High up in the fresh dawn
The golden-eyed falcon
Wheels to and fro on the wind…
I worship only one
While you worship a hundred
For you any face will do.
The Telegraph Pole
On the barren hill
The telegraph pole
Hums continuously in the wind.
The orphan hermit,
The faithful goatherd boy
Taps the slender post with a flint,
Listening for the profound
That travels the wood he strikes.
And he remembers when his mother
Came to Nuoro: it was in fierce July;
Under the beating sun the bells of the big church
Were ringing, and inside, the organ
Groaned in response.
Outside a crowd in black,
And howls and sobs, and the wailing
Of his mother, and his father condemned to the earth.
His bitter heart lurches. He does not cry:
Sardinians should never cry.
From the sky the eagle plunges
On the flock, to snatch
The most beautiful lamb…
I can see a hundred of them,
But you are the delight
Of my soul, my dove!
I will feed my copper lamp for you
With olive oil, and in its absence strive
To keep the lamp lit with sap:
I will always keep this flame alive.
If I have no sap, I will wander
Under sun and in the snow
To collect seeds to crush to resin
From where the acrid bushes grow.
And if I have no more to burn
I’ll pull up bushes from the mud,
And feed your lamp instead with fuel
Taken from my heart, its living blood.
And if I have no pure blood left
Having already suffered in the extreme
Then I’ll feed your lamp with an infinite cry:
The rotting vegetation of my scream.