A lot would already be won
and a progress,
some seem to say,
if one could give another coat
of colour to the ugly walls.,
for instance with BLUE...
Blue is the colour of the sky,
the colour of freedom.
I wanted, head first, through the wall,
but I got stuck in it.
My blood coagulated
and changed into rust:
I changed into a nail –
that was hit on the head.
Now hangs from me
a laurel wreath
which is inscribed: VICTOR !

I was blind
and longed
to see.

Now I see –
and all the mess around me
makes me
scream in dismay:
oh, if only I´d stayed blind!


and myself, I felt sun.
I went in the world
and wished to instill warmth,
wanted fulfilment with all my fervor.
Only then I felt old
and caused my marrow to tremble.

That way, I discovered my nakedness
which slowly made me freeze to death.
The frost made me shudder,
I changed into ice
as did the others who were around me

I gained then assurance
how foolish I was
attempting to warm the world
in all my povertry
and with all my minuteness.

I became a victim of coldness.

for all in the world
and belong to nobody.

I am dump
but cry out so loud.

They break me
and think I have no feelings
because I am not able
to express my pain.


Because at night
he believed in the morn,
one caught him
and executed him.

When his head
fell in the basket,
just then, the sun rose.

But for these who judged him,
the night never ceased:
For - they were blind!


If you came,
deformed, a cripple,
I would hasten to open my door
to let you in.

If you came
despises, defamed and rejected,
I would receive you with joy in my heart
as my king.

If you came
deseased as a leper,
I would hurry to prepare your bed.
I would cover you with my body
to dissolve the sores from your flesh.

If you came
poor and hungry like a beggar,
I would give you drink and food.

If you came…
Oh, if only you came!

the disease
I call loving you.
I want to forget it
and I live yet with it.
Always aware of its presence,
even when I try to ignore and hide it
from others and myself.
Every day it eats deeper into me,
like a cancer
that thrives and poisons,
that does me in;
Everyone has o n e mortal wound!
One for himself.

you have opened a window for me,
you have opened the door for me;
you also have widened my glance
and you have strengthened by feet.

All that is left for me is to walk
and to leave you behind me.

Your mission as signpost is fulfilled.

*** ***

to lay roses but on a grave?
not place them into a hand
still caressing ?

that is the soil,
in which the roots will always remain,
even when the blossom-crown
is broken off,
and when it pours out scent
for own delight
and for the joy of others
in crystal
high on pedestal
fades toward disappearance.

(To Alexander)

Retain me as light
for the gloomiest hour.
Retain me as dream
in the cold of the world.

Then lift up your hands –
You know how to reach the stars.
Bring o n e of them down here:
bring m e down for you!


The great spirit that dreams of me
sleeps with holes in his dreaming
where awakening is contained.

Soon I´ll cease in nothingness
of what is his fill of sleep.

When the morning comes for him,
I´m absorbed again in great darkness.


-Referring to G. E. Lessing, Nathan, der Weise-

What a goodly,
what an admirable man,
he who under his protection
took a starting orphan-girl,

What a truly noble being
he who spared no cost and toil
and with loving care a forethought
raised this child from infancy.

To this man so truly unselfish
would I, if I only saw him
render deepest reverence;
therefore did I seek to meet him.

Tell me, where I may encounter
this outstanding, worthy Christian.
What? You surely want to mock me
when you say, he is a Jew!

Never could I find the slightest
trace of goodness or of wisdom
in a being such as he.
Only horror do I feel.

And you say that he, the wicked
grabbed the child with evil hands?
Unescapable my judgement:
Such a Jew is to be burnt!


The guests were talking at a feast
and between the dances
let loose their wit.

They said: to be truly tolerant
you must accept everyone as he is.
Thereupon all had their say.
One shrieked from his corner:

I am the main thing,
The Jew may perish !

The others smiled every so sweetly:
In his own way
everyone may say
what he wants.
This is after all the principle
of tolerance…


My thanks for translating to
Dr. Werner Manheim, Mitch Cohen,
Paulene Wrate-Boesche, Vio

This is a collection from the book
"Blue is the colour of the sky"
published 1983
Copyright Sayeeda Publications


Tag der Veröffentlichung: 24.03.2009

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