Roman Honet – FIVE POEMS

on recalling



it is early evening camp fires, aniseed

particles on women’s lips. it is listening to

the whisper of motorways coated in a transparent

film of lights like the preparation of our epoch,

the chill of equalizers made by Diora, Radiotechnika,

Unitra. it was all that. boys

carrying the cobalt seas in their eyes and a spade,

they, who so far back fell under the spell of shadows,

engrossed, and now – look –

immense power expels them out of there,

awakens. costs of living have spiralled,

they say. a year gone by

and it’s all the same. the same void

has, then loses him

beach. christmas

at first, there is a stick thrown high,

motion in slowed sequences like the descent of crushed ore

through oxygen, a thoughtless dream. bricks

licked with a steaming tongue,

chokeberry. a fairytale – about a bold knight. kites, dark lines

linking them with the hands of children on the beach, an air show

of refuelling blood mid-flight,


(the days are blind and tremble gently,

otokar balcy and alojzy mol)


then another month comes along. a year

different again. snow falling on desolate car parks,

on kings among men weighed down by their gifts:

nectar and a hook – suddenly birds, disturbed, their wings in neon

and thorns. then it’s christmas eve.

head surgery. from shadows


emerge long unseen guests

then fall back into shadows.


my dear departed –

I say – nothing connects us any more





on mixing foods


summertime. women watching the hot air balloon take off

shouting, as if the sky were just then being given back

the gaseous brain of the thing which first mixed

foods – physical love and sadness. that

always hurts. dresses twisting in the

sun, boys already set out the boxes and armchairs

in which they will start for the centre of the earth,


then rest. they or god.

what did he create breathlessness out of? or holidays,

insects diving bloody depths,

birds with gently curved necks, the sort you could drink

from and never die – in sleepless

dreams a somersault, falling


or a straw node on the tip

of my head – or that too


that which remains in memory,

at the point of parting.

our bodies crawling along a narrow pier,

sources both of darkness and of bright water rings






I opened a dream which was not mine


streams of dust behind the town. dust

and cornfields as if it were the crash site

of a space probe which had disgorged violet

figures, shields, old car seats lying in the grass.

it was here I understood what provinces are

this indifferent spasm with regards to infinity,

wind – the shadow of a man leaning down alone

over a magnetic chessboard. there are no more

days when we would run to the cemetery

to feed the bees (we thought

they feasted on clapping and song – food

the dead didn’t have time to pack). or maybe it was

not like that, all that. perhaps I invented the names

and dates, opened a dream which was not mine,

for nought. maybe bees are an airborne disease,

the dead – children who feed on songs






on dreams


sorrow – a space between air

and body, longing – a reaper with his scythe

working in the snow. let it remain so.

let me still dream of friends,

acquaintances caught up in a lost day,

their heads – globes filled with down, a gem

with steaming water – this their swimming pool,

a vat smelling of chlorine and blue.

there come such dreams,

such visions, when from distant places,

from the lips of people long lost,

slag pours forth, damp dust,

as if they wanted to spit at or push you away,

while what they are is calling – stay, stay

read the originals in Polish / English pdf version here





translated by Marek Kazmierski

Roman Honet – (born 1974), Polish poet, between 1995 and 2008 the editor of the bimonthly literary and artistic magazine Studium. Representative of the trend known as the “emboldened imagination” (a term suggested by Marian  Stala) in most recent Polish poetry, also known as one of the new existentialists. He teaches creative writing at the School of Literary Arts, Jagiellonian University, Krakow.

Roman Honet – (ur. 1974), polski poeta, w latach 1995-2008 redaktor dwumiesięcznika literacko-artystycznego Studium. Przedstawiciel nurtu ośmielonej wyobraźni (termin zaproponował Marian Stala) w najnowszej poezji polskiej; określany mianem jednego z nowych egzystencjalistów. Prowadzi zajęcia z kreatywnego pisania w Studium Literacko-Artystycznym na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim.