As it reaches an arm
toward the clouds, the stone
catches a glimmer
of light from the morning star.

It’s not a spell or enchantment,
but the innocence of beauty,
revealed in form.
Yet how can this beauty survive
in a nightmarish world?

The chisels chip the truth,
but a candle burns inside stone.
You can hold the morning star
in your hands like a child
caught in a lie, but you can
never imagine the mystery
of the creation or that

paradise where the sun
never scorches, and stars never fall
or flame out in the sky, where there is no
birth or death, and the shadows
never touch the fossilized bones
of people and animals,
their screams pressed into stone.

That early star is not for us.

Illustration: Ansellia Kulikku.

Mieczyslaw Jastrun

A lyric poet and essayist of Jewish origin, Mieczysław Jastrun (1903-1983) is considered to be one of the most important Polish poets in Poland to come out of the period between the two world wars. During his lifetime, he published a dozen volumes of poetry and translated French, Russian, and German poets (including Rilke) into Polish. His lyric poems investigate the subjects of philosophy and morality against the dark backdrop of the Holocaust and the wartime and post wartime occupation of Poland. Czesław Miłosz included Jastrun in his very important and influential anthology, Postwar Polish Poetry.

Dzvinia Orlowsky

Ukrainian-American poet and translator, Dzvinia Orlowsky is a Pushcart prize recipient and a founding editor (1993-2001) of Four Way Books. She is the author of six poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, including Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones (2009) for which she received a Sheila Motton Book Award; Silvertone (2013) for which she was named Ohio Poetry Day Association's 2014 Co-Poet of the Year. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted in 2009 as a Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary. Her most recent, Bad Harvest, was published in October, 2018. In 2006 House Between Water published her translation from Ukrainian of The Enchanted Desna by Alexander Dovzhenko and in 2014 Dialogos published Jeff Friedman's and her co-translation of Memorials: A Selection by Polish poet Mieczysław Jastrun for which she and Friedman were awarded a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship.

Jeff Friedman

Jeff Friedman’s new book, The Marksman, is scheduled for publication with Carnegie Mellon University Press in fall 2020. Friedman is the author of seven previous collections of poetry, including Floating Tales (Plume Editions/Madhat Press, 2017) and Pretenders (Carnegie Mellon University Press (2014) Friedman’s poems, mini stories and translations have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, New England Review, Poetry International, Hotel Amerika, Flash Fiction Funny, Fiction International, New World Writing, The New Republic, and numerous other literary magazines. Dzvinia Orlowsky’s and his translation of Memorials by Polish Poet Mieczsław Jastrun was published by Lavender Ink/Dialogos in August 2014. Nati Zohar and Friedman’s book of translations Two Gardens: Modern Hebrew Poems of the Bible, was published by Singing Bone Press in 2016. Friedman has received numerous awards and prizes including a National Endowment Literature Translation Fellowship in 2016 (with Dzvinia Orlowsky) and two individual Artist Grants from New Hampshire Arts Council.