poetry Translations

Translating from the Visual 1: Van Gogh’s Wheatfield With Crows

Wheatfield with Crows - Wikipedia

Wheatfield with crows 

There are crows that gather

under the blue-black horizon,

opening like a bruise

into an empty sky. 

The moon rises

or the sun sets-

The whisper of wings

breathes life into night.

Along the track

furrowed, turned

the Earth that covers boots with dust

lies dormant

waiting for rain.

Cartwheels creak

a tired ox pulls

sheaves of wheat

or ears of corn.

The crops-




sway listlessly.

Separated from stems

in an endless cycle- 

harvest bounties baked 

salted, pickled, dried,

for the lean winter

which eats human flesh

from the bone.

The crows call to one another, 

harsh, belligerent. 

They hop and rise as one,

vague outlines overhead

as the wheels turn,

catching on a stone.  

The cart puller

does not stop-

he’s looking at his feet 

and at the cracks and furrows and ridges-

down instead of up.

He picks his steps,

only the snorts of his beast

break the dusk

of a yawning canvas sky

as the crow’s calls fade,

carried on their wings.