In the Eblana Bookshop

The bell above the door tinkled
when I entered, tinkled when I left.
A book in the big window
cast a spell and called me in
to the poets’ cradle in the corner.
“So this is poetry”, I said
on my journey with the Nightwalker.

And Mandelstam, O Mandelstam,
your spirit moved in that spirit world
too, where there was no sound
except the brush that swept
the wooden floor and pages turning.
And because the natural light
grew dim, there were lights turned on
in the afternoon. I was a novice
Prospero – gone astray,
lost in stanzas and storybook chapters,
there for the solitary pleasure of loitering
where time stood still in the gap
between Machado and Neruda.

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