Oystercatcher Press

translated by Ian Brinton

Jaccottet image

£5.00 A5 24pp. ISBN: 978-1-905885-91-6.

A Temp (or airy occupant)

                                       à Francis Ponge


          Lodging lightly in air we inhabit a high house

carved and partitioned by light and space;

its clarity upon occasion obliterates the years

as we soar through ensuing open doors of sky.


Trees are beneath us, and grass further off:

a morning green world glitters before expiring

as night arrives; those mountains

breathing deeply in the distance

seem slight as a stray glance passes beyond them.


This home of light is built above a void,

shimmering; be quick now, take possession

of this resonant dwelling

before it darkens too soon below layers of dust

breaking up in a shower of blood.


Now, helpmeet or lover, transfer this tenant underground;

your love once opened two doors for him yet here

his eyes are closed, as we found him in the courtyard:

help him now to sink into a house of damp root.