Paper & Mind

On the road, sick & weary

I sought sanctuary             

In a monk's lonely cell on the mere

As I healed, night for night

He taught me to write

It was my thirtieth year

Those sigils from God

Found me eager and awed

With their promise of solace sublime

A reverent shiver --

Could language deliver

Us from unravelling time?

A fast-fading thought

With the quill can be caught

Gracefully, tenderly traced

By circles and lines

Magical signs

Saved from oblivion's embrace

That all that occurs

Dies as memory blurs

Seemed sacrilege, cruel and profane

To ward off negation

I'd copy creation

So God's word was not spoken in vain

A book was the portal:

In phrases immortal

My being I carefully penned

Every virtue, each sin

I recorded therein

But the human had come to an end

Silent and still

Nought but knowledge and will

To this place and this moment confined

My phrases are fetters

God's word merely letters

In a prison of paper and mind

In my book I abide

While souls slip by outside

And drift dreaming till Time cuts the thread

These lines are my cell

Between pages I dwell

And live for as long as I'm read

Sick of fleeting endeavour

I found forever

In a monk's cell on the mere

To stave off the night

I learned how to write

That was my thirtieth year

This is my thirtieth year

(Translation by Rafael Van Daele-Hunt)

Text in Original Language

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