Beat and whirl with waves and slap the sand,
let it toll this bell of wind and light.
Lake, you swell, and your unquenched tolling
quenches into the shore which is caving in.
You’ll be here when I’m stuck behind some hill without you;
there you’ll open fresh inside me like a clam,
like a valley you’ll lie down in my eyes,
a pain I cannot see.
Sometimes you won’t seem real for days and days.
Often I will think of you as only
fire which is secretly consumed,
someone’s heart or someone’s blood on fire.
You’re a threat when you rise, a shout that glitters;
of all that driftstuff digging in before you
only shadows stay, and sand on the shore
that drinks you into its thirst.
When I’m lost with maps out in that wasteland,
that dumb plain scabbed with black skin
which hears not water but grating springs,
the clatter of two heavy words,
you rise and rinse the crumbling land’s end.
You drown in your beauty, suck it far from the tolling.
Water, will know, water will dream everything.
Beat with waves, wheel over, lake; beat, beat.
Imitation by Roderick Jellema from a translation by Graham W. Reid