In Autumn



      You are like every other, and still you are different. I take into my hand Your dirt and stone and leaf, and I look closely and smell and taste you, and I don’t understand anything and I ask with astonishment: what are you?
      How come that I cling to you so much, that I quiver with fear for you with all the ends of my nerves, that I identify so much with Your fate?
      Your woods and clouds and little weavers’ cottages stuck under mountain ledges like swallows’ nests, Your ponds and clouds, Your songs and clouds, I love, I love them. 
      And when I straighten my back, I marvel with astonishment: Above my head, Your crown-jewels of stars, constellations, crowns and scepters and swords and spheres are ablaze. I think about you night and day, in every step, nothing can divert, deafen, console me. I lie down in anguish and hopes, waking up at nights, defying it in vain, thinking about you like a blind man about the sun, I cannot not think in the same way that I cannot withhold my breath and my heart. 
      I walk through a park, and I see you and hear and feel and taste and touch You. Wintry clouds have been chasing each other in the grey sky for weeks, burnt dahlias are waiting for gardener’s spade. And now suddenly, air enveloped me like a tepid bath, air bitterly smelling of All Saints’ day. Through the broken tree crowns, Prague shows – Prague, in a mother-of-pearl haze of colors, dimmed by the sordine of distance. Above the towers of Saint Vitus’ cathedral, white flocks of pigeons circle in radiant curves. They captured my drunken eyes with the tepid beauty of this day, I couldn’t straggle myself from their disappearing and bright returns, it seemed to me that I heard the waving of their wings in my eyes.
      The pigeons disappeared and I returned with my humble eyes again to You, earth. Plucked and ragged by autumn winds, you are like a female martyr, denudated in order to feel the scourge of gales. Your garb of love lies in rags at my feet – and yet you are beautiful, still more beautiful in this bitter, crying sun.
      I go home and in my head, the white flock of pigeons is still circling – I cannot forget their sudden disappearances and bright returns.


      I love you like the mother I came out of. I love you like the woman I had a child with. I love you like the child the woman gave me. For you are a mother as well as a woman as well as a child, you are in them like they are in You, like I am in You, like You are in me.
      I kneel in front of You when I pick up a maple leaf, a complete gothic work, which reminds me of the most daring cathedrals.
      I bow to You when I leaf through the thick book of Your history and I think more of its blank pages.