This poem, by Jorge Louis Borges, has always conditioned my still-life work. The last eleven images and the following one,’things’, from the series, ‘moving in darkness’ are very much about the bequeath, and that which outlasts us. They are a small thank you and dedicated to my friends Frank and Julie Kepplinger.
My walking-stick, small change, key-ring,
The docile lock and the belated
Notes my few days left will grant
No time to read, the cards, the table,
A book, in its pages, that pressed
Violet, the leavings of an afternoon
Doubtless unforgettable, forgotten,
The reddened mirror facing to the west
Where burns illusory dawn. Many things,
Files, sills, atlases, wine-glasses, nails,
Which serve us, like unspeaking slaves,
So blind and so mysteriously secret!
They’ll long outlast our oblivion;
And never know that we are gone.
translated by A. S. Kline © 2008