Miroslav Holub

thOde to JoyConsider:In the MicroscopeWings


We have

a microscopic anatomy






(William Carlos Williams)


We have

a map of the universe

for microbes,

we have

a map of a microbe

for the universe.


We have

a grand master of chess

made of electronic circuits.


But above all


we have

the ability

to sort peas,

to cup water in our hands,

to seek

the right screw

under the sofa

for hours


This gives us




A Helping HandWaiting


The one who waits is always the mother,

all her fingers jammed

            in the automatic doors of the world

all her thoughts like

            egg-laden moths pinned out alive,

and in her bag the mirror shows

            time long gone by when

            glad cries lingered in the apples trees,

and at home the spool and the thread are whispering together:          

What will become of us?


The one who waits is always the mother,

and a  thousand things whose fate is

            ineluctable fall.


The one who waits is always the mother,

            smaller and smaller,

            fading and fading

second by second,

until in the end

no-one sees her.



Miroslav Holub died in1998.


References and further reading 

Alvarez A (1967) (ed.) Miroslav Holub: Selected Poems      Penguin


updated: 22/03/2010