Goenawan Mohamad: Morning Star


Morning star: like a signal
To stop. In the hard air words venture, through night,
In sleep: somnambulists plan, on the wings of a cloud, bare,
Towards a cape

That sometimes disappears. Perhaps
There’s a process, towards a black hole,
Where desire – and all that is remembered – collects
Like the carrion of birds

Where the precipice may no longer exist.
Who designed it? What delivered it?
From where? From us? There’s a cove that’s been set apart
And a horizon that’s been lost, perhaps.

While you and I, sit, speak,
In a broad room.
And I ask you: summon the morning star,
Stop its talk. Give it a sign!

You are silent. Perhaps there are meanings that won’t be encountered
On this journey, or a purpose, in God’s wilderness,
That for eternity has awaited the break of day;
The storm, the darkness, or –

Not the morning star.

(translated from the Indonesian by Eddin Khoo)