To Georges Bernanos
‘There is no incident so negligible that the will of God is not inscribed in it like the whole immensity of heaven in a drop of water’.
The dense wine of dusk on the snow
And the delicate virgin traces of a bird on its silken velvet!
Traces which still live in my dazzled memory
After so many years!
And I think suddenly of all the traces
Which have moved my heart:
The glittering glance of a child on the corner of a forgotten street,
The lines on the face of my old neighbour dead from the chandeliers
Into which her shattered soul was poured,
The closed eyes of the Carmelite chronicler
Beneath the hesitant flame of a dying candle!
Traces! So many traces in every corner of my thoughts:
The equation written on the blackboard by my Maths teacher,
A word full of music in the middle of a line of verse,
The nameless melody my young cousin plays
On the out of tune piano, the voice of my mother,
The sunny silence of my father.
The traces of fear in my artless preadolescent breast
Left in me by the Breton legends
Which my aunt read to me, especially those about Ankou,
Poems choked with the passion of noisy festivals in honour of Adonis!
Indelible traces, ineffaceable traces of undying fragrances:
Blackcurrants, strawberries, black olives, peppery cabbages,
Traces of the little magic tricks of my brother Michel,
The feats of illusion of my friend Valentin,
The gentle face of grandmother, holy because of her humility!
Invisible traces which my first amorous feelings
Carved into my being and which belong
To the category of pure depth!
Ancient traces, still living traces
Of days , adored, feted , celebrated…
O traces, imprints, scars, trails,
Stigmata, impressions, reminiscences, vestiges, tracks…
Traces which cross my life’s conflagrations
Like the salamander without being burned by them.
And while many things disappear
Without tears like ephemera received in heaven,
Certain traces keep the clarity of a fulsome
Traces which say that each new day
Is a promise of brightness!
Traces of these Easters full of mixed joy and mystery!
I dedicate this poem to one of the authors dear to my heart!
Traduit en anglais par Norton Hodges