Robert Anker

Translated by Paul Vincent


Senex imagined his twilight years arm-in-arm
shuffling ankle-deep through the sandy autumn woods towards the wink
of wineglass and holding up appetisers in window-framed candlelight
but now it’s night and winter’s setting in and now the morning paper
reports that the last one after him is dead and buried
in the silence that directs the rustle of the sand in his head
towards the first crackling branch-thick snow with which Safinur
rubs his cheeks till the cold reconciles him with his warmth.

‘Asking the Way’

We heard the other day
that one of us had refused
to ask the way.
He was ready to do the shopping
but ask the way – no.
He had just sat there
had lit up a cigarette and said
the way is not lost without us
the way knows where to find us.
When we heard this
we looked at each other
but not one of us
came up with the thought
that could adequately describe
this shattering new point of view.