The Studio of Alexander Calder
Newcomer from Europe, as they say,
It is true that back there iron and copper are instruments only of evil
adding death to death and to maligned life.
I fled, a fortunate fugitive,
Lying with the work of one alive
The day and the night unfurled in the presence
of mobile wings—algae—leaves.
Greetings forger of gigantic dragonflies
Diviner of mercury your fountain revealed
A water heavy as tears.
But a carousel of little crimson moons thrills me
It brings to mind a translucent circus
It is a leaf traversed by the sun.
One green day you saw a red bird
in pursuit of a yellow bird;
you know that we are bound to nature
that we belong to the earth.
Hung from the studio’s rafters,
in the streaks of light a gong sensitive to the caprices of air
is struck only with the greatest caution
With the step of a dove it rings: what hour does it sound?
This is the hour of bustling centipedes
It is also the hour of the child with cherries.
Here the seconds lack the weight of the clock
they do not rest in the grass
they cannot conceive of immobility
they love the rustling of reeds
and the cry of the tree frog who breathes music
they play between your fingers, Calder, my friend.