Thin Man Press

Real Life Books

Thomas Baignères – Three Poetic Interludes

Poems from Baignères collection, Un pas vers l‘âme, l’Harmattan, Paris, 2014

This selection translated by Susan de Muth January 2015


Thomas B
Thomas Baignères 2014 by François Pragnères


It was a morning at the beginning of winter. The cold was starting to make itself felt, and the creases on my hands began to show, little by little. The night was still there, the sun was parading about. Not many people, just enough to remind me that I wasn’t alone. The atmosphere was light though misty and a little stifling. My breath rang out through the town like the cold outpouring of first-felt cares. I was free and confronted with myself. The sun was coming up and I started smiling to myself, discreetly, as if someone noticing me could have spoilt my joy, a rarity on this wintry morning. That evening, I retraced the same path as if the hours were filing by in the opposite direction. It was cold, the fog was sluggish and the darkness bit into at the dying light with affection. My hands were in my trouser pockets, touching myself as if to recall my physical existence, far away from it as I was. I strode along the streets as if all the walls in the world were crumbling around me, one by one. I breathed in the cloudy cold with pleasure and nostalgia. Straying between thought and dream, my spirit was escaping. I was taming the universe and the pieces of my life were coming together like an immense puzzle that had no real form. Time seemed to stand still, the feverish quarter of an instant. The silence seemed to last an eternity, a shattered eternity, crushed by the dazzling fury of the world. And I was there, thinking in the fog, thinking about silence, and eternity.




Swallows, memories of my childhood

A heart’s monotonous lament

Gentle hope of mystery

Set against grace

My swallows have all flown

My days have left me

The memory of this rancour

The eternal has awoken me

In the moment when

I see myself dying

Far away from sickly promises

I dream of the unreal

I fall asleep in the world

Awake in the Universe

Where this far from round earth

Becomes an era

My soul expires

Susurrates in the ear

The murmur of a silence




I cross your laughter into nothingness

Scent the spume of times past when I was dreaming still


I mark my passing in the grey, pallid tint of the age

The image of the past through curtains


Darkness hides

In the reflection of nothingness


My soul sails

On pools of nothingness


A thought takes flight

Drunk with hope

In pursuit of the unknown


A page torn by the wind


I mark my steps

With the black ink of time


A sigh wipes out

The fraction of a thought that would have changed to world


I can scent

The paralysis of existence


The emptiness of the soul

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