It is a big question to pose so early in the morning
or “in the light woven by birds,”
as the Estonian say,
but still I must ask what is my place in life?
my “seat on the invisible train,”
as they say in Hungary.
I mean why am I just sitting here
in a lawn chair listening to a thrush,
“the little entertainer of the woods,”
as the Swiss call him,
while out there in the world
mobs of people are rushing over bridges
in and out of the cities?
Vegetables grow heavy in their fields,
clouds fly across the “face of the earth,”
as we call it in English,
and sometimes rockets lift off in the distance-
and I mean that quite literally,
“from the top of the table” as the Portuguese have it,
real rockets rising from the horizon,
or “the big line,” if you’re an Australian,
leaving behind rich gowns of exhaust smoke,
long, smooth trajectories,
And always the ocean below,
“the water machine,” as the South Sea islanders put it-
everything taking place right on schedule,
“by the clock of the devil,”
as our grandparents were fond of saying.
And still here I sit with my shirt off,
the dog at my side, daydreaming-
“juggling balls of cotton,” as they like to say in France.