Hamid Ismailov
The Shaping Clay

Crack open your door, silence,
to the murmurs of a cottage
under the cradle
of the sleeping clay.
In the long fingers of the wind,
like the trills of a flute
poppies and water lilies
wake to a new day.

The sky is still more dexterous
which sculpts the vault of a heavenly earth
where the blue holds a glaze.
Oh, potter, mold me silence,
take good care not to lose
even a word
in the heart of a child.


At the end of summer in the middle of Russia,
when the water is transparent, who flies the planes?
Like the first falling leaves on the pond,
the life-savers at the end of the path,

is like a feeling in the elevator
when it drops brutally
following the beams, the numbers and letters
like mountaineers tumbling into the abyss.

Their cries rise a whirl toward the ceiling,
filling up the concert halls
like what remains unsaid about this summer?
But then again, what can the bridge of a violin say?

Translated from the Uzbek by the author and Jean-Pierre Balpe via the French by Annie Walker.