The Conversation of the Hours

The first hour says to the second,

 

I am a hermit.

The second hour says to the third,

 

I am an abyss.

The third hour says to the fourth,

 

put on the morning.

The fourth hour says to the fifth,

 

stars rush down.

The fifth hour says to the sixth,

 

we are late.

The sixth hour says to the seventh,

 

and animals too are clocks.

The seventh hour says to the eighth,

 

you are friends with the grove.

The eighth hour says to the ninth,

 

the coursing starts.

The ninth hour says to the tenth,

 

we are time's bones.

The tenth hour says to the eleventh,

 

it may be we are couriers.

The eleventh hour says to the twelfth,

 

let us consider the roads.

The twelfth hour says to the first,

 

I'll catch up with you in our endless race.

The first hour says to the second,

 

have some human sedative, friend.

The second hour says to the third,

 

at what point can we concur.

The third hour says to the fourth,

 

I bow to you as if you were a corpse.

The fourth hour says to the fifth,

 

we too are darkened treasures of the earth.

The fifth hour says to the sixth,

 

I worship the hollow world.

The sixth hour says, seventh hour,

 

it's dinner time, come home.

The seventh hour says to the eighth,

 

I would have wanted to count another way.

The eighth hour says to the ninth,

 

you too are like Enoch snatched up to the skies.

The ninth hour says to the tenth hour,

 

you are like unto an angel engulfed in fire.

The tenth hour says, eleventh hour

 

for some reason you lost your moving power.

The eleventh hour says to the twelfth,

 

and still we are incomprehensible.

Composed in 1931 as part of Krugom vozmozhno Bog. Translation copyright 2007 by Eugene Ostashevsky. All rights reserved.