In this moment I love you. Not in secret - out there too. Not after nor before, I burn in your gaze so. I cry or laugh in view And in this moment I love you In the past - I donít need it. In the future I donít know. To say "I loved" in the past Is sadder than being dead. Tenderness takes away my wings and makes me ill, Though the master poet said: "Oh yes I loved you, and such love is still..."1 People talk of things like this abandoned, and decayed - There is pity in this and condescension too, Like for a once great king pulled down from above. There is regret for what has passed away, Aspiration, where swiftness to move on falls from view. And a frail distrust of saying "I love you." I love you in this moment Without measure, without loss My time for love is now, wonít slit my wrists now For the duration, continuation, this moment I do not live in the past. And the future? Not obsessed now. Iíll wade a river or swim With weights on every limb To reach you any time - behead me if you choose! But donít ever make me - donít begin - Add "will" or "forever more" to a simple "I love you" Yes, thereís bitterness in this "will" - itís a mole, A forged signature, a little wormhole A passage for backing out, in case, An invisible poison at the bottom of the glass And a slap in the face to the present The doubt that "I love you" in this moment. I am watching a French dream - So many tenses, it seems. Where in the future, itís not so; in the past, itís not the same. Iím nailed on to the post, a pillory of shame; Iím summoned to the brink, the language barrier game. The languageís distress Is no place to be - a mess But we will look for a way out, we will, the two of us. I love you in complex tenses - In the future perfect and the past continuous.
1 This is a line from Pushkinís famous short poem:
Oh yes I loved you, and such love is still
To vanish utterly from my soul, I know.
But let it never in the future bring you ill;
Iíve no wish to unsettle or upset you so.
I loved you without hope and silently,
Languishing through shyness or just jealousy.
Yes I loved you so truly, and so gently -
May God bless you with another who loves you like me.
(my translation - J.F.)

© John Farndon + Olga Nakston. Translation, 2022