Galsan Tschinag

 

Beyond the Silence

 


Translated by Richard Hacken

From Galsan Tschinag, Jenseits des Schweigens
(Frauenfeld, Switzerland: Waldgut Verlag, 2006)

Anthology incomplete: Translation still in progress...


 

Game of Fate

 

The pouched bag of fate

No doubt resembles

A third stomach compartment

Whose slimy-rotting cud

You were just trying to pick clean

 

It kept us hidden from each other

In its clever creases

For so long and only

Set us free and together

In an hour of laxness

 

Seeing you

Devotedly squat

In the darkening hut and pluck

Busily at the steaming goo

As at the slippery seam of salvation

I try to weigh

What our common campfire

Mattered and whether

It might stand up to the invading

Storm of winter

 


 

Milky Way

 

Milky Way in view and

Mother in mind

I send out wishes

In every direction

Bright, soft and warm

 

Continuation

Of an interrupted deed

 

Morning after morning

The pudgy, weasel-quick woman

Ceremoniously arrayed and erect

Stepped up to the incense column

With the milk bucket in her left hand

And the juniper-root spoon with thirteen vents

In her right

Sprinkling the udder-warm milk

To sun, mountain, steppe and river

Showers accompanied

By rhyming couplets that often

Grew long and passionate

 

At evening we saw the traces of what

Had happened here below that morning:

The Milky Way

Still flowing along

Just a touch grander

 


 

Annunciation

 

I will be coming

But for now I send

These words before me

The settled dust

Of my spirit

So that

Warm as souls

It can meet the flighty ovum

From your innermost nest

And fertilize it

 

For the time has come

For you and me

To have our child

And may it be

As the children of others

Round and warm as a heart

Soft and solid as kidneys!

 


 

Words of Gratitude from a Threatened Man

 

Now rising up

Now subsiding

Your fire-breathing

Hydrophobic pulse

Beats along with me

As I live beyond

Mountains and steppes

And whether it throbs, whether it whispers

I always accept it

Precisely and gratefully

With all my

Senses

Sharpened by desire

Tempered by abstinence

 

The blood from your heart

Runs through my veins

In the attempt

To keep a body long surrounded

By marauders of every kind

From giving way

To destruction

 


 

Lines from the Sky

 

We unwind degrees of latitude

At both ends

And hurry towards each other

Me on wings

You on wheels

 

And the place we meet

Will hang somewhere

Between heaven and earth

Right where the travel-weary dreams

Land for now

 

Will we, two dreams

Of whatever substances ourselves

Drop off and away?

Or united as one

Rise up anew to the stars?

 

11/16/2003, in the sky from Ulan Bator to Berlin

 


 

To the Nomad Boy Who Had to Learn How to Use Eating Utensils

 

From the quarry of time I knock off nuggets

Strip them down to years and months,

Peel away the days and hours

And the youth who stamped them into the pit, the stone

On his way to hill, the red-cheeked

Nomad boy, comes to light, wakes

And stands, trembling and sweating

Invisible to outsiders, next to me.

 

I hill

Now closer to mountain than stone for years

Jut out protectively over him

I father, grandfather

Of my own being, dwell in the

Front room and at the festive tables

Of the continents I have conquered

And know how

To break open so many hard shells

To extract the fruit

And to intoxicate myself

On its sweet-bitter flesh

 

Yes, my boy

You were a sinless sinner

Who had to endure the pains of hell

In a world that knew not what it did

 

Now comes my late revenge

For you against the healed scars

By implementing everything apart

Knifing and forking eggs, cake and pudding

And brashly announcing my readiness

Before the rolling camera to crack

Nuts with those extended metal fingers

But then with my hands and mouth

I work as if in my own yurt

Grabbing here, ripping and biting there

And then licking and smacking my lips

 

Fear not, my child

Since you were not permitted this and would

Have quickly been looked at askance

To wild man me it is now permitted

And such will even force out words

To serve my dignity

Ah yes, such was the world created

Into which you ventured out

And to which you relinquished

Your youth as tuition in the

Heady hope of one day being granted

The crown of King.

 

Berlin-Bad Lippspringe 11/19-22/2003

 


 

Morning Sun on December 5th

 

Per Maria di Merano

 

Lovely, when in December

Over snowy woods and fields

The sun blossoms to life like summer

There and here splintering off in sparks

Now and then breaking out in flames

And pouring out intensified, purified light

Along the paths and passageways

That you and I

Wandered up and down

In blazing consciousness of so much life

And such solid human harmony

 

Twice as lovely to know

The sun-fire will

Track down and tie together

The dizzying dash of two pairs of footprints

To set their wavering paths ablaze

So that the wetness trapped in ice

Might finally rise up

Returning

To breath-warm, tear-bright water

And seeping

Into soil joyful to conceive

 

Loveliest of all

If on a May morning

A deer child or a human fawn

Agitated in the brimming chalice

Of a young and modest heart

Were to stand still

Right in front of a footprint nestís occupant

The sky-blue forget-me-not

And were to recognize its illuminated gaze

It is one of the endowments

Granted and left behind by us

For all animated life forms

And now the recipient

Comes face to face with one of them

 

12/5/2003, Michelangelo Express, Bolzano-Munich

 


 

Novemberliness

 

Fog pressing down

†††† Rain drizzling

††††††††† So novemberly

There and here bent

†††† Treelike beings

††††††††††††††††††††††† Weep

Oily-carboniferous tears

†††† From eyes unseeing

††††††††† Under heavy lashes

I, novembering along

†††† Through inner countrysides, know

††††††††† The sources of unseeing and unfeeling

The souls slipped away

†††† When their bodies

††††††††† Damned to achievement

†††††††††††††† Were beaten black and blue

Now form after form

†††† Comes into view and swells up madly

††††††††† Strangling viscous and superfluous

†††††††††††††† Mucus shapes out of its own innards

I who had

†††† My outer layer polished

††††††††† To hasten through the day

Might here and there

†††† Take hold of one of the oppressed

††††††††† And whisper to him

You still have it better, my friend

†††† Than many others on the treadmill

††††††††† In this labyrinth of delusion

You may show yourself

†††† As you are

††††††††† You are permitted to weep and do

†††††††††††††† Not have to play a role.

 

November 2002, 11/19-20/2003, Hildesheim Ė Berlin - Hildesheim

††††


 

Reporting on the Situation

 

The breast hills

Over which the wind

Of many winters stumbled

Drift my way, staring at me

In the firelight

Of the sinking sun

With the weight

Of developing mountains

 

Rising up to my full height

I present myself and sense

Peace in me, surrounded

By bright coolness

Of the glacierís peak at my back

And I recognize the situation

 

I a mountain

Stand tenaciously

In the cross storm

Of jealousy and greed

And of their misbegotten child

Blind hate

 

A terrestrial formation myself

I watch

With celestial circumspection

While stones fly at me

And I do not forget

To suffer proper pains

When they beat

Against me

 

Zagaan sar in the Year of the Red Mouse, 2/19-25/1996;

1/7/2004 Ulan Bator

 


 

 

 

 

 


visits since December 2004


Richard Hacken, European Studies Bibliographer,
Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
Comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome: hacken @ byu.edu