Jānis Rokpelnis - RENOIR

turn the switch on so bodies inflame
blow out the candle that homes in a face
so the sheaves of light may flow
and linger in the retina of the eye

rein in the crane and rein in twilight
for the iron on lips to warp and wither
scoop three dahlias into a fragile mind
so it dares not stumble nor waver

In each drop of rain that is
within a transparent bud
a snow flake white or blue is found
and this bud opens when
all known flowers wilt

In his old age Le Corbusier turned
from architecture that was rational
to one that was emotional

Transparent drop.
Incalculable snow flake --
on earth, simplified by frost.

A lead swan swims in the black wound of a canal.
It swims and doesn’t drown under the northern blue swell.
A lead coffin in the shape of a swan sways in the waves.
The wind with its palm caresses a green lawn’s unkempt wool.
In the lead coffin lies a swan – it is white like a swan is.
White like twelve constellations of stars piled in a heap.
It swims and doesn’t drown and won’t drown ever again.
The year of ashes, year of the devil and of the diamond shall pass.
Once more a swan will swim in the black canal.
Lead swan, on dying, where will I ever be laid to rest.

If a fish were a violin
would you fish out the violin
knowing beforehand the violin would die?
It shall die
but nonetheless in your hands
for a moment its sound
shall not subside.
But, as you well know, a violin is not a fish.
Although -- who really knows this for sure.

Translated by Margita Gailitis