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Reader of Ashes

Burn out, song, in the fire you have struck.
Your flint has split the word and burned it to ashes.
Reader of ashes, do you see in the ashes the fable
which rises from deep in that gray?

Song, I broke you off from the birdbeak aflight in my blood,
from the red sky of my fired veins, strung
from pylons charged at opposite poles.
I broke you off from red and black anger icons,
from the thunder in the warrior’s stone-tipped spear,
from dreams of men who are taller than their dreams
and rise again from their ashes.

It has split the world in two, its sides clash
in a winless war, knife against knife.
Who loses? Who wins? Who will make sens
of the sunrise of wounds?
Burn out, song, in the fire you have struck.

Aco Šopov, Reader of Ashes (Гледач во пепелта),1970
Imitation by Roderick Jellema from translation by Graham W. Reid, in Reading the ashes, An Anthology of the Poetry of Modern Macedonia, 1977.