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What were you born of, poet? Of time and space,
without beginning or end,
without father or mother,
like a spring in the garden of origins
and the water that rises from the first finishing,
O fountain of memory, fountain of the great
centre of the earth
were you too born, you who flow
over the white stones of remembering, born
from what was without being, before the knowing
of existence?
Look at you, all rolled up in a spiral like a snake
uncoiling as the tide comes in, lover of the Sun and Moon
and soon drawing away from the hand that
wants to be clean
and the foot that tries
to walk on the water.

Of what were you born? Perhaps of the wind,
of the great wind, uncompromising, homeless,
born of horizons far beyond the reach
of the perfumed hand of flattery
or the foot of the traveller who, hoping to win them over,
disguises his walking as a dance and his dance as flight -
of that great wind with the mane of a flying steed,
with dead leaves for fingers,
with the cry of the migrant bird,
with sleep without rest in the darkness of the chimney piece,
with eyes of smoke,
with the cruel love of the Summer Sun
that shines down on a vast valley
drying the blood of murdered men and the tears of those who mourn,
on stones, on sweat, on dust.

Or perhaps you were born of the night. Or fire.
It is true that I have seen flocks of sheep on the move
sleeping together in the shadow of peace
while in dark corners abandoned by men
light flowed from the tiny
miracle of the glow worms.
It is true that I have seen on lonely park benches,
under the slow turning of the Zodiac,
hands join together, breathing mingled
and the opening up of hearts from which fall
drop by drop
a cry, piercing and godlike.

It is true that I have seen fire dancing on top of the grass
run along the hills rejoicing in the mysteries that fly,
keeping watch like love under the memory
in the hearth stone of silence
and I, in delirium, breathed in the ashes of a bewitched
universe twisted in the delight of suicide and the madness
sprung from its breast with the flame that
gobbles it up, feeding its hunger
with thrones, with countries, with blood until,
all by itself it throws up bones, pumice-stone, sulphur
and the ashes of its power.
It is true that in some casual Eden
I saw fireflies light up in the odours of the night,
will o'the wisps of what is not there, of what we miss -
Oh careless dream, where silence and gentle weeping meet.

But maybe I was born of the earth.
Could I have come out from between earth's thighs,
like a blade of grass, like a cricket, like a rock,
like an echo once lost in the depths of a well
and suddenly sprouting as the sap mounts,
breathing out, a sigh promised to the dew,
a sort of creeping plant drawn up by the stars
out of your breast, the weight of my heart, O my earth.
But here I am, balanced between two forces
dancing like something that cannot last
for a day that is eternal,
for eternal love,
like a light and happy piece of ephemera
for eternal life,
for eternal death -
Oh what nonsense the question was!
Brothers, I am. I was never born!