Poem – The Rain 

When my older brother 

came back from war 

he had on his forehead a little silver star 

and under the star 

an abyss 

a splinter of shrapnel 

hit him at Verdun 

or perhaps at Grünwald 

(he’d forgotten the details) 

he used to talk much 

in many languages 

but he liked most of all 

the language of history 

until losing breath 

he commanded his dead pals to run 

Roland Kowaski Hannibal 

he shouted 

that this was the last crusade 

that Carthage soon would fall 

and then sobbing confessed 

that Napoleon did not like him 

we looked at him 

getting paler and paler 

abandoned by his senses 

he turned slowly into a monument 

into musical shells of ears 

entered a stone forest 

and the skin of his face 

was secured 

with the blind dry 

buttons of eyes 

nothing was left him 

but touch 

what stories 

he told with his hands 

in the right he had romances 

in the left soldier’s memories 

they took my brother 

and carried him out of town 

he returns every fall 

slim and very quiet 

he does not want to come in 

he knocks at the window for me 

we walk together in the streets 

and he recites to me 

improbable tales 

touching my face 

with blind fingers of rain 

Poem – Why The Classics

1

In  the fourth book of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides tells among other things

the story of his unsuccessful expedition

among long speeches of chiefs

battles sieges plague

dense net of intrigues of diplomatic endeavours

the episode is like a pin

in a forest

the Greek colony Amphipolis

fell into the hands of Brasidos

because Thucydides was late with relief

for this he paid his native city

with lifelong exile

exiles of all times

know what price that is

2

generals of the most recent wars

if a similar affair happens to them

whine on their knees before posterity

praise their heroism and innocence

they accuse their subordinates

envious colleagues

unfavourable winds

Thucydides says only

that he had seven ships

it was winter

and he sailed quickly

3

if art for its subject

will have a broken jar

a small broken soul

with a great self-pity

what will remain after us

will it be lovers’ weeping

in a small dirty hotel

when wall-paper dawns