I lie down tonight while dying August
sings ashy petals that shoot clean through its terror.
My forehead is loam for vine of stars
that swells with golden grapes, and ripens.

I lie here in August, my skull knotted to earth.
Will they hold out, can they stop me,
those lines of attacking troops of plant and seed,
of grass, root and fern?

Lie and wait here. Lie still as stick.
Let the night drink you, let the wind lash,
the fisherman down in your eyes weave gossamer nets,
deep in your waiting there sleeps a golden fish.

I stay awake to feel the August, all the changes.
The high golden grapes like eyeballs are silvering out.
Beneath us the dark sun drifts to its midnight zenith.
Still I lie, tangled and held by grass and fern.

Aco Šopov, Reader of the Ashes (Гледач во пепелта), 1970
Translated by Graham W. Reid and Roderick Jelemma