Too much game

English translation by poet and translator John Irons of a poem by Jan H. Mysjkin.
The Dutch version (‘Er is te veel wild’) appeared in nY #6 (July 2010).

You flush out a covey of partridge which, clearly visible, settles again a hunderd
or so metres further away.

              Blackbucks! Blackbucks!

You let the negligible feathered fauna fall before your advantageous quadrupeds.
You can let a partridge run straight past you, you don’t shoot, afraid of scaring
blackbucks into some thicket or other a mile away. Now the blackbucks
haven’t been expecting you. Once more you advance behind the partridges.

                             Peacocks! Peacocks!

You see them, fluttering or tripping in the distance, so huge that the crows seem
like flies. Around you it’s raining partridges and quails, hares run at a serene pace
through the tall grass. You don’t shoot, afraid of scaring the peacocks, a hundred
paces away, into flight. Just a bit further — and you’re there!

                                 Pig! Pig!

Good grief, a pig, what’s to be done now? The peacocks are there, close by. All you
need to do is to slink behind that row of boulders and you’ve got them within range.
But if you shoot, you’ll put the pig to flight. And a pig, now what I mean…

               Piggy! Wiggy! Snout!

O-U-T spells out.



Translation © John Irons 2011

Dutch original poem © Jan H. Mysjkin 2010