Eduard Schmidt – Zorner – Five Poems

Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is a translator and writer of poetry, haibun, haiku and short stories. He writes in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose and experimental poetry. Member of four writer groups in Ireland and lives in County Kerry, Ireland, for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany. Published in over 140 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in USA, UK, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Bangladesh, India, France, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Nigeria and Canada. Some of his poems and haibun have been published in French (own translation), Romanian and Russian language. He writes also under his penname Eadbhard McGowan.


Bray Head

I climbed up the mountainside,
almost like a way to heaven,
solid ground beneath my feet,
clouds are within reach,
seagulls over slopes and glen.

By the wayside stood a cabin,
stretching over the horizon
like a leavened dough.
Fuchsias hung blooming
over the garden’s fence.

Front garden, overgrown.
I reflect on the wild roses.
A woman opens her door,
throws a questioning glance,
her fiery red hair flows.

I asked her: Conas atá tú, ar maidin?
She kept silent, not a word,
and I said: Tá an gruaighe go háilinn.

She shook her head,
her hair was like a wave
through the morning air.

Days later I walked the path again
to admire roses and her hair.
No house to be seen.
A field full of fern and butterbur.
A dream it must have been.


Intaglio

The mountains
which I see from my window
were given a name.
They have a sequel
like a serial novel,
and continue into the sea
to protrude,
and show their peaks
like the back of a reptile.
Memories of millions of years,
remain,
between the earth’s crust
and thin cloud cover,
peaks,
point to the west,
to the curved horizon,
into the wide Atlantic.
From my window
I can see the clouds
that must stand over Kenmare,
on the other side of the mountain ridge,
which divides the Iveragh Peninsula,
and I think of the house
where aunt Lilly lived,
who always told stories
in her distinctive dialect.
From the window I see the hedges
that border the fields,
in a different shade of green,
and some spots of white and black
move very slowly ahead,
sheep and cows graze there
and above them
crows, magpies, and gulls,
each with their own right to exist,
like a visit that came from afar
and soon disappears,
offers safety and peace to a wren.
I see what the ice age has left us,
the slopes shine in the sunlight,
cloud shadows mix colours into dark green.
The fields,
wrested from the steep mountainsides,
form geometric patterns,
squares and rectangles,
like a book with open pages


An Cromán

A friendly wave from a man
who works in the fish factory.
They have put three on the spit.
One at the start,
the second in between,
the third at the end,
as if in quarantine
far away
from the built-up land.

But there is only the smell of seaweed,
and the iodine of the sea.
Trawlers lie on the water – three,
and a few boats.
On a truck
grow-out mesh bags,
and steel rebar racks.

A tractor leads a boat to water,
a fisherman jumps in,
starts the motor
on a cold windy day
at the ‘hip bone’
where the sunrays fall
on the incoming tide.

Fishermen in their yellow jackets
throw out their nets,
and seagulls glide over them
to see if something is left
to feed their constant hunger.

The spit has its toes in the Atlantic
and beds prepared for the mussels.
Fishermen, weather-beaten men,
in tune with nature,
with the salty water,
hardworking
like those in Galilee
who brought in the catch
on a stormy day.


Sea ravens near Fenit

I take the boat along the coast,
visit the habitat of cormorants
on their rugged island,
their fortress-like outpost,
opposite the port of Fenit
where yachts bob on the water
in friendly unison
dreaming of a sailing holiday –
St. Brendan overlooks the bay.

On the coastline nestle villages,
a settlement protrudes, green fields.
Sounds emerge from homesteads,
hammering, noise of tractors,
cattle raise their heads.
One can see Bolteens
and I remember the pint,
which I drank there
where opposite a horse
got new shoes at a farrier’s.

On the water the sun glistens,
the island in the distance
stretches the head out of the sea.
On top perch the big sea ravens,
obviously sociable birds.
Now and then one of them rises,
dashes down, disappears in the sea,
comes back to the top, dripping,
sometimes with,
or without prey in the beak,
holding their wings out in the sun
to dry their dark feathers.

Over the blue-grey sea
an elongated band of clouds.
I approach the cormorant colony,
let the boat drift, without paddle.
The sun sends golden rays,
the wide surface ripples,
where tongues of wind descend.
A spell of calm, makes the water
shine and smooth like a mirror.

The shore out of sight,
land seems far away,
Me, between grey sky
and steel-grey infinity.
Lonely seagulls fly.
A tranquil mood ascends
after the cry of a sea sprite
or was it a mermaid
who sang her song, so light,
so ethereal, so weird?

Fish swarm under the surface,
in a water deep and dark.
I approach the protruding rock.
The cormorants are startled,
make noise in their nests,
warn the rest of the flock.
A lively flapping of wings.
They escape into the air,
swoop, and dive away.


Summer threshold

The morning comes with tangy air,
pulls bushes and trees out of the mist.
In the windbreak of the timber forest
deer fray the velvet from its antlers.
From the green sedge, the trunks shine red.
Jays make a noise in the thickening,
overgrown moor forest host brazen crows,
wanderlust of the grey geese,
lapwings stagger over the swamp meadows,
worried for their young, with plaintive cries.

Hidden in the reed bed of the riverbank,
a grey heron stands.
Lonely on one leg and contemplates.
From the nearby rye field,
the illusion of smell of bread,
the air sings, the earth listens.
No hunter’s shot.
All is full of lust –
a summer without end.
The first heavy raindrops fall on my hand.

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