The Universe


Those who went far told us
That out-there, there’s more and more, too much of stars.
Not only above the head, but even under the feet,
And like an apple in the distance, the planet of our birth.

One stands on the floor only in one’s ship,
In the distance itself, there’s nowhere to stand.
They became frightened of the stars,
Fell, aged, back on this world.

They sit in firm chairs on this world,
In soft cloth of our clothes,
They sleep on rainy nights under ceilings,
Beside their unloved women.


Women, we missed them the most,
Said the explorer of the universe,
Blinking quickly with his eyes,
For his wife sat beside him.

He poured himself more wine,
Red one, that goes with game,
And kept smiling all the time,
Wiping his mouth as he drank.

Those know everything about universe:
Universe, that’s my home,
I know it better than the inside of my own pocket,
Sometime, I’ll make another quick tour there and back.


Those who went further
Reported ever less frequently, ever scarcer.
That some kind of an apparition is chasing them,
A visible ghost sometimes, sometimes only a voice.

A voice of an orchestra from somewhere outside the ship,
And inside a knocking from everywhere,
And when you’re on the point of falling asleep,
In the dark, a foreign body lies down beside you.

Even stars are less numerous out-here –
There somewhere a white blot is rotating in the dark …
Much fewer of those return,
Sometimes without ears, sometimes without eyes.


Eyes? repeated the space hero,
Why should I need eyes here on Earth!
Ears, to listen to you, I possess,
And mouth, to eat something, have a smoke.

Three sisters, all in white, jumped up
And hurried to give him a light.
Over the glowing point, a small pillar of smoke,
Black sunglasses stared at us.

Eyes – the man fell silent for a moment,
Who on earth still needs eyes,
He laughed, stretching out his arm,
Opening, as if he wanted to read, a newspaper.


Those who came furthest,
Were the shortest on words,
They preferred to question us,
Replying in between: no, there are no more stars.

In fact, messages from their ship
Even now still keep floating back to us,
But among us, no one anymore knows those signs,
As if, in his own language, a ghost was calling.

I’m afraid, admitted the professor,
That they are already too far in space
And they won’t be able to return,
Forever they will remain in the universe.

Gregor Strnisa (1983)

Traduzido do Esloveno por Matija Vidmar