Ivan Dobnik

Ivan Dobnik, born in Celje, Slovenia in 1960, works as a poet, essayist, translator, editor and critic. He studied philosophy and comparative literature at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, served as a member of the Apokalipsa editorial board (1998-2008), and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Poetikon literary journal (2005-). His poetry collections include: Osvobajanje (1980), Kaligrafija lire (1999), Zapreš svoje oči (2003, nominated for Veronika Award in 2004), Rapsodija v mrzli zimi (2005), Zapisi z drevesnih lističev (2006), Svetilnik (2008), Bela pesem (2009), Pred začetkom (2010), Druga obala (2012), and Bolska (2015). He lives between Šmatevž and Ljubljana


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(Foto: Sandi Radovan) 

 An owl flies over the waves at night

an owl flies over the waves at night
the Bolska descends from the hills

among the stones lie the bones of fish, pigs, cows, people
the river blends dreams and wakefulness

large-sepalled hawthorn and black locust have settled on the Northern side of the Forbidden Plateau
the maps are exact, and so fluid and unpredictably alive

a sheep is buried there, a dog there, a wild boar rests beyond
over the fern and the swamp horsetail, the sweet flag, the broadleaf cattail

light travels with the rain and the clouds, inconstant in the black branches of black alder trees
all is light, the play of shadows, the waves, your skin is the gentlest being of the universe

the eyes see the wound in the bark, dreamlessly
the eyes return, the eyes of a woodpecker, a doe, or yours

caves wide open
burrows buried deep

everywhere, veins crackle warmly
the moss and lichen glow


Translated by Tadeja Spruk