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Dah Helmer 

 

 

 

 

Translator

 

A storm bends the small trees

nearly to the ground.

Only their will keeps them from

snapping—we stay alive

in the same way, resisting to stiffen,

to turn to ice or stone.

 

The wind is a glass shard tearing

the air. Its jaggy edges cut into nerves.

Cruel. Unfeeling.

Some things are blown apart, blown away.

 

The day is dismal, nearly hopeless, as if blindness

at birth: a sightless soul plunged into a life

that’s as unwanted as a broken lamp.

 

Along the edge of town, a train

charges the storm’s vortex

and breaks through to the other side

—in dreams, we can see the other side,

which is an abstract to the same side

we exist on: both sides, only half way

to where we are going, and

 

somewhere in between there’s a priceless message

that we can neither find nor even decipher,

and we can only hope that it arrives on time

with a gifted translator.

 

Dah’s poetry has appeared, most recently, in The Sandy River Review, Stone Voices Magazine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, River & South Review, The Muse, and Miracle Magazine, and is forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Perfume River Review, Literature Today, Poetry Pacific, Zygote in my Coffee, and Red Wolf Journal.

 

The author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, his third collection is due for publication in 2014, also from Stillpoint. Dah lives in Berkeley, California, where he is currently working on the manuscript for his fourth book.