A Knocker

There are those who grow 
gardens in their heads 
paths lead from their hair 
to sunny and white cities 

it’s easy for them to write 
they close their eyes 
immediately schools of images 
stream down their foreheads 

my imagination 
is a piece of board 
my sole instrument 
is a wooden stick 

I strike the board 
it answer me 
yes–yes 
no–no 

for others the green bell of a tree 
the blue bell of water 
I have a knocker 
from unprotected gardens 

I thump on the board 
and it prompts me 
with the moralists dry poem 
yes–yes 
no–no 

Zbigniew Herbert
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