© VZJ Pinkava




Pře-klá-dá bá-sně, je-den zná-
mej;  v tom se každej nevyzná;
ob-čas to nej-de;    rým a ryt-
mus  ne-da-jí  se pře-bás-nit;
on  však  mi  po-ví-dal,  že si-
tu-a-ce  hor-ší je     než kdy-
by pře-klá-dal jen: on má rý-
mu rýmů, ...  a neví co s tím!



These words are silent symbols until read,
lines, merely, in a language widely known,
at time of writing them I am not dead;
at time of reading, they are yours alone.
Words bear my message from the here and now,
as was, to you, unknown in time to come,
it is dear reader you whom I allow
a glimpse of me and then, dry depths to plumb.
You may conclude the foreword took too long,
the show was short, time wasted setting scenes,
but then, that’s life, and I regret my song
built up to this, and clichéd in-between.
Between your reading and re-reading, though
there is still time, which may be short, but slow.





drop by drop

the water turns to stone

a calendar of aeons that have passed

in night engraved

the stalagmites have grown

in caverns silent


and vast

now they stop

where once the first man froze

bright shimmer in deep pools of liquid ice

reflect in empty echoes as they pose:

“Smile Jimmy – now – isn’t that nice?!”

drop by drop

the water turns to stone

a calendar of aeons that have passed

in night engraved

the stalagmites have grown

in caverns silent


and vast

now they stop

where once the first man froze

bright shimmer in deep pools of liquid ice

reflect in empty echoes as they pose:

“Smile Jimmy – now – isn’t that nice?!”


So here’s to you – a photographic smile
a page or two of trails left by your pen,
a voice evoked by rotating a dial
designed to click when turning back again;
So here’s to you – the cause of these impressions
patterns in random, ever-changing space,
two minds migrating to the old obsession
hoping it’s not another wild goose chase;
So here’s to you; a note to tell you merely
that words which force of habit placed above
are more than just two words
yours sincerely
carries more weight than fickle words like love.


The witching hour approaches – dark and still
with mem’ ries tapping on the windowsill;
Wandering cats that arch their backs and squeal
stretching each moment to its full ordeal.

Strung out from trees outside, like fruits of sin
underclothes that are never taken in;
Boarded-up windows, blind and gutted shells
of places where the cats once used to dwell:

Clothing remains, to tell the unconcerned
of lessons due, that haven’t yet been learned
and those who take no notice, fear no ill;
Yet there are those who have, and those who will…

Wandering cats that arch their backs and squeal
and people, likewise get in on the deal
secretly letting loose unquenched desire
despite the White-house, brimstone, and hellfire.

The witching hour approaches – dark and still
benign to those who have not had their fill,
endowing them with telepathic power –
though out-of-reach, they know the grapes are sour.

spring 1988

Lopsided crucifixes, cubist–nightmare trees                
sprout overnight in arc-lit hatcheries...       
and from your
O ps’


Pie-eyed and walnut-brained
in spore-soaked seats

Gazes; glued fast
to dark rain-lacquered streets.

A broadside cannonade
of gunwale doors:

jam-packs release;

and out it pours.


“The library remains –
the printing press is dead... ”
the scientist explains.
(I think that’s what he said)

The life         he         leads –
   the      nose
  he’s led:

no finishline –

more startlines

up ahead.


Through concrete burrows, steel-shod spiral stairs,
far balladiers sing of old love-affairs.

podzim 1988, třicátiny

V krunýři kabátu tu stojím v klidu,
osamělý, jak kláda v kůlně lidu,

pod kůru mozkovou mé hlavy mladé,
mi samotářka vosa –


November 1988

Bright pillar-boxes
frozen to the spot,
like snowmen’s noses,
red, but far from hot;

Infrequent cars
spit steam into the air,
while others whine
still glazed with tupperware;

The sun’s low slung
emaciated light;

And overhead
the sky’s hair thinning,


podzim 1988

Ve stínu vznáší se a kmitá vážka času,
občas se zastaví,
však hned zas někam spěchá,
a mezi křídla poutá
prchanlivou krásu,
a nic ji netíží,
a nic tu nezanechá.

December 1988

A capsule in spacetime from there-and-then

meandering, who knows til where and when

of information, stored, dried, bulldozed flat.

A would-be pop-up train in motion set........

únor 1989

Tíha živoření tlačí mne za oči.
Myšlenky se honí po oko-lotoči.

Pochybuji-li, že
usnu, až si lehnu,
neusnu, jen níže



ke dnu.


Zelení podvodníci – rostliny potopené –
rybičky bdělé, spící, plavou tu zamyšleně.
Duhovky magnetické otáčejí mi hlavou
na výlet, v duši lidské rády si pozaplavou.


Šípkové růže mají květy bílé
vybarvím-li je,
je to z dlouhé chvíle.

spring 1989

Prince-charming maisonettes
masked, pebble-dashing;
bright egos clashing;

Stone-clad self-parody
of aspiration;
Double-glazed leaded-lights
mock imitation;

Annexed exclusion-zones
of kerb-side parking;
Free-range cats littering;
Cooped-up dogs barking;

Window-box marigolds
After Her Majesty
who’ else will God save?


July 1989

Don’t ring the bell to mark the hour,
Don’t mourn the loss of passing time,
Don’t break the spell that binds the tower,
The winding grapevine’s spiral climb;

Wings, searing white, and quick as lime,
Under the belfry, eyes that glower,
Yet fieldmice, thought they nightly cower,
Don’t mourn the loss of passing time;

Somewhere, this instant, blooms a flower,
Each moment passes in its prime,
And yet – none such deserves a chime;

Simplicity need not be dour;
Long-after-sought-for grapes still sour;
Don’t mourn the loss of passing time.


Crows’ feet of steel               
through the   
grey torn

A dried-              up                lake              of stone,

neath      rain-soaked   cloud.

As expectations rise,
as dusk,







floods the Arrivals Hall.


pearl seaslug cities dusk light filings spark
jewelled adorn black velvet cushioned ground
red ~ amber ~ green ~ blue ~ fluorescent arc
tight lips the scene paused between lost and found


Leaves    ,                 
like spectators     ,               
climb for better view   ,            
lean back, scorched   ,          
wilting, overawed  ,        
and brown   :     















                          of oceans,

                                 The king of cheese?
                            The chaperone of lovers?
                                 – Or pockmarked, dusty
                                        ball of rock in space?

                                                A vantage point, 
                                     for astronauts to pace?

                                The half-wit smiling fool
                                       of childhood night

                                                now only
                                      scowls at me –

                               as well
he might!


Jak ve snu v kterém zkušenost se kmitá
kde cesta známá vede ledabyle
na místa nová, snad nově odkrytá
otvorem, který vyhlodal zub času,
tu stáří stromů, omítek mne vítá –
a já –
přínáším jen pár šedých vlasů.

poloautomatický pseudopoetismus

Hledám závory novoluní
prázdné jsou dlaně žebráků
a rozkročený můj stín na tvých hýždích
vypadá jako albatros s rozepjatými křídly
nad vrcholem obrostlým spálenou travou
smutnými kalužemi plave zmatek
a milosrdenství je prostor stánkařů
neboť na víc nemáte
tohoto jména nehodni.


Z          a
z      á
čích očí
na stop
kách mar
ně vlez
lá sli
zem po
ká be
re za
a jed
há po
a jis
tě ke
se plazí
svůj kra
tek vý
ští z va
ny na
tě jan
tar a
bot ko
cích se
tá tem
pem ne
ným neb
oť brzy




Bobr vybral si a má své důvody
nenést do lesa co by bral do vody.


Tmou blížící se jednooké zvíře,
osleplé z jedné strany jednookým vozem,
který se náhle vyhne      vytlučené díře,
dík čemuž manévru nesrazí zvíře na zem:
na scénu od lesa z podvětví výr tu zírá,
přes pole zajíci bez zaječení mizí,
zvíře na krajnici stojí a netopýra
zaslyší zaplápolat tiše
nad silnicí.


Jsem osamělý, lidmi obklopen,
blízkými lidmi, mojí rodinou,
jak za sklem jsou, snad je to jenom sen,
snad jsem tu sám, či oni sami jsou.
Nikdo se nezabývá mými pocity,
a když, tak shazují je, snižují
jsem terčem vtipů, byť zdroj záštity
osel, jejž uráží, přec na něm putují.
Človek snad právem za osla je brán
když píše o tom sonet zbytečný
úděl svůj nést mám trpělivě, ran
snést jak kapek, skalní, netečný.
Bezcitnost tichá svírá, poctivě,
lepší než přetvářet se, uctivě.


Ať už to ve školách neučí,
že Snark je tvor v podstatě žraločí
je to jen blud
co dodoposud
kdos naušil, nauši, naoči.


Když můžu říkat bezcitně
proč nelze říkat citně?
Vždyť se dá říkat nezbytně
a přitom snad i zbytně.
Když můžu říkat nekalý
proč neříká se kalý?
Vždyť se dá říkat nedbalý
a zcela jistě dbalý.
«Nikdo do toho nevidí»
tak někdo do toho vidí?
Lidi jsou rasi, nadlidi,
a třídní boj je třídí.


Kamenný most se staví následovně:
z návrhu návrší se ustrojí,
pak kamení se složí cestou rovně,
ze strany do sebe se napojí.
Podstatné je, že základy jsou dvojí,
aby most nepovolil pod tlakem
když přijde klenák, snahou rozbít spojí,
svou váhou tlačí do stran, obloukem.
Násyp či lešení když odhrne se,
či velká voda přijde, odplaví,
pak most dál stojí, v celé kráse pne se,
jen díky svorníku zas klenboví.
Tak je to s dvojicí, jež dítě drží,
dál od sebe, však nad propastí, strží.


nevím zda yeti ye i to či auto,
však za to že ye yeti aspoň motto,
vděčím, až vděčně brečím, a to za to
že yeto, netto, basta, brutto vzato –
nebylo-li by, bylo by to líto;
svět ye yen vyem a v něm ye yeti vryto,
když yeti ye ti proti srsti proto,
že není, věř že ye, a ye to tutto.


Kdesi tam v podpalubí mého korábu  ~ 
si v šeru mořská víla hraje na babu  ~ 
vzpomínky dmou se jako v řadách tsunami  ~ 
však horská plavba ne a ne být za námi.    


Táži se opět, zas, a vždycky,
zdalipak slepců sluch je zrak,
neuzavírám hermeticky,

nevím zda Bůh je, katolický,
nebo snad Bozi, bůžci pak,
táži se opět, zas, a vždycky;

nemívám jasno. Úděl lidský
je pochybovat dál, a tak,
neuzavírám hermeticky

thé-máta. Otevírám klícky;
na přílet čekám, na zázrak;
táži se opět, zas, a vždycky.

Chroma je barva, „chromaticky“
stupnice stoupá. Barvy znak?
Neuzavírám hermeticky.

Papoušek není poetický.
Kriticky vybarví se? Jak?
Táži se opět, zas, a vždycky.
Neuzavírám hermeticky.

(moje pocta)


Na hladině se šíří, mísí kruhy,
neprší, kape: tají skalní taje,
nad závoj mlh se klene klenba duhy,
království ticha v plášti hranostaje.

Předjaří, v koutech bílé, vláčné: zlehka
za sluncem výhonky se plíží, nazí,
a ledu skořepina, sklenná, křehká,
pod kterou bubliny se splývat plazí.

Pod vodou pstruh se perleťově mihne,
nad vodou vážka první, zkřehlá, kmitá;
to slepý slovotepec nevystihne
tak, jako mistra štětce ruka hbitá.

Nevšední byl: lék duše otupění,
na dálku přítomný i po setmění.


Co bude, bude, a co bylo, bylo.
Nic na tom kritik, není autor díla.
Jsem aktér jen, není to moje dílo.

Zosnován život, jako by se snilo,
však nesním já, to vyšší tvůrčí síla.
Co bude, bude, a co bylo, bylo.

Docela dobře se to vybarvilo,
zpočátku, pak se šance promarnila,
jsem aktér jen, není to moje dílo.

Spějeme k pointě, ta zní, cosi žilo,
ale už nežije, tu stopa zbyla.
Co bude, bude, a co bylo, bylo.

Stopa? I bez ní by to postačilo,
raději nic, než hnidů bída shnilá,
jsem aktér jen, není to moje dílo.

Jen sen se zdál, dočasné věčné smylo.
Tu a tam tvorba tvora zavinila:
Co bude, bude, a co bylo, bylo.
Jsem aktér jen, není to moje dílo.


...ze šera šedi, obrys se vynořuje,
hmla přesmýká se, mlha se přetvařuje,
odrazky očí, rysích snad, civí drze,
angorské kočky podivné, mlhu skrze...


Počasí ve mně není extrémní,
ba ani střídavé jak na horách,
však někdy mráz, či dusna enormní
donutí zakrýt, svléct. Pak mysli vzmach
ubíjí déšť a kroupy, smrští shon,
zas slunce na duši, klid, letní den
vrací mi víru že je za vším On:
... jen          napsat sonet, ale zkrátím jej.
Blíží se mlha, slepá beznaděj.


Sníh jako za úplňku na Sahaře,
noc zmrzlých sazí, sypká, cukrovitá,
psí vítr plíská, výská na ohaře:
„nechytíš, neucítíš“. Šedě svítá.

PAMÁTKOVÁ REZ – – – – – –

Zástava srdce? – – arrythmie
pak zase – – – – chybí
rok, čtyři doby. Prostoj. Hiát. Žije,
však není to co byl: zrak lekle rybí.
Takt zaplněný pauzy prázdna značkou.
Stůl, židle, budoucími obsazené
slovem, jež není nic než hříčkou, hračkou,
štěkem, co ovce, hňupy jinam žene.
Vznešená slova, cizí, zdomácnělá.
Na starém mostě turistická trasa
narvaná, přitom prázdná, hlučná mela,
bábelsky nesrozumitelná masa.
Ticho, jak Munchův výkřik děsné hrůzy.
Prázdnota v očích srdceryvné lůzy.


Já chci jen vědět,
vědět co jsem chtěl,
vědět, co chtěl jsem vědět,
Než zapomenu,
že jsem zapomněl,
že jsem tu byl kdy čekal,
Přál bych si přát si,
přát si dál si přát,
dopřát si dál mít přání,
co bych rád...


Až budou z lidí klony,
nebudou oni, ony
pohlavní mizerie,
jen on a ona, nie...
Po hlavní do kolony
(tam byly kdysi hony).
dé en á vrahy skryje
bez daktylosko-pyje.
Z vojína budou pluky.
Sport jen se vymkne z ruky.
Ostatní bude v ruce.
Skončí i prostituce.


Postavy podivné, ježaté jemně
modřínů průsvitné siluety
stávaly u cesty, vzbouzely ve mně
pocit že vztah mají dlouholetý.
Milenců zdánlivě zdrženlivých
větvoví jak ruce spjaté,
tichých a skromných a krásných. Ten hřích!
Hanba ti, prokletí, kate!

viz též http://www.literra.cz/3224


A lake of limpid ink and lucent grey;
A late-flushed bird complains in vexed affray;
Then, stillness falls - a soothing velvet cape;
Smeared points of light stake out the lake's lost shape;
Skimming the kayak bows, a bat feeds, low;
A night-time outing - with the moon below.


Moon-shadows wanly stretch and magnify
two figures walking hand-twined in the night.
Faintly discerned, a star glows floating by.

The air is still, no breeze, nor wet, nor dry,
nor hot nor cold, and glowing darkly bright,
Moon-shadows wanly stretch and magnify.

Silence, which footsteps contrast, amplify.
The taller figure flicks his mobile light:
Faintly discerned, a star glows floating by.

A deft bat flutters, inking-in the sky.
Frogs trill their distant reed-on-washboard rite.
Moon-shadows wanly stretch and magnify

an avenue of trees that signify
the journey they began when she wore white.
Faintly discerned, a star glows floating by.

They turn to see the trailing firefly.
Time’s on the turn, the moon is gaining height.
Moon-shadows wanly stretch and magnify.
Faintly discerned, a star glows floating by.


Stín Luny vyzáblostí protahuje
dvojici noční, ruku-v-ruce jdoucí.
Sotva je vidět hvězda kol co pluje.

Nemokrý, nesuchý, bezvětřně duje
vzduch vlažný, suchovlahý, světletmoucí.
Stín Luny vyzáblostí protahuje.

Ticho se kročeji jen zesiluje.
Ten z obou vyšší mobil rozžeh žhnoucí:
sotva je vidět hvězda kol co pluje.

Netopýr nebe tuší retušuje.
Žabky, rákos-na-valše pradrhnoucí.
Stín Luny vyzáblostí protahuje

tu stromořadí, které navazuje
na cestu, započatou v bílém, vroucí.
Sotva je vidět hvězda kol co pluje.

Světluščí svit jim cestu vysvětluje.
Čas obratníků, Luna stoupá zvoucí.
Stín Luny vyzáblostí protahuje.
Sotva je vidět hvězda kol co pluje.


Koruny stromů v šeru,mraků páry
vytváří dojmy pitoreskních tváří,
podobni chrličům, jež před oltáři
prchají do tmy, ztělesněné sváry;
grimasy, mlčky řvoucí, zachyceny
ve spárech kameníka dávných věků,
vředy to vášní, stopy po člověku
který je, štvance, hnal skrz chrámu stěny.
V tom nepodobni, mutabilně živí,
jichž předobrazy ve zdech zkameněly,
přesto však pozor dávat by si měli,
- co když je zvěční paparazzo snivý.
(Pár k párům, závěr, dodatečné řádky
přidávám: aby sonet nebyl krátký.) !


He has upset her.
He is made aware.
He fails to see just what and where and when,
but most of all the why.
The word is “Care!”
He does.
He says he’s sorry.
Lost again.

She is upset with what he failed to do.
So many times before.
She feels bereft.
So thoughtless, mean?
Simply has no clue!

The opposite of right?
Not wrong?
Then left.


Forgive my not forgiving – not forgiving
My faults, your choice, and wasted, to forgive.
Life, full of grudges, is not worth the living
Who are too busy, grudging, to let live.

Among my choice faults, DO resent – resentment,
And my intolerance don’t tolerate,
But keep your unforgiving discontentment
For someone who would NOT reciprocate.



Každý dle gusta svůj svět završí.
Kdo věří, zhusta je v tom po uši;
ten do nebe či pekla zavítá,
až přijde tma, po které nesvítá.
Ten kdo je přesvědčen, že dál se nežije,
že není cizí scénář, režie,
tomu se zase toto potvrdí,
že Pravdu má, a svou si utvrdí.
Scénář je vlastní, v něm to dopadne.
Bůh je, i není, je to záhadné:
Svět není pouze jeden, jediný,
každý má svůj: je Tvůrcem vteřiny
poslední, věčné, duše, neduše –
a jaké?
Určili jsme,


I am a software subroutine
test run to ground, the launch light green  
upload me for release, to fly
in thy cloud cluster in the sky...


iAMbic PENtaMEter SOUNDS like THIS
to SAY it HAS five FEET might SOUND aMISS
but STRANger THINGS do HAVE five FEET, like HEIGHT,
or DRUNKard ROACHes, LEGless IN the NIGHT.


SONNETS mostly in


Je Slunce Bůh? Či Boha metafora ?!
Od Něj vše dobré, živé přichází!
Sleduje nás! Dívá se na nás shora.
Odevšad? Dokola se prochází!

Slunce je nestranné, byť lidé volí
čí slunce jaké je, chladnější, vřelejší
Kdo v zádech jej má na bitevním poli
A zda je v noci, ve tmě, ve zdejší.

Na televizi předpovědní modly:
Sluníčka štěpná, místní, s úroky
Každý k své vlastní ikoně se modlí
Na počasí si klade nároky.

Jak mezi námi má být mír a klid
Když Slunce nestačí: V Něj uvěřit.


Is the Sun God? Maybe God’s metaphor?!
From Him all good, all life originates!
He watches us! From above, from afar.
Around us all? He circumnavigates!

The Sun does not take sides, though people might
Argue whose Sun is whose, cool, tropical;
Whose Sun is at whose back when armies fight,
At night, in darkest doubt, illogical.

The TV forecast is – solar idolatry:
Many small suns, local, with interest,
Each turns to his own icon, solitary
Prays for his weather, hoping for the best.

What hope is there for harmony and peace;
One Sun we see – as multiplicities.


Above Four Acres’ Hall’s Olde English beams’
Tudor-Elizabethan mock outside,
Our template Star benign in Noon-dusk dreams
While quisling Moon usurps her throne’s full pride.
So too these words, stealing across the page
Crabwise, in craft blindingly previous,
Admit to mimick Shakspear’s lineage
Dazzle, by wordplay fully devious.
Minds meet like trump cards bright, but contentless
Hubris as Me-too-muchness takes the stage
Loose-fit Tiaras crown pretentiousness
As in my Quasi-sonnet I engage,
Show off in discourse, gambling to delight:-
Clowning in shoes too big, a child gains height.


Nad mlhovinou zmrzlých bublinek,
zakletá krystalická hladina,
nade dnem, kde se každý kamínek
s visatým protinožcem protíná,
muž, hnán na hranách ostře hlazených,
poháněn výkyvy jen těžiště,
každičký záhyb tahů zmrazených
zaznamenává na sklo kluziště:
led unáší jej, mruče, sténaje,
praskliny náhlé, táhle varují,
však poutník pádí dál, strach nemaje,
a táhlé kroky dutě štěkají.

Nad ním, či pod ním, modrá obloha,
jíž táhne stopa bruslí, dvojnohá.


Above the frozen bubbles’ Milky way,
a spellbound crystal surface, smoothly iced,
above its lakebed pebbles’ interplay
with antipodal hanging figure, spliced,
a man propels, on blades acutely honed,
perambulates by undulating weight,
each frozen line inscribed, engraved, intoned,
onto the glassy rink to mark his fate:
The ice abducts him, groaning, moaning, swift,
sudden cracks, elongating, ominous,
the Pilgrim, fearless, goes on, heeds no rift,
in languid strides that bark with hollowness.

Above, below, the deep blue sky’s terrain
vapoured, a skate trail, bipedally twain.

The following were inspired by a web project called Sonnetwriters.com , started by Scott Ennis

Translator’s note (to Scott Ennis*)


Somewhere in cyberspace you left your mark –
*through* cyberspace; in some far distant mind
your words have come to land, to disembark,
like close encounters of a different kind.

Genie words, bottled, in a sea of prose,
encased in structure, bobbing, sparkling, they
waited, for once uncorked, ne’er more enclosed
they’d scale and grow, but form retain, obey,

reaching out over space and time and creed,
spawning translations, like fine shadows cast
in all directions. And I felt the need
to make a break with the iconoclast,

to make your story wear a local coat;
Ermine to some, to others just a stoat.

*for a sample of Scott’s sonnets see http://scottennis.sonnetwriters.com/

Dear Scott,

Fine words indeed, thanks for the accolade,
I really don’t write sonnets much, these days;
but find myself inspired, even swayed,
by those you’ve written, by the bar(d) you raise...
They are like treasures which, unearthed, amaze,
with pace and ease that seems to say ‘no sweat’
each is a firework of art, ablaze,
a runner from pedestrian epithet... 
The subject matter, though, I do find neat,
the way you write of normal, nay, mundane,
and bring out interest, a heartfelt beat,
a punchline even, how you entertain...

(My youngest son liked ‘catching frogs’, he chose
 it for a recitation comp – who knows ; )   
... but I don’t write much own stuff really, thanks, 
I’m glad to be of service to translate,
I find it challenging not to break ranks,
to steer wherein word-structures indicate,
to duck and weave and follow, sometimes crawl,
to find a vantage point or to defuse
the odd incendiary... to track it all,
in shadow, camouflage, take roads less used...
I think to write my own I’d need a yen,
(meant as in yearning, not as japanese),
but I’m more settled now than I was then,
when I was young, and such things came with ease.

I may be moved to correspondence, yet,
and we could publish such, selection, set.

My father’s greatest book, Homeric Greek,
he wrote as if it came from source unknown,
a language dead, – at very least antique,
and only the translation was his own ; ),
I could reverse the process, start with yours,
and take it to a language strange, obscure,
to run along and try to last the course
in mindspace whence I’m fit enough to lure,
The problem is that you are way ahead,
scattering gems to mark your running trail,
and this fast moving target is, I dread,
more of a chance to –  valliantly fail.
I’d hate to hold you back, but I’ll try more*.
This tortoise, to your hare, slower for sure.



Vida list čistý, bílé svátosti,
lyžuji v mysli, písmo táhnoucí,
tím zvířím sněžné vločky lítosti,
vír z bílých lží, po pravdě prahnoucí,

úžasné tvarem, formou, konstrukcí,
krajkový křišťál, dech co vyráží,
souměrných hvězdic stonky, vábící,
bez tíže, s níž můj význam převáží...

Jak jíní skráně, směr mi zakryl zmar,
znejistil záměr kdysi jasných vět,
svatební závoj, bílý tažný pár
míří dál kamsi, odkud nelze zpět.

Oslnivý list zřím, však nechám být,
než marně popsat, možné nepozbýt.


I’d see the plain white page, and off I’d set
my mind on skis, my writing in my wake
and then they’d start, the snowflakes of regret
exquisite imperfection in each flake

perfect in makeup, form, geometry
precious in fragile lacework crystal sheen
starry in subtle fronds of symmetry
weightless, but weighing more than I will mean...

Frosting my head, lost hopes did mask my trail
covered in doubts my once-so-certain track
the bridle path beneath her snowy veil
still heading whither there’s no turning back.

I see the glaring page, now leave it plain
potently unfulfilled, not scored in vain.


Midnight, somewhere, the birth of phoenix day,
the toppling point of equilibrium;
how infinitely short its touch, touché,
a razor’s edge honed sharp by caesium.

Time leaves its mark, in telomeres that fray,
with finetoothed cogwheels crimping my inside
so that I may in time be ripped away –
leaving a stub, no ticket left to ride...

Where is my line to toe, which won’t give way,
the clifftop edge, which I approach with awe?
What vertigo will signal when to pray,
which one-to-One sheepishly kneel before?

I trust, in time, however distant, fraught,
there’s just a moment for an afterthought.


Badgered out of my hibernation, holed
I blink at the sharp daylight and then yawn
Yawning, the gap to fill, twixt being born
and when I’ll be interred again, turned cold.

Given the scriptless role of growing old
I’ll skip the dress rehearsal, crawl on stage
and learn to stand, walk, improvise with age
and muddle through, until the curtains fold.

I know just what to do, I won’t be told
No-one can feel my joy or act my rage
I write the book I read, I turn my page:
Where I’ve not been I go, not bald but bold.

Life’s one cliché, lived like you’ve lived it twice
Mine’s just this way, this once, no s*rew’d advice.


Prague is a lovely city, at its core
deep-set, its ancient heart, like in a tree
concentric rings of girdled memory,
(The name from “threshold”, fitting to adore ; )

Wide from afar they come and stand in awe
then brave the Charles’ bridge rapids in their spree
Hawaiian shirts awash, a landlocked sea,
Platonic bipeds, featherless, footsore.

They wend their way, lifted in reverie
till brought to earth abruptly by a roar:
Natives, in gibbering cacophony
barging their way across, foul-mouthed galore.

Did they just shout the F-word, loud, intact ?!
(In Czech “no kidding” rhymes with *ucked, not *act.)


Let’s draw a cone in space, to chop and crop,
leaving it open, gaping at the top,
a trap for gravity to act upon, to stop
poured liquid from continuing to drop.

It can hold cola, juice or sodapop
combined, or held in turn, just rinse and swap
or bubbly, fizzed with hiss and whoop and hop
sparkling to feast her eyes, until you slop.

Pour gin on ice, or afterthougtwise, plop
icecubes then olives, lemonslice as prop,
to make quite sure your party’s not a flop.
(But once you’re drunk, don’t drive and meet a cop.)
I think I’ll get lead crystal, from a shop
to fix drinks neat. And just in case, a mop.


If you can’t sleep, sit still and write down rhymes
at vigilium, just before the dawn,
some lines: “Insomnia”, a hundred times,
would be more tedious, but less forlorn.

“Stay after school”, the teacher used to say
“so you can learn to pay more heed in class!”
And now, as your head thins and fades to grey
you stay up late, to learn how time does pass.

There is no doubt at all that time is short,
except at night, when solitude may call
to keep you company, while, astronaut,
you make your E.V.A. in weightless fall...

There are too many stars to count, like sheep;
so, bored to tears, time must have gone to sleep.


I tried to drive my car but found it sleighed,
so got the chains out of the trunk deep freeze –
I found, at minus twenty centigrade,
bare metal sticks to skin with fearful ease.

I tried thick gloves, but then the fiddly clasp
shrank in the frost to model minuscule,
I strained and heaved, steaming with every gasp,
but could not grasp how not to feel a fool.

Tirade gone by, I tried to read the flyer,
eat humble pie, but then my battery died:
Now, I sit shrunk as white grows darker, higher –
maybe I won’t be found, entombed inside.

All the bravado’s gone and I’m depressed,
tired, my hothead soul cold decompressed.


“Give it a chance let’s not be too unkind.
 This table’s fine, I really do not mind;
 And if we leave we’ll leave the rest behind,
 at least we are together well combined.”

“It must get better, will, I think you’ll find.”

“And if it is?”

“I’ll have another card, thank you, my friend
will not, I’ll play the mirror, and pretend.”

“Oh let us go oh please don’t let us stay.
 This place is dull so please let’s not delay.
 There’s nowt to do but drink and eat and play,
 I've had enough of that. Let’s leave, okay?”

“I do not want to wait, no way, José.”

“Tomorrow won’t be better than today.”

“You win, I have resigned.”


I’m no iconoclast, I aver
I reaffirm the sonnet form
but break with Spenserian norm
and let the Slav become the slaver:

Seifert*-style sonnet, unexpected,
(*Nobel-prized Czech, who passed away),
His legacy, this song bouquet
form sleeps, may wake, be resurrected.

He sonnet-crowned a certain city
Garland? Wreath? Deft yet unbeknown
but on the web it’s sitting pretty

English translated, finely written:
To show the (s)wordsmith might be beaten,
a Countergarland holds its own.


The climbing rose that graced the house is down.
It came down with the snow that fell last night.
Defenestrate, caked up with eiderdown,
twisted, embittered; wronged, for me to right.

A cultured rose, rich-bloomed, selective bred
she made no scents, if you’ll excuse the pun;
Her last Fontagne was white with too much lead
or dandruff – trop risqué; ze flakes, zey won.

Maybe beyond this crown of thorns immense
there lies a Sleeping Beauty, comatose?  
Maybe Br’er Rabbit hid there from..., who knows,
buried among the tangles is the sense

to make of it: a Moral, from above,
to what befell this beau ideal of love...


Whence Inspiration? Down from up on high?
From near, or far, beyond, or deep within?
Flitting it comes, much like a Butterfly,
tempting to own, forever even: pin.

To nail it would be suicidal. Why?
In ancient Greek the name explains the sin:
“Psyché.”(Soul synonym). Self mortify ?!
Just let it land, soft – gently kiss your skin.

Elusive, rare, or steady in supply,
cocoon or caterpillar mere, its kin,
some overlook, or nonchalant pass by;
But there are those who touched by it begin

to write, to paint, compose: – yearn to impart
Significance to Life – through Quest, called Art.


I  a m  i n s a n e l y  v a s t.  I  s p a n  a l l  S p a c e . . .
True to their name are my Extremities.
Then I implode. And all Infinities
into Infini-tesimal encase.

I  r e a c h  y o u  a l l.  T h e  u l t i m a t e  e m b r a c e.
I shrink back hidden deep in space and time,
Yo-yo in N-directions, f\\\       limb,
  all and c ////  
pushing the envelope at frenzied pace.
I am a Fever. I blow Hot and Cold.
H-bomb unleashed, then tight as Neutron star.
I am as Close to Close > > > > > > > > > > > > > < < < < < < < < < < < < < < as Far from Far.
I am a Mind unhinged? 

                           – not so, I’m told...
A bedside glass of water, just in case
will put old deHYDRAtion in her place.


I am your air supply. Don’t hold your breath;
I am your best cigar. You won’t risk death;
I am your water spring, your fount of youth;
I am your brut champagne, to tell the truth;
I am your sustenance, your food and drink;
I am your shelter, home, your kitchen sink;
I am your family, your comfort zone;
I am your fireside, your answerphone;
I am your TV set, your limousine;
I am your well paid job, your sweet sixteen;
I am your power, wealth, nobility;
I am your knowhow, credibility;
I am your prime of life, your fame, success;
I am your, no – I’m not your happiness.


A hurricane is brewing fast, a burst
of lightning, thunder, gusting wind and rain;
we will be inundated, then immersed
in long ago slung mud, dredged up again.

Arguing one-with-all on who comes first
the feuding elements unleash their ire;
groundswell, above volcanic steam quenched thirst
for Lebensraum; Earth, Water, Wind and Fire.

“There will be consequences!”surely dire
judging by how they rage and wail, insane;
but one can’t help but gaze in awe, admire
this boiling pot, this cauldron, maelstrom drain.

There will be consequences, surely will,
once cataclysmic tempests cease to thrill.


Nothing that I can say to you is new:
All words are secondhand, much used before;
even the melodies that I renew
are songs of our ancestral troubador.

Nothing that I can say to you is new:
I could be mute, but even that’s mundane;
preempted by the very many who
were here before, in silence still remain.

Nothing that I can say to you is new:
This tear-replenished ancient watercourse
to which my stream of consciousness runs true
brings nothing new, just new ways to endorse

the old, the previous, the evergreen.
I’ll say no more in lines. Just in between.


Heaven and Hell? Right here, you’ll find...tis said,

Just states of mind,   of conduct,     ever vying...

Fiction  pales next to Truth,        planes overhead

are more than what they seem: Guile, guided, flying.

There is a     questionmark,          and no denying

over   the   way  the  World   Trade   Center   fell

at freefall speed,          physics cannot be lying.

Ill will,       insanity,        the road to Hell...

People are  gullible,          they’re always buying

what they are sold,    pearls   harbored  in deceit.

Down in the sand      their  view  is    gratifying,

back turned,  arse feathered,   wings near obsolete.

“In God we Trust”          but where the Hell is He?

Hell’s   grounded  in  Man’s  greed   and   perfidy!


The Sonnet is a creature rather odd:
It speaks in rhyme and cadence, with a twist,
sometimes of lemon, yes, but on let’s plod
seeking some marvellous rhyme – like amethyst.
In fourteen lines, we have to make a point,
(the final couplet there to tie loose ends),
but if we come a cropper, why – annoint!
that’s a good word, that ought to make amends.
Pun: Count the lines, let’s see, what have we here,
I make it nine, now ten, not lions but sheep,
and, yes, you’ve guessed, a cliché, don’t go near,
don’t go there, sleep? – aargh, not quite yet, a leap
of the imagination, ha ha, a split-up line
that’s an enjambment folks! Accept, decline.


I’ll make a test, to write in one fell swoop
what should pass for a sonnet: ready, set
go! see if words can smoothly jump the hoop
like circus tigers, I’m not quite done yet.
I kid you not, I had* sat down to write
and words were queuing to leap to their place
like taxidermy subjects. Can’t be right,
for such things to be happ’nin’. My nut-case,
seems a long way from calm, stability.
Maybe that’s what old Dryden meant in rhyme
in that old couplet on ability:
Let’s see if we can’t plagiarise this time –
“Great wits are sure to madness near alli’d;
And thin partitions do their bounds divide”.

(*I did polish the result in a couple of places after)


The windowblinds are drawn to hide the dust
of unwashed windows; through the louvered slats
the light outside is dun, and muggy; rust
creeps like the mangey moggy stalking rats.
Graffitti marks, like fluorescent piss
marking the audit trail of underdogs;
People in raincoats, passing, hit and miss,
too few and far between to hide the fog.
Last night I got back late, so claims the clock.
Muse: Do child batt’ries run out in flat feet?
I turn to turn the key within the lock,
down from the highrise, back into the street;
There is my car, unwashed, full of reproach:
Glass smashed. Cock-sure a fakkin nuff, that roach.


Snow comes down like forgiveness, in the night,
a clean fresh start on offer to us all;
drawing the curtains back to greet the light
I bathe in milky kindness, awed, enthralled.
The trees exemplify, with laden twigs,
that thin and weak in teams bear loads extreme;
deep snow has filled the cracks, the troughs and peaks
all evened out, like King’s “I have a dream...”
Inside the bedroom you are still asleep,
soaring on damask feathered Pegasus;
The snow has come at last. A few tears seep
down the roof window’s slanted tempered gliss:     
I’ll go and make you tea, a nice surprise;
Hypnos, forgive those you can’t hypnotise.


We walked again today in bitter cold:
You had your silly hat and I had mine,
like Sherlock Holmes, flaps down though; On we strolled
dim light, damp underfoot, a pantomime.
We talked, of this and that, a bit, or sneezed,
snivelled, I always had to watch my feet,
so not to slip, and when out of the breeze
we stopped. The woods seemed to recede, a neat
version of perceptual deprivation –
like on a bus or train stopped; retrograde
motion due to neural adaptation.
(My nose will come back out once off parade.)
Exposure is a cool way to perceive
by contrast, just how warm and dry we live.


I learned to write at school in Copperplate,
though only found it called that once I left
and moved to England, now I contemplate
how life has robbed me of that hand, bereft
I type on keyboards, cursing whY and Zed
so often interposed in layouts used.
I cannot write by hand now, tap instead,
my hand – abrupt staccato, shortly fused.
My hand-drawn words now twist, like briars thorned,
wild and unkempt, not disciplined and neat.
My thoughts are there, frustrated, stacked, unborn,
waiting for some old alt-control-delete:
I wish I could reset, go back, all clean,
my hand once more curvaceous – and serene.


Byl jednou jeden vztah a ten se zkazil
nejisto proč a kdy, jen jisto že
nepřišel vrah, aby do vztahu vrazil
ni terorista nepřines nálože.

Vztah je vždy mezi, mezně oboustranný
někdy i záporný, a ku vzteku,
i to je vztah, a horší je vztah hraný
než když je ryzí výzvou k útěku.

Eleanor Roosveltová řekla
„K ponížení je třeba souhlasu.“
taky jen vztah: kde příčina je vleklá,
kdo ví zda snaha dozná ohlasu.

Jsou stavy z kterých východisko není:
osobní mráz, globální oteplení.


Once upon a time: A relationship
went off, not sure why, where, just sure it did,
through no assassin’s hand, no poisoned tip,
no terrorist, who charges brought, or hid.

It does take two, always, there are two sides
enmity ties are ties, though anger based,
still kinship, but not where mere falsehood hides,
at least there’s cause to flee, fear, not misplaced.

Eleanor Roosevelt paraphrased: “No one
can ever slight you without your consent.”
That still takes two. When cause is great, all done,
can effort to put right be time well spent?

In certain cases, though, the cause looks lost:
like Global Warming, Interpersonal Frost.


The door is shut. Arms crossed, I lie in tow.
This wailing has no words, so mute I stare.
I wonder how I got here, where to now,
No way but up, to rise above despair.
This part of me with words is just a trace.
I am an animal, I do not speak,
I long, I pine, for shelter, I feel weak,
I have no thoughts in words to make my case.
Too much to say, not enough will to talk,
an avalanche of words I lie below:
I was on top of things, on skis I walked,
but then the ground gave way, not ground, but snow.

The door is shut. Arms crossed I lie, not stand.
In bed, not snow, buried. I understand.


When I perceive how others do translate
Reams of words stillborn, dour, fresh fossil’d prose,
And so net better lines to cogitate
Upon, to see how they might juxtapose,
I find in Time he left a treasuretrove,
As rich a seam of worth as ever found,
Which dwarves like me it might well ill-behove
To try to mine, unearth, and well-confound.
And yet, with speed I make my labour’d way
Aided by Muses, as, perplexed, I muse,
E’en quarter hourly, fifteen in a day,
In bursts outburst and reimburse my dues.

And strangest thing, I take, yet back I give
In taking store, once more make Shakespeare live.


Words fail me, then surprise with turns of phrase.
“Life sentence(?)”. What a sentence that must be?
Only three letters. Crossed-out words in greys
lock plays on words, a grid to disagree.
Pregnant with meaning, fitting probity,
If life’s a sentence, short, then to what end?
A parenthetized question? Brevity.
Wordplay which all must get, (not comprehend).
Life paraphrased. A one word sentence, short.
(“Monosyllabic”. There’s a paradox.)
Life, telescoped, into one simple thought,
Childlike, which every parent’s wisdom mocks:-
Worldwide, humanity’s most salient cry,
Cast without end, life-sentence-question: _ _ _ ?


It’s late: I take my chance to write some lines;
A Sonnet on the Sun, this be my pledge;
God’s fiery furnace flaring fierce, refines
My thoughts while hid beyond horizon’s edge.

Its own horizon’s scale, vast, entertains
Magnetic storms that capture, check the flare
As one who, reigning, pulls back chariot reins,
Traversing space in sleep, dreams beyond care.

Our golden crucible, which fails to spill,
Suspended though it is in nothingness,
Encased in fields of force of God’s own will,
An Orb of Wrath, gives Light and Warmth, no less.

Our Sun is Wildness tamed, Hell harnessed, Hope,
Beyond my reach, my edge, my Sonnet’s scope.


Since Saint Jerome’s the reason why today
is dedicated to translators, (yay!)
and since he was the one to make amends
as retranslator of the Bible, friends,
let me recall his ‘Vulgate’ version’s clash
with the old Vetus Latina, since cash
is often on the minds of those here known.
In the Lord’s Prayer, the older version’s tone,
speaking of daily bread, has won the day,
and Saint Jerome’s attempt’s been swept away;
“supersubstantial” bread is not the score.
(Though you need dough to make your bread, for sure.)


There is a rage within, which drives the hate,
Filled with the bile of years accumulated;
Like the vulcano, too long suffocated
By the cold basalt crust of burdened wait.

The rage must vent, no longer sublimated,
And in an outburst, pent up heat let loose,
Settle old scores, at once, for what’s the use!
A fluxing climax, everything berated.

Becalmed again in seeming peace, still seething,
Until the next time, restive, not at rest.
Feline, with claws retracted, twitching, breathing,
sleeping, not deeply; deeply unimpressed.

No grounds. Just grinding teeth and furtive gnashes.
No dust. Just clouds of pyroclastic ashes.  


The trees bear witness to a storm of ice;
past having passed, freeze-dried, a rampage trail.
Ours is the heartwood that has paid the price.

A winding trail, of hope against advice,
meandering the boughs, that bowed, to fail.
The trees bear witness to a storm of ice.

Slight upon slight, borne more than would suffice;
a freezing drizzle … heavier than hail.
Ours is the heartwood that has paid the price.

A winding trail, where chances rolled the dice
that brought calamity on such a scale.
The trees bear witness to a storm of ice.

The cold has snapped, and now the weather’s nice,
the sky’s exposed, bare; blue, to no avail.
Ours is the heartwood that has paid the price.

Adversity and strife is life’s own spice,
clear change a break, new chapter, verse, or tale.
The trees bear witness to a storm of ice.
Ours is the heartwood that has paid the price.


It strikes me every time I strike a light:
A minor miracle, a change of state.
Why? What a world, whose hidden laws invite
each sentient being; cause to contemplate.
Some find it proves the power of Godly might.
Others find Occam’s razor makes God grate.
But I am struck, each time, by the delight
that I perceive, can reason, feel, and prate
upon my fascination. From a height
I cannot fathom why we can’t relate
to what there is without – without debate
that turns into insisting who is right.

“Let there be light.” On whyness, let’s abstain.
Let isness fill our awestruck gaze again.


A moment is the smallest bit of time.
An atom is the smallest bit of stuff.
Those were the articles of faith, enough
to make us feel we’d crawled out of the slime.

Yet, each small moment can seem short or long
subjectively; for which there’s no recourse.
Atoms turn out to be a baffling throng
of flavored quarks, of leptons, bosons, force.

Mathematicians’ golden rules may hold
the key to understanding what is what,
or so they say. With our ‘new lamps for old’,
we’ve lost the Genie, and it seems, the plot.

One thing we know, we don’t. Feel no dismay;
last moments last, and take our breath away.


I turn the page, re-read my horoscope,
secretly snarked by what it has to say.
My life’s a bath of operatic soap.

It’s time. A spiral watery slippery slope
farts down the drain. Before all drains away
I turn the page, re-read my horoscope.

It seems I am a cryptomisanthrope,
(I won’t say I won’t like you, by the way)
My life’s a bath of operatic soap.

Water-under-the-bridge-ness helps me cope
with life that’s cooled and turned into cliché.
I turn the page, re-read my horoscope.

Good prospects? Well, it seems the answer’s ‘Nope’
but I can put the plug back, save the day;
My life’s a bath of operatic soap.

I turn the mixer tap full warm, and hope
that there is more to come – please, if I may.
I turn the page, re-read my horoscope.
My life’s a bath of operatic soap.


Birthday-present sonnet, to me
> My Dad

> I think my Dad is such a super chap
> The saxophone is fun for him to play
> And though the sound is really rather XXXX
> He likes to play it nearly every day.
> He whiles away the time with chess on-line
> While sipping on his alcohol-free beer,
> He crunches healthy almonds all the time
> And Mum says “Stop that chomping in my ear!”
> He says that milk does wonders for his knees,
> A view that he did rationalize post hoc,
> Opinionated Mummy disagrees,
> But he’s clever ’cause he fixed the cuckoo clock.
> He truly is the best of all great blokes,
> ’n’ I guess I really like his killing jokes :)
> David Pinkava (aged 12)
> 29.11.2007