For the first love
Other foreign worlds turn pale for me
That parted us for tens of years,
I come to see you as the purest dream
When dark pain slumbers in the soul.
Adorned with jasmines and roses,
Your white path to glowing autumn asters;
Illuminated by sunsets and stars,
Your white path to late winter nights.
And now, after tens of years, I’m walking
This path again like a northern wind
And dreaming of your sunsets
When other worlds have turned pale.
Only a lover sees and feels
That lilies of the valley bloom in fall
And hears the bells of flowers ring
From a distant past of the sun.
And I myself – being like that -
Want to enter you as a mild greenhouse,
So you, like a blossom over a bee,
Close sweetly the fervent petals.
Until the eternity of spring
Slides through the days heralding:
Your first love is shining now
Instead of the sun for me.
(“Tik mīlētājs to redz un mana…”)
In the morning
A pallid angel stands at my window,
Covering his face with hands,
Across his shoulders – a coat of stars
And pale silver of the moon.
Why are you crying for me, dear?
The sweet rhythm still beats in my chest,
I still want to love and live
Under the eternal sun and night.
Vision at night
She was here… I felt
The touch of her breath
Like a restless undulating
Of lightweight sea-foam.
Then I called, suddenly sensing where
The breeze carries each sound to,
And everything was silent again.
Only stars shone in the air.
Jānis Ziemeļnieks (14.12.1897-18.07.1930) – [real name - Jānis Krauklis] a Latvian poet who loved winters because that was the time he could spend reading books. He drew well and later became a photographer. In 1916, due to an illness, he was prescribed opium for the first time. In 1920, he moved to Riga and soon began working in the Ministry of Education, Department of Art. Ziemeļnieks started to publish his writing a few years later: poetry, prose and satire. The new life in Riga was difficult because of his health problems, and he began taking opium not just to relieve the pain, but also as a way to escape the reality. In the morning of July 18, 1930, Ziemeļnieks was found dead at his home.
(Information taken from <http://www.letonika.lv/literatura/section.aspx?id=2190869>)
Image by Artūrs Bērziņš/ Arthur Berzinsh.