Wasps & Lichen

translated from Peter Redgrove's poem Bees & Moss

I smell across a pool
shallow & bright as a still birch,
at its top a globe

glaring black as if the sun through deeds
were set free in a spurting plant's net,
and at the middle of this large hole

that's still & then suddenly whispers up
in a sibilance of double-piano,
and that is your none-self, the absorber.

No one says you can smell space
out of night's time, out of a pool
as space governs the alive

on the upper-country where their colostrum slops
from dark vats. You do not want
to skate across & lose

the advertised attics ruined in the pool-middle,
and what's in them, even if
the shared kitsch is fame, or the dim alive

are starved on sundark. Definitely
I couldn't die here & forget not to be
a major rebel of the caverns

hired to pump out the pool
as one of the ongoing charades
of the little tremor, to become

dust-sucked like an inert plastic nest
six hands wide — to glue
onto the blacker width and place the moon in,

or a well-keeper whose leisure it is
to obstruct the precisions & stillness,
to push the layers bent or clout them

so that the mighty pool on the mountain's hand
is finally a piston sucking across its castle-top,
then a well drilling in an ugly line,

taking mist from lichen and off surrounding crags
where squashed wasps spread blobs round as lichen.