Home Is Where Your Love Is

Home is where the heart is,
But my heart is with you.
The most important part is
I love you through and through.

How can I sleep, how can I breathe?
You’re unaware and must not know.
In silence I must lie and bleed
And follow where the rivers flow.

Home is where your love is,
But my love is with you.
The most important part is
My love for you is true.

How can I eat, how can I see?
You’re on my lips and on my mind.
I know without you I can’t be,
What comfort could I ever find?

Suspension

I have a heart
That in my chest
Beats like a madman
’Gainst the bars
Of the gaol cell
That keeps it
Like a bird encaged
From its mate

I wear a heart
Right on my sleeve
That beats towards you
Like a bird
That’s driven south
When winter calls
And knows no
Other destination

Treasuries

She has the blinding lights
Of a million burning stars
On the tip of her tongue.
But she would rather swallow them
Than to show them to anyone
In the blink of an eye.

I have no means of learning
What she is hiding in her chest
Or other secret treasuries.
Yet I know full well that any fraction
Of the flame buried within
Would warm me for a dozen lifetimes.

From the Lost Notes of the Deep Dweller’s Shipyard [New Fragment #2/‘Purpose’]

It is odd how in this public place I write down things that go deep under the surface, depths that only you have explored to an extend, and yet, while this is to be read by anyone stumbling across it, you may be the only person not to. Perhaps there lies a bit of irony in the possibility that you may simply refuse to read that which you already know; ‘leave the details and technicalities to everyone else’, you may say, dwelling at the core of my heart, unaware, mayhap, that the warmth surrounding you emanates from it as it beats towards you with every moment of its existence; unaware, also, that its only purpose is to protect you, not to keep you in against your will like a prison cell.
But there is only so much I can do, little bird, for your purpose, as every bird’s purpose, is to spread your wings and fly. If you fly away from me at some point these days when I regularly open the door of your self-imposed cage, then, I cannot help it, for your happiness is my happiness, and if you want to be set free, I am going to set you free.
On your way, thus, you may find so many new and exciting things that your memory of me will fade until it becomes unrecognizable, indistinguishable from any other obscure memory from the distant past. Only the memory of you in my heart that will have served its purpose as best it could will remain – and it will go on a hiatus as short as for ever.

Cold, Cold Heart

Along the shoreline take a stroll,
A lonesome, heavy stride.
Await the fog bell’s final toll
For secrets to confide.

Be warned, though, that your breath will cost
A price you cannot pay.
Amongst the dead all love is lost,
As all else must decay.

Familiar tastes the blood-wrenched mist,
Adherent of this art.
I knew the moment that we kissed
That nothing warms your heart.

Zerplatztes Porzellan (Shattered Porcelain)

The following is an old poem of mine from 2004. Please scroll down for an English translation and commentary.

Das Böse dieser Welt ist überall
und wie zerplatztes Porzellan in meinem Kopf,
dessen Scherben meine Seele schneiden
und den Ozean der Verdammnis
mit Blut und Tränen füllen.

Hier ist deine Seele
ein Schiff in dunkler Nacht,
mein Herz ein rotes Segel,
aufgespießt auf einen Mast,
dessen Spitze feurig glüht.

Unser Fleisch ist längst verwest
und brennt auf Stirn und Lippen.
Das Verderben folgt mir nach
auf Schritt und Tritt
und auf dem Fuße.

Das erdrückende Gewicht
der Welt stürzt auf mich ein
wie glühend heiße Nägel,
die sich in die Augen bohren,
weil die Welt in Blut ertrinkt.

English translation

The evil of this world is everywhere
und like shattered porcelain in my head
whose shards cut my soul
and fill the ocean of condemnation
with blood and tears.

Here your soul is
a ship in the darkest night,
my heart a crimson sail
impaled upon a mast
whose top glows fervidly.

Our flesh has long since decayed
and burns on forhead and lips.
Doom follows me
at every turn
and hard on my heels.

The stifling weight of the world
comes crushing down on me
like scorching nails
that sink into the eyes,
as the world drowns in blood.

Commentary

This poem, in contrast to the one I posted before, posed few difficulties with respect to its translation into English. First and foremost, the strength of the metaphors does not rely upon compounds. Instead, I chose a rather simple language and form (there are neither rhymes nor metres), while the metaphors – the pictures I paint with words – unfold over several lines. This allows them to remain in a steady flow on the one hand, but keeps them somewhat unpredictable as waves at sea on the other.
The lyrical self’s expression of despair is one big (and perhaps final) sigh of surrender. This is most prominent in lines four and five of verse three, which expresses the feeling that regardless of what the lyrical self does, however may describe or analyse the situation, it will always be and stay the same. No complication of words would serve this purpose, let alone improve it.
Interestingly, there is a lyrical you, a second person, vaguely addressed, but even this fact provides the lyrical self with no comfort. The reason for this may be that for the lyrical self, the lines between reality and the dark world to which it feels tied against its own will have long since blurred.