Saturday 11 February 2023

Five Poems by Leslaw Nowara


What can't be said of the sparrow


In the pavilion on the side of the courtyard

one and a half meters above the gatehouse

sparrow stuck in the wall


A living example

of a rare error

in bird navigation

with the help of

taken out of the trash

a rusty gas tube

pulled to the ground by a porter


I am a Witness


in the hands of the doorman

the steel tube is clearly gaining life with each passing moment

what cannot be said of the sparrow


I am a Witness

what can't be said about a sparrow


I take as a witness

the steel tube

that in the hands of the porter was clearly taking on a life of its own

what can not be said about the sparrow


And the best proof in this case is the sparrow

what can not, of course, in this case be said of the sparrow


Distinguishing marks

In front of the entrance to the morgue of the Mariupol hospital,

to which the massacred bodies were taken,

a man in a white apron

leans over to a woman sitting on a chair:

- Did your husband perhaps have any distinguishing marks? - he asks.

That would help us a lot.

“Yes," replies the woman, "He had a head, two legs and two arms.

These are distinguishing marks by which you can easily recognize him”.

Magic bullets


I stare for hours

into two magic bullets

in order to divine from them

my future


I stare for hours

and I see in them

grey clouds

in the grey sky

I see grey smoke

escaping from grey chimneys

above the grey roofs of the houses


I see two moons

circling the two magic bullets


These two moons

are tears

grey as raindrops


In each of them

my face is reflected

as in a crooked mirror

so that I don't know it's me

so that I don't recognize myself


These two magic bullets

in which I can see all my future

are your eyes


I stare into them for hours

but I cannot see in them

any future

Maybe you can make it in time


Fortunately, laundry already done

room vacuumed

cake baked

shirts ironed

curtains hung

and bed sheets changed


only still in the kitchen

windows need to be cleaned


and maybe you cam make it in time


before the first bombs fall on the city

and tanks will roll in

The protest


I do not condone this war

I protest

I protest

I protest


a sign

of my protest

is a clean sheet









but I'm ready


in front of everyone

as a sign of my protest

to wave it

like a banner

Leslaw Nowara was born in Gliwice (Poland) in 1963. He is a lawyer by education, a graduate of the Silesian University in Katowice.

He is a poet, aphorist, columnist and literary reviewer who made his debut in the literary press in 1983.

He has published nine volumes of poetry: Green LoveHouse of Green WindowsThe Third EyeRussian RouletteCocoonQuietdarkDot and LineThe Dark Side of Light (selected poems), and The Whale's Bone; and four volumes of literary miniatures (aphorisms and epigrams): The World According to LudekThe Big Little LudekSentences with a Dot, and Ludek the Fatalist.

A member of the Polish Writers' Association, he lives in Gliwice (Poland).


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