Marjan Strojan

No Touch and Elder in a Garden
October 24, 2018 Strojan Marjan

No Touch


I’m fed up with farewells. All those little

deaths time and time again: when you try

to touch them they recoil like a small animal

that does not know you.



Elder in a Garden


Truly, my heart stops whenever I see the garden again

and the elder flowering into the timeless night

and the path which I knew runs across

the common but did not know

where it ends.

Beside the path grew coltsfoot, nettles, and cherries

washed by dew or by rain. If I looked I might

see the ants up the tree and the cat’s eyes

in the grass or a bird in the greenery –

now turned white

by the moonlight or by the trees that glow in the dark.

There we were, still a couple, casting no shadow,

weightless beyond explanation. Yet the sense

of our presence was so strong

that after a while,

when the moment passed (and the two of us with it),

it seemed a sign that we, for the first time there,

should stop on our way home, amazed

under the elder tree, somehow

known to us both.

Marjan Strojan (1949) was brought up on a small farm in Slovenia. He studied philosophy and comparative literature and worked in several professions including those of the luggage carrier and a load-sheet-man at the local airport, a film critic in Ljubljana and a journalist in London. He published nine books of poetry and several translations, including Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Paradise Lost, and selections of poetry of James Joyce, Robert Frost, Lavinia Greenlaw etc.