadh air planntachas giuthais duirch
air a chuartachadh le feansa shaltraichte

gàire on dàrna ùrlar ’s plathadh de chraicinn
bhàn-donn air cùl nan siutairean

lìon-anart geal a’ crochadh o fhor-uinneagan
ann am mìltean de dhùradain

mìog chabach ann an dubhair nan clabhstairean
fàileadh iadh-luis a’ grodadh sa phatio,

’s bheanainn riut, a ghràidh, le barr mo mheòirean:
dh’fhàgainn làraich corraigean nar n-allas air a’ bhalla.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

In Cordoba

inglés

While I am waiting with my camera ready
for you to let your robe fall to the floor,

I will think of plantations of pine dark
and surrounded by a trodden-down fence

a laugh from the second floor, a glimpse of skin
dun-fair through the shutters

white linen hanging from white balconies
through thousands of dust motes

gap-toothed smiles in the shadows of cloisters,
the smell of milk-thistle rotting in patios

and I would touch you, my love, at arm’s length,
leave prints in our sweat on the walls.

Translated by the author

New World

gaélico escocés | Pàdraig MacAoidh

A cuimhne a’ fàilligeadh, dhòirteadh i
a’ chiad dram dhen oidhche trup ’s trup
agus chitheadh i càrn de chlaigeannan
air an t-sòfa, riabhan ’s breac mar a’ chat
a bhàsaich o chionn deich bliadhna,
agus thionndadh i ann an eagal a beatha
dha a fear-pòsta nach robh, a-rithist, an sin an sin.

Cha robh teas ann riamh shuas an staidhre
agus tha an talla a-nis dùinte le duvetan
’s frèamaichean-leapa luchd-màil sgaogach,
agus tha bratan Phàislig a’ grodadh san fhliche
anns an t-seòmar far an do chluich i,
aon samhradh m’ òige, Dvořák dhomh trup
’s a rithist, an New World Symphony a’ lìonadh
an aon t-seòmair san taigh le sealladh na mara.

Agus le sin bha i a’ ciallachadh na mara làn.

© Pàdraig MacAoidh (Peter MacKay)
from: unpublished
Audio production: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2014

New World

inglés

With her memory failing she would pour
the first whisky of the evening three times
and see skulls piled up in the armchairs,
mottled with age like the cat dead ten years,
and turn with the fear of her life to her husband
who would again be not there not there.

They never got round to heating the upstairs,
and now duvets and masking tape close off the stairwell
with the bedframes of flitting tenants,
and the Paisley carpets fester in the damp
in the room where, one childhood summer,
she played me Dvořák over and over again,
his New World Symphony filling
the one room in the house that faced the sea.

Which would forever be the open sea.

Translated by the author