Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry


Vadim Mesyats


Translated by Alex Cigale

I have become lost in the Lord's heart

I have become lost in the Lord's heart.
The bright light blinds my eyes.
Like a blind man I stretch out my hands
descending the icy stairs.
The egg yolk and mustard,
sticky like sacrificial blood,
the bitter smoke of a shepherd's fire -
my companions and guides.
I am a pilgrim in your heart,
not expecting to find a thing.
In labyrinths life is longer
so, perhaps, you will remember
the rumbling of my boots.
Then I will go out for a breath of fresh air
and lean on the brick crenels.
And witness in the bitter frost
naked sorcerers in fur mittens
dancing around the campfire.

Translated by Dana Golin

Dahin, Dahin

[Away, away; German]

I'll go where the snow,
Blue like the eyes of the Virgin,
Touched by an icy crust,
Palpable in relief,
Reigns in the fields of the night.

Where under the heavy conifer wings
Stands my abandoned house,
In which I no longer have faith,
It lives and ages with me,
Just like me, pleading for mercy.

Black boulders, cold foreheads exposed,
Are waiting for us to address them aloud,
As if they have found a solution
To the riddle of time immemorial. 

 It's terrifying when you realize,
 That the trees, the lake, the snow, and the sky,
 Holding the world in the grip of their workmen's gloves,
 See through you, and are willing
 To sell your soul for a song...

 Yes, this - the only direction worth going in,
 If one is to approach all that's mightier.
 Encircling in love seems just as legitimate
 As thirst for revenge, while to know
 The name of another's God - is to win.