Poems from Artis Ostups in translation

The Thoughtful One

He liked to skate on the river
head bent, hands crossed behind his back. 

Boys threw snowballs from behind trees in the park. 
He was there, but did not say a word. Till one evening
he received his first lines; a deep noise,
as if a column had toppled to the ground somewhere,

and he was trusted with its story, rich and strange.

From the Embankment

Here, where the river sloshes, where green bodies freshly drown.
Here, where we once threw Arturs's backpack up to the maple's crown,
notebooks fluttering to the ground like birds after a handful of crumbs.
Here, where the nettle kissed the tulip and the moon sneered down.
Here, in this humble village that can be crossed with a scream –

let us remember the dimwit, who called out one morning 
from the embankment, showing us his pale, smooth testicles.

Translations by Ieva Lešinska-Geibere and Tom Pow.
The author worked with Tom Pow at Smolenice Castle, Slovakia