Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Milano in November 2003

Hatto Fischer



Milan in November

Cruel truth

Instead of Mathematics, Lesson about Nietzsche

The marriage

For those who see each other for just a short while

Nietzsche cries and a youth devotes itself to him

Moment in a love affair

Street Fear

The song

Back to Ithaca

The reward for a day’s work


Milan in November

for Guilio Stocchi


Streets cannot be avoided in cities, but they do alter things in Milan.

They remind of rivers which have come to a strange still-stand,

or rather they have disappeared in a mysterious way. Local resident know

no matter how often they stepped into them, they will not change their characteristics.

Always they seem muddled or confused as if there is something underneath them like a hidden story.


It is often said, there prevail other stories about the streets in Milan. One of these stories is linked to the memories of a mother of a poet. Thanks to her he senses a vast difference between the streets as they are now in Milan compared to back then, when his mother was young.


Of course what else to expect? During the week traffic would flow, if at

all, very slowly. Unlike a lazy river during the hot summer months, and

in contrast to swift flows after a heavy rain fall, the streets of Milan

appear at one and the same time to be elegant as much as stupefied. The latter

may result out of their inflexibility despite Milan aspiring to be a big city.

So it was quite usual for the heavy traffic flows coming to a virtual halt at many junctions, and this most often near historical buildings or old churches. No wonder.

The streets could not eradicate all historical remnants. Instead they had to find a way

around these buildings as this cultural heritage was the pride of this city.


Quite different were the streets on Sunday. Then they would yawn out

of emptiness. No life, no where. No person could be seen: either close

by or else far off, at a distance.


Unfortunately looking down the street is not the same as looking along

a beach. Only the latter curves off to meet at a distance the sea and that

at that spot, where it seems as if shadows would gather, all in readiness

to jump into the sea. It is a magic spot where land ventures off into the horizon!

Unfortunately there was no chance to have such mystery becoming vivid

in Milan, but something else can take place.


It so happened, as on every Sunday, that a poet made his appearance. With book

in the hand, a shawl around his neck, he goes regularly on that day for a walk.

Often he would stop and look back! Then continue! He waited at one particular spot

for an extra long time before deciding to cross the completely empty street.


Once on the opposite side of the street, he was puzzled by a shadow.

As if imitating his way of writing poems linking actions to certain

situations, the shadow climbed like a spider man up the wall. He created

an indescribable situation. For the poet, it was like watching a film

in which he played the main role. It was about a poet who could no

longer act spontaneously and write a poem out of a situation. He had

written poems like that in the sixties, but now no more! Rather he had

entered a dialogue with a painter and devoted his thoughts to the

colours Raphael uses to describe the face of Madonna.


There was something else, indeed rather odd about that shadow. He was

acting as if he wished to gain independence from the sun! Where does such

an improbable wish come from? Did he as a poet ever wanted to become

free of his source of inspiration? No, he thought at first, but then

gave it a second thought and came to a doubtful conclusion. He had felt

tired as of late, could not write as much as he wanted and instead

smoked one cigarette after another while thinking about good food and

love. It was like day dreaming interrupted by suffrage due to lack of energy.


The poet judged, how strange it would be if the shadow succeeded in

projecting a figure upon the wall, and this out of an own bursts of

energy. He could become thereby independent from the sun? Was that possible?

No, he thought, and extended this to many other impossibilities which

had incurred in his life so far. He concluded that the shadow knows

only too well that his energy to exist is based on a finite loan given

by the sun; once the sun disappears behind the roofs, then the game is



While contemplating this, the poet thought more and more about his

most recent loss of love. Had he not given everything, if only to lose, so

it seemed, once she had departed? Had he spend all his energy

on her in vain? Yet he had to admit, she was so true! What a love she was.

Or was she? For sure, now that she is gone, he found it difficult to write

more poems on his own, or if he did manage, they were quite different.


Why was it not possible with her, but not his fault? He asked himself

this in earnest. No one was around to hear him articulate these

questions out aloud. Also no cars rushed by to break up the rhythm of his

thoughts. The silence of the city was in that sense soothing.


He recalled in the past he had tried constantly to prove to her

that love is an energy driven matter like a solar battery taking in sun

light to empower every new word he could form on his lips. Poems are

not just something given. They require soft touches like a paint brush

on canvas, and deep down an agreement with heart and soul. He knew as

well about his anger, especially if he sensed a failure to make a

commitment to life. Social justice meant a lot to him, so as well her fingers

when they would run up his neck. She loved to tease him.


But she did not listen to him. He became for her like a guitar not played, but

left leaning against the wall. Silence reigned like paintings missing. Her voice

could have altered the reflections in the room. He had wanted her,

but failed to gain her confidence. Yet if someone was to play that

instrument again, he would need first to tell his story, and this in

all honesty. And if no one else would be around to listen, then he

would simply try to tell it to the next best pedestrians passing by.


So he went every Sunday out onto the streets of Milan, and this in

search of an audience. They would be his first witnesses that he had

regained his self confidence and, therefore, trust in other people. That

was, he understood, her prerequisite for love: the trust not only in

other people, but in her and finally in himself. It mattered if true.


He stood there like a beggar ready to say: “come and listen to my

story!” - Yet no one came by to stop and to give him some spare

time. For there was no one in the streets. A small thought started

to whisper in his ear that he had intended all along to find such empty

streets, in order to delay telling that story. He would have to, if someone

would come along and be willing to listen to him.


But how to tell the difference between an artificial and an authentic

situation? He was certain, if some pedestrians would stop and listen,

he would have to tell the story from the beginning. Or should he begin

with the end? Of course, he knew that all of them would like to

know first of all just one thing: if not with her, then with whom?


Luckily for him no such pedestrian came by to ask such a question.

He was left alone with his doubt. It left him empty in feelings, and even

worse it emptied him of his otherwise rich imagination. How could he roam

then through the city, if without orientation? He felt miserable like a lost

dog. Why did she leave him standing there all alone in the streets of Milan?


And every Sunday he would pass by that spot where she used to stand.

Then she was helplessly in love with him. Then she had wished for nothing

more but to reach out and touch his hand over and again. Sweet memories

he had of her. But by now many of these memories had become like shadows,

hardly real and ever more fleeting moments along the wall. Like that

shadow he had seen before.


Vague had become the contour of her beautiful face! She had such a lovely smile.

Alone to think of her in such a way caused pain, brought tears to his eyes. Like a prism they reflected the colours of their love now gone. Gripped by such pain, he could not tell, if there was left any hope that she would to his surprise return one day.


On this specific Sunday, he remembered her having been always both

close and far away. That strange in-between feeling described best her

enigmatic personality. She could show her childish love or be so angry

at him that he wanted to hide underneath the next best table. On the

other hand, her empathy made emotions swap over him like waves after



Still, even if he had recognized all that, he could not protect

himself; he was sucked far out into the sea as if undercurrents decided

in which direction he was to be taken by her. Sometimes he detected in

her laughter sadness but then he was overwhelmed the very next moment

by her mimic of a Toledo made in Spain. He laughed when seeing her

acting out such a character.


There was both a tragedy and comedy about her as may be the case of

any woman. She felt only free to make love when not really with

him. She acted always in such a strange way. Often she said to him,

that she would seek love for love's own sake. She underlined her

determination to keep her independence with a lovely kiss.


Over the years he had witnessed how she rebelled as much against her

four walls as against their relationship. She feared to be imprisoned by

love. She sought to change that, but even after numerous trips or after

having gone with him to bed for the third time that every same day, she

felt nothing substantial had changed in her life. There was still something

which made her heart ache or for her to feel a kind of rage.


She had a special charm but could this be what had deceived him? In

retrospect he thought she did a lot to cover-up her anxiety. Maybe she

acted out of fear that he would detect that someone else was waiting in

the room next door? Or she was acutely aware of the frailty of their

love? Maybe all of this and more could explain her impatience. Often

she signalled that it was time for him to go! They had no common space

called home. And he never felt her faithfulness convincing enough.

So he could not base all his happiness on her. Even though he struggled

hard against it he grew dependent upon her. That is why he lost her.


In the final end, he couldn't say to her how much he loved her and

wrote instead another poem. He forgot where he had put that one. Others

did not come to him so easily any more. His poems became like squandered

moments of love. She was no longer around to feel his pulse. He was sacred.


However, something else is his memories started to demand his attention.

The streets of Milan made him think of his mother when she would still

cross Milan by boat. Today there exist paved lanes instead and on which

bicyclists ring their bells until the horn of a car chases them off that lane.

Nothing in the city tells anything more about the existence of those rivers.

Only in the memories of his mother he detected an unfulfilled wish for another

city, one similar to what life she had when growing up as a young girl.

At that time, rivers were flowing through the city and connected the

different quarters in a strange, equally wonderful way. Today, there is

no trace of them to be found anywhere. All the rivers have been covered

up by artificial transportation routes: the paved streets.


Such memories in contrast to reality constitute his poetry – he writes

nowadays in memory of how his mother used to come to him by boat

through the city. That difference makes up his story of the city in

need to be told over and again. How she found, for instance, underneath

the bridges a cooling shadow or else protection against the rain! Or

how her singing or laughter out of joy resonated off the walls. That is

now long gone. His mother has left him as well.


When two different things conjoin, then something vibrates in the mind, takes on

form and given a chance can become a poem. He thought about it.


Indeed, he has become all the more observant of the people who go to church

and especially how they look once they come back from confession. He follows

them with his eyes when they leave the church. They go either left or right down the street, till they disappear around the next corner. They all pass by him without ever

taking notice of him. It is as if they also do not notice that his poetry is from now on

a protest against futile losses of love. They seek to make memories of the city into something different from the rest called a squandered life.


When watching the people leave the church, he knew their next sin

shall be to deny poetry a chance to speak to them. It is like autumn leaves

falling into oblivion. The same fate occurs with untold stories. Thrown up into the

air by the wind, if only to fall overturned to the ground again, all the leaves

end up on the ground where they wait till the rain comes and the snow.

By next spring they are forgotten, most of them swept up or else gone literally underground to become a part of the earth. And always there is a grey sky hovering

over the entire city to mark a note of sadness. Since she left it has become a consonant. He sighed deeply and let air out of his nostrils in an act of self animation.


On this Sunday he decided to do something else. He decided to enter

himself the church. He crossed the street and opened the smaller door

of the huge church portal. The extra construction was done, in order

not to let too much light flood into the inner ship of the church. The

reason why became quickly evident once inside and his eyes accustomed

to the semi darkness. An inner world of beauty revealed itself. He saw

Leonardo de Vinci's painting of the Last Supper.


He thought what poem will bring things seen in that painting out of the

half shade it existed in? This is true art. Take the word by the hand, show

the contours of a face, and everything seems as if she was beside him. He

saw again numerous things since she had motivated him to love life.

He continued walking through the church. While passing by an old woman

kneeling in front of the altar, he could hear her murmur. Her prayer stated it is the

imagination which counts, for everyone needs a special empathy to start a dialogue

with the self. Once an identity is found in that way, it lets the wish for love

fly up into the higher vaults of the church. In such a lofty space, pain can finally

touch the imagination of heaven as having descended down to earth. It

is like salvation.


Thinking about what makes a poem so rich, he felt it can become a personal prayer

or a powerful wish to be able to c create an sanctuary for human feelings. And remembering what someone had written in reference to art in history, he said to himself resistance comes through art and love by being personally present in the world.


He was not someone to go to church. However, he did recognize that a worship in

church means to know when evening prayer begins! This is needed for those,

he added as if speaking to himself, by those who need to repent.

He saw them as those who had not accepted as of yet that loss of love.

It has to do with inner fears. Insofar as he did not wish not so much to pray,

but rather write a poem about his own inner fears, he conceived it as

his art to forgive her for being absent from his life. He wanted to

make her be present through his poems, but in a different way to how

she was in reality. And through a poem the tones of colours begin to

play in the dim light of the church and in his world of the imagination.

It was like going public with his feelings and is similar to stepping out of

the semi-darkness in the church out into broad day light. Only now he sees

what exists in the streets of Milan.


As he passed through the chapel on the way out, he noticed for the

first time the relief of a woman on a side wall. He was astonished what

beautiful face she had. Looking closer, he thought she moved a bit. Was

she moved by his presence? Surprisingly she looked as if a bit ashamed

to reveal such feelings to him. And when he stepped out again

into the streets of Milan, he asked himself, if he had not seen a smile

on her face?


20.11.2003 (second version: 9.12.2011)



Cruel truth

The command can still be heard: stand back.

In the museum stand around the shoes of the ones who perished in the

concentration camp.

Silence covers everything, so does the frost.

Back then Jean Amery exchanged his food ratio cards for cigarettes.

He survived those three years, but not the times thereafter.

Never before had arrived so many trains at this place.

They unloaded countless people at the end station called Auschwitz.

Adorno set the measure when declaring no more poems are possible thereafter.


January 2004



Instead of Mathematics Lesson about Nietzsche

We wrote down numbers on the blackboard,

but our teacher said all that was for the wind!

A similar thing happened to us when he asked,

which of the paths would bend off by itself? None!

Such a method served solely the purpose

Of creating either confusion or else to make visible

By means of such a crazy joke secret wishes.

Then, he put aside completely the lesson of mathematics.

He preferred to narrate to us about: „Thus spoke Zarathustra“.

One day he made his way to the village below. He knew the time

Had come. People wanted him, the Master, to speak to them.

Our teacher seemed to insinuate all of us image

That one day we shall hold a great speech

To save, if possible, the nation, if not the entire world.

He warned us behind that exists hidden an unknown hierarchy.

It would become evident in critical times when fear is the strongest.


Zarathustra left his cave and made his way down the slope.

On the way down he passed bushes which followed his steps

Like silent witnesses. In his stride, he was an unforgettable sight.

He knew the people waited at the market place.

They were anxious to hear, what he, Zarathustra, would have to say.

Once there, he stepped up immediately to the podium.

He looked into their waiting faces and then gave a signal

That he wanted to speak. But as he wished to start with his speech,

It came out of him differently than expected. He wanted to say at first:

“Don’t be afraid”. But suddenly a shadow flew over his soul.

He was startled. Then, he thought it over.

No, he determined, with such a phrase he could not begin.

It was too biblical a saying, hence one which everyone knew.

But what else to say? What to stay silent about?

He searched for words. Nothing came to his mind.

What should not be, should not be, he concluded fast.

He stuttered out a few more words, but then, horrified, he stopped.

Quickly he left the stage. That was his last public appearance.

That depicts the pain of a philosopher who is not being understood, said our teacher,

And he re-accounted when Nietzsche went to Turin to go daily shopping.

And always to the same stand for vegetables. For that market woman understood him.

She was the only one – compared to all those academics, or the ones at home.

Always she had a friendly smile for him. She sensed his pain.

Just recently he had applied for a job at the University of Athens.

When he received the ‘no’ per mail, it hurt him the most.

Especially Greece, the country of his ideals, it was the closest to his heart.

How could such a ‘no’ be explained? No one understood him except for her.


A lot is revealed in a tragic play. Equally in the mirror of words.

It became clear he was heading rapidly towards his own downfall.

In vain he still tried to evoke some empathy for his self.

But either he himself nor poetry succeeded to rescue him from such fate.

Once health and sickness were separated from each other, and the one

Could not be perceived by the other, then it leads to short circuits in the mind.

And nothing lets him articulate his thoughts any more. Nothing!

All his thoughts seemed to smash into a huge wall of no understanding.

Equipped with self irony, Nietzsche was capable of hiding his failure

For a long time behind his recognition of power in a metaphysical form.

That was never understood by the Academics of his time, but still today

He pulls all those into the gravitation of his thoughts, who wish to understand

Life differently. A lost being, mentally speaking, ends up in being helpless.

In the case of Nietzsche this was most likely the result of a failed love,

Or worse due to never having made such an experience.

Instead of being Wagner’s assistant and thereby close to his daughter,                               Wagner preferred that he remains professor in distant Stuttgart.

Wagner knew people would listen to a professor, but not to an assistant.

He made Nietzsche into his mouth piece and thus he praised first Wagner’s music,                         and then started propagating anti-Semitism.

Especially the latter ruined his academic reputation.

Once banned from the academic world, he never found a new position at any other university.
Why Nietzsche did what he did, who knows what fears plagued him?

It can be assumed Nietzsche knew about the suffrage of the young Werther.

The danger of Romanticism was then known by all poets leading to but one conclusion: suicide.

This is especially the case when poetry cannot sustain love,

And the woman prefers to marry a carpenter or farmer, but not the poet.

After he gave his speech in Stuttgart, Nietzsche lost all his composure.

He fled to Turin, and stayed there all alone, till he became very sick.

Once he had returned to Weimar, he ended up as a life model sitting

In a shop window and looking back upon his life for ten years more.


Simply said, concluded our teacher, at home counts one plus one makes two

Or when going over the calculation, one has to be sure everything is correct.





The marriage

A silk cloth appeared to cover the entire marriage

As if someone wished to protect the two.

Not surprisingly, those present awaiting the ceremony to begin,

Were eager to see that this secret veil be finally lifted.

Such is the fate of all secrets:

it strokes like wind fire in everyone mere curiosity.

Indeed love was for both the most sacred in their live.

People sensed this and thus hovered in reverence of the two.

It was completely silent in the church.

Only some strange noise came in from outside.

Somebody whispered that these sobs

Stem from souls who are hurt by the plain fact

that only separations have occurred in their lives.

They never dared to go so far as what these two were about to do,

namely to walk down that aisle to the altar to give their wedding vow.

As said, remarkable about those two was their commitment to love.

But for those who stayed outside, love was something

Similar to water dripping on a hot stone.

Hardly had they found someone to love, the feeling had evaporated

Even before they could find their way in daily life.

Often they fled out of fear not being able to reverse a binding commitment

daily life, but then straight away into the next disaster.

Even in this city with its red church towers

they found no one to share some bread, a bit of laughter.

Always they froze outside and more so inside out of loneliness.

In vain they tried to create some heat for their bodies.

Comparable to geese flapping their wings when lifting off the water,

they tried to warm themselves by grasping their body with both arms.

But naturally, said the priest, no one can help those souls

since they avoid marriage and, therefore, the church

like the devil would the holy water.

But those who were inside, they witnessed an amazing wedding ceremony.

They saw how the marriage was first sealed by a warm embrace

and then by her kiss.

To do that, she had to stand on her tip toes.


January 2004



For those who see each other for just a short while

He was never satisfied with himself; neither was she.

As long as their love was not as of yet in doubt,

They expressed themselves differently.

Although it went unnoticed by them at first,

Some casual things transformed themselves.

For instance, instead of promising ‘to come by’ it became ‘to go past’.

Then they noticed that no crucial questions for life were raised any more.

In order to justify that, they invented a loss of time.

After all, they agreed readily both had so many things to do.

Yet differently from a river, time wounds itself when rubbing against matter.

That can be seen quite readily on hand of buildings in the city.

Regardless when built, they lose their glitter if neglected.

The same applies once the two started to avoid seeing each other.

Today no longer messages per sms arrive. She sends no longer her kisses.

Unable to communicate out of fatigue, they have fallen nearly asleep.

Just before they separated, they saw each other but just for a short while.

Unable to be convinced, they felt their love is like a burned out cigarette.




Nietzsche cries and a youth devotes itself to him

Interest in his writings is especially amongst the youth considerable.

One student earning his money for studies by doing night duty

in a Strasbourg Hotel asserts that without Nietzsche he could not live.

Whether contra point or a balancing act in life itself, the danger is according to Ritsos

not to be able to accept one’s own craziness.
Being without work, he involves them in the next tragic play which ends in nothingness.

Through that reveals itself a spirit free of any object, but one which the youth cannot grasp; were it not for Nietzsche who makes what cannot be grasped into the essence of Nihilism.


It is said there exists in Greek a book about Nietzsche which has become very popular. It has the title “Nietzsche cries”!

It has been written by a psychiatrist who treated Nietzsche during his time in Basel. Apparently the treatment was less successful then the legend Nietzsche left behind.


The youth is captivated especially by terms like ‘Pathos out of distance’

Or ‘mental illness; they like as well ‘sorrow in love’ as well as ‘pathos in tragedy’.

However, with the term ‘superman’ they have little to do. Much more with ‘nothingness’.


The youth has a clear structure to think by. With that they can go very deep there,

where others remain at the surface. However, they were surprised to discover

in one of Nietzsche’s essays a drawing he had made on the side to sketch

some other thoughts. As if an early dawn, they came to him close to midnight.


Everything can be brought into connection with Herbert Distel’s understanding

Of Nietzsche during his last ten years. He looked back upon his own life –

The border between being on this side of life or on the other was drawn by death.

One says, Nietzsche was abused by his sister who made him into a living object for her museum as long as it was needed for Mussolini to entice Hitler to go there, in order to start the conspiracy against the Weimar Republic. Thanks to that sick man,

horror of power was conceived as being unique in such a kind of no man’s land.




Moment in a love affair

The moment becomes immediate

when love lets you touch ahead.

In her vicinity the present time becomes

a liveable reality.

Definite the moment, when lustful her lips

she is ready for a naughty whistle or a kiss.


But where does the reality of love begin

when he finds himself in the chamber of red dreams?


Real closeness will want to say something

similar to the silence of the universe;

then everything can be heard, starting

with her breathing.


How great can be love, he asks, and would love

continue to exist even if they would live

in a house with a broken roof, letting in sun and rain?


Often these feelings end up

in permutations of possibilities

to transform magic like a hotel room with silk clothes –

something Sartre experienced when in conflict with nausea

he sensed during his rendez-vous with his beloved mistress.


Nothing may keep him or limit his inner most feelings

even if he hovers the thought that she will withdraw

from him this moment. His fear becomes a genuine doubt.

Even though it pushes him to the border of the trust he has in her,

he gives in and follows her to bed.

Clearly he feels how she is preparing herself

to let him go again once everything is over.

Always something forces him to perceive first of all

something perverse being at work in this immediate moment.

That is the unpleasant side of a love affair which counts

only for now.


Due to the absence of mediation his courage

is diminished as if things can only happen

at a distance to her willingness to take a risk.

Her eyes tell him what she imagines about herself.

She loves to quote images out of the life of Frida Kahlo

who is for her an idol of wildness. Freedom was for her

most important. As a matter of fact, no one had

the Right to impose a relationship upon her or for that matter

upon anyone else. Such an imposition would never give recognition

to her love. It is enough for her if love is experienced

for the sake of love.


As if a wind coming from her breath lets him turn

endlessly on the carousel of wishes.

The music which accompanies it, this the Americans would

callreckless”. Mark Twain was conscious what it meant

for his wife did not allow him to swear in society. He invented

Huckleberry Finn who fled on a raft with Jim down the Mississippi.

Those were still the times when it was possible to fish for dreams.


But once full of lust, then everything appears to be possible.

He felt that already when upon arrival she greeted him

at the airport, in stazione Milano or directly at home.

The places of arrival may change, but never the immediate desire.

As soon as he saw her, and even if after month of not seeing each other

until the next best opportunity arrived, it was the same.


There were her eyes,

then this most familiar face.

Her glance touched his deepest feelings,

Equally her human voice.

His eyes went over her blouse.

Ever more was he aroused when later,

Her breasts bared, she approached him

With a naughty smile and threat

but just you wait”

till everything is transformed by her embrace.

It brought about an intimate of togetherness.

Driven on by her breath, he came ever closer to her,

Closer still than what his eyes could manage to see

Or his hands caress in search of her lovely body.

In such a moment he felt himself free, indeed free

from that fear she would walk away again.

In the face of such love he experienced

for a moment the certainty of happiness.




Street Fear


What brings together, that drives as well apart.

That is especially the case when defeats cannot be reversed.

Then something happened. It started with France and the Revolution.

There took place the fights at the barricades and the Bastille was stormed.

Add to this Heinrich Heine. He was really amazing.

Despite him lying already on his death bed, he continued to mock

The Germans for wishing to resolve everything immediately,

while the French were still improvising when already below the guillotine.

Such a comparison is repeatedly made on the First of May

when street fights erupt in Berlin-Kreuzberg, but not in Paris.

But then exploded bombs in London 2005.

Since then prevails street fear. It makes many be lame.

There exist, of course, exceptions; others call it civil courage,

However, for women compared to men

It is not self understood to go alone everywhere in the city;

only those who can trust still the stranger, they seem able.

She came from Paris and showed him what love can be.

One night she came to him, quite unexpected, and all alone!


The song

If no harmony exists with the infinite sky,

the song pointing towards Tao cannot be heard!

Every delay when decisions need to be made

Divides the present, makes impossible

A meeting of the two in all honesty. Despite that

She left her hand on the table when he put his on hers

To declare that he would love her.

Inside herself she had fled already, but outwardly

She kept up the appearance of being present.


The human voice is not heard

Once we have forgotten

that love originates

out of a beautiful song.


Everybody needs a home.

Without a roof over one’s head

It rains not only in, but are lost.

No place, nowhere to make love.

In life strange things happen.

H. Bosh showed figures of insanity

Which creep along like snails

Carrying on the back their homes.

Every rainfall makes the path difficult.

Looking back, they do not know

How they made it through the mud.

That moulds their mind to long for the sun.


Certainly, life as a risk
knows no perfection,

But trust is crucial

To experience some truth.

Every idea about literacy

Emphasizes reading of books.

Others watch television, or they

Listen to what children have to say.


Relieved are people in any case

When they recognize in the end,

That they managed it once more.

They say to each other what luck!


Every calmness has in its midst

An urge to forget seemingly

To what was said good bye yesterday

And which today could be new enemies.


There exists no arrival in being,

If only determined by worries.

Things evoke more inexactness

If faced by an uncertain future.


Once in despair no one knows the way.

Nothing exists any more. No reason to be.

That implies wishes remain silent.

The final bill is brought by life itself.


Negation indicates along which border

Runs poverty within the aged society.

Equally hard is the absence of love.

Both let people search in waste containers.

All that changes when a beautiful song can be heard.

All it needs is a voice trusting itself to carry the melody.

Incredible is the heritage of songs since filled with memories

About experiences made by humanity called hours of the stars.



Back to Ithaca


Was the search for him already complicated,

The way back was even more difficult.

She wanted now to return to her Ithaca.

Her legs were in pain, and the stomach rumoured

Like a hungry bear or like the baby

Crying for mother’s milk. In vain.


Sometimes she looked back out of fear

And saw the only one following her was her own shadow.

Along the road she took only few trees spend shadow.

But determined to make it, she did not grant her drained body

Hardly any rest, before she continued on her way.


Without any mercy the sun at noon burned down on her.

The entire mouth was dried out, her lips close to splitting.

She yearned for a drop of water. Always on the look-out

For a spring, nevertheless she dragged herself on

Even when she did not discover any. As woman she was marked but tough.

For days on the road, she no longer counted the days

But the years since she had started out to search for him.

Messages from Troy flew faster from mountain peak

To mountain peak, in three days they had arrived.

On the contrary she had to go through valleys and climb over mountains.

Only one certainty helped her; she knew she would find her way back.

No one was able to tell her where he had gone missing in Greece.

The Gods she could not ask. Heinrich Heine was of the opinion

They had departed already from this world. And even the only one remaining,

Namely Calypso, otherwise quick to use her tricks, she could not convey to her

Anything about his fate. All that underlined her search was in vain.

She searched him out of faithfulness to the word he gave her

On the day he departed. He wanted to make his way to Delphi to ask the oracle.

Take me with you, she had begged him, but he upheld his intention to go alone.

Back then she gave in silently, without any further protest.


Since his departure, she felt herself exposed to a kind of not knowing –

Like a tiny fisher boat out on high sea with a storm approaching,

To let despair like wave after wave hit her on the forehead.

Why had she been so stupid as to let him go all alone, that she does not know.

As if women have always to remain at home while men long for distant lands.

Only once she realised the search was in vain, then she decided to turn around

And make her way back. It was difficult climbing up hill. Her knee hurt a lot.

Even more difficult it was when it went steep down hill. The broken rhythm

Of her movement made it difficult for her weakened body to hold up.

Still, the next step she took, and the next. She continued because convinced

This too belongs to life.

Especially on the last day the sun at noon hurt her the most.

Even the voices of the birds had gone silent in the shadows.

Only the grills could be heard. They never cease. Rather they seemed

To have become more intense even when she was already at home,

And lying exhausted on her bed. There she was, stretched out,

Almost not making a movement, so it appeared, but only for a moment.

Then she got up anew in order to close the curtain.

The light was too much for her. She wanted finally to sleep in the dark,

Or rather dream, freed from the fear, he would betray her once more

And then move on. But trust in herself is what she had brought back.


Alone left to a rest at noon, she became conscious just prior to falling asleep

That Ithaca was her self. Wishing to be faithful to him, she had accepted his life style.

She let things come as they wanted, but now she had a new insight.

Life gave her to understand freedom is needed for active waiting.

How strange? Until recently she had looked on passively, when stones and sand

Fell to form their own pattern. But now, after her return, she found the courage.

Even more so, she had a new conviction, that it was up to her how things were shaped.

Also she reminded herself of the fact that when he left, he did not turn around to look back.

This is something which Orpheus did. Consequently he left behind his beloved

In hell and this without a chance of a rescue. At the very least, she thought

With some thankfulness, he did not leave her to such a fate. In realizing that,

She found finally that sleep she needed after all this search in vain for him.


The reward for a day's work

His hand quivered as he touched her eyebrows.
He asked himself, as he saw her lying there, deep asleep,
if that is the reward for her day's work: being exhausted?
But he did not get very far with his question
since she moved suddenly. Frightened,
he removed quickly his hand and looked now at her face
in earnest. Her soft features were visible when asleep.
They showed her emotional self being something like a gift of life.
Thankful for this opportunity to see her as she is, he dared
to touch her again. This time he wanted to be more careful.
It came again to contact her face with his fingers, but that did not help.
Instead he ended up in a current of wildest ideas.
Without support he stepped back. On his forehead appeared lines of
frown. She was wonderful. Peacefully she was lying there, simply stretched out.
Her bare feet were still wearing the wooden clogs
with which she had come across the threshold, into the room,
before throwing herself upon the bed for a moment's rest.
Looking out of the window he saw the furrows she had ploughed.
These curvatures in the earth showed traces of her day's work.



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