Thursday, December 13, 2018



Smoke has been the sign of human settlement

ever since Prometheus' defiant act,

ever since people settled down to roasting,

torching, scorching and cremating, ever since

human history began its smoldering.

The pale blue smoke of campfires and

the black smoke of plunder, burning stakes,

and crematoria; they both have stained the sun

and its starry vault in this accustomed hey hue.

Puffing on a cigarette I'm sitting high up on a hill,

watching limpid supper smoke weave its way

from the valley across the reclining sunrise;

but it's the sickening fun of burning brains

that tickles my memory for taste and smell.

Could they be burning books somewhere?


Sandor Kanyadi
Dancing Embers
translated by Paul Sohar
Twisted Spoon Press 2002