A Child Is Not a Knife

Last day in the mont of March/ Snow falls over/speckled ground, settles/ on the branches of the small cherry tree/ From the trunk of the pine/ lichens glow   Under the snow, under the ground/ is the clear, dark/ transparent water/ I see a forest, broad-leaved, moisture/drifting over half over-/grown temple buildings   The sun´s/ sign, yellow   A green bird, conversing/ On the groun, ashes, gray    Black/ remains of some undetermined/ substance    The soldiers are far away/ history´s leaves quickly    The plague/ bled, disintegrated Villages/ not yet emptied/ for work on cocoa platations/ Jesus became God of the sun/ Now, once again, the tower/ of dead grows   The period/ aboutmfour hundred years   The killing/ takes new forms   New religios, a new/ salvation    Everyday the sun rises/ The soldiers of the empire at their outposts/ in the central killing  Calling forth/ the others empire´s growing shadows    Here too/ clear as a glass, with genuine  existence/ Deadth´s dominions penetratre one another/ Snow falls deeper and deeper, perishes     The war/ goes on, it has gone on a long time now    We/ are its hostages, its profiteers      The names/ also come back    Guatemala, 1954/ Guatemala, 1983   Honduras   Nicaragua, the same year/ El Salvador, 1932. Now we´re led/ back four hundred years   The numbers of dead/ are so high now that it is not even/ possible to implement explotation/ at full capacity   The names of empires change/ our names change     The child´s wing of genocide/grazing your cheek    In an ultimate caress/ A child is not a knife   No labyrinth´s web/ is opening    The man-eating monster is/ real   And no pushing it aside, no talking of sides,/ can dispel that   The marches, the cries,/ ringing like the voices of birds, in very grave distress/ Echoing in the kingdom of death  Solidaity of the birds in Hades/ They may not be any other     We still live the attempt/ There is no reason for us to stop/ Hope and dispair are interchangeable categories/ Who seeks consolation in either of these has already given up/ Those people who fight for thei lives, also/ in great confusion, can do nothing else    For/ them nothing exists but freedom´s constraint    For some/ it is murder, eich damns them as humans/ No one is without guilt   We ourselves, the doomed, are/ singing    Now light´s pitch rises   The human voice is alone

Goran Sonnevi/ trad. Rika Lesser