[I didn't think I should return ]

Poem By Marí Antoni

I didn't think I should return.
I didn't think I should ever again
look on these fields, where solitude
and abandonment govern,
or these little hills that drop down
to the sea, or this still air,
that seems to halt everything,
now they are all in bed, and sleeping.

I didn't think I should return
to see this light that gives body
to the shade, and to the light, bafflement.
And I thought I would not know again
that the stillness that frees us
and the silence that nurtures us
are not the stillness and the silence of death,
nor the place of affliction,
nor the fear of one who knows he is alone
amid the strangeness of the world.

I didn't think I should return
to feel how all is one and how every real thing
shows itself in what it is
if one is near it and quite unaccompanied.
I didn't think I could go back
to staying still, wrapped around
by the dark and the shadow of this cloud
that dims all and dazzles us.

Nor did I think I'd return to this desert
that the soul has created in our image.
I didn't think I should ever return,
even were I, simply, the one
that here, again,
returned.

Translated by Graham Thomson

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