Diary of the Plague Year: Day 24 8 April 2020: Quotidian Poetry Ryszard Krynicki (1943 – )

 

Ryszard Krynicki

 

Wastepaper, Trash, Scrap Iron

Atlantologists of the future,

our small victories and great defeats,
our small truths and great lies,
our paper cities,
our incurable diseases,
our fickle hearts,
our anesthetized minds,
our little hopes and big delusions

really existed.

These layers of limestone
are our bones.

These imperishable plastic objects
weren’t our talismans, we had them
in daily use.

These glass-screened boxes
were not our gods, although often
they were used as a means
to subjugate our will
and break our spirit.

It was not unheard of
for even our thoughts to be listened in on.

The truth is also
that we multiplied like beasts
and fed on our brothers: animals and plants
having no other way to perpetuate
our own kind.

We should not have murdered each other
in the name of the inhuman Chimera
a better future.

Atlantologists of the future time,
wastepaper, trash, scrap iron
if they endure
may not be the best testimony to us
but we existed all right

and we were conscious of our existence.

 

From:

Our Life Grows
Ryszard Krynicki

Translated by Alissa Valles
Afterword by Adam Michnik

NYRB/Poets

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