Marina Tsvetaeva. The Best of Marina Tsvetayeva (translated by Ilya Shambat

  • Marina Tsvetaeva. The Best of Marina Tsvetayeva (translated by Ilya Shambat
  • To Mother
  • x x x
  • Little World
  • Before a Little Coffin
  • Epitaph
  • Lady with Camelias
  • Terminal Silhouette
  • In Paris
  • Prayer
  • To Asya
  • Books in Red Binding
  • New Moon
  • On Parting
  • To the Next One
  • Meeting
  • Angelique
  • From Four till Seven
  • Easter in April
  • Contact through Dreams
  • x x x
  • Hello from a Train
  • x x x
  • Except for Love
  • In the Winter
  • Truth
  • Another Prayer
  • To a Growing-Up One
  • Girl Death
  • Boy-Madness
  • On a New Year
  • Schoolgirl
  • Tverskaya
  • At Age Fifteen
  • Drum
  • Autumn in Tarus
  • To Literary Prosecutors
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • To Asya
  • To Sergei Efron-Durnovo
  • To Byron
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • To Alla
  • From Cycle "P.E."
  • From Cycle "Girlfriend"
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Poems about Moscow
  • From Cycle "Insomnia"
  • From Cycle "Poems to Blok"
  • To Akhmatova
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • To Jews
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Don Juan
  • x x x
  • To Tsar, on Easter
  • Stepan Razin
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Carmen
  • Gypsy Wedding
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Kornilov
  • To Moscow
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Don
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • From Cycle "Comedian"
  • From Cycle "Poems to Sonya"
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Two Songs
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Wolf
  • To a Stranger
  • x x x
  • Student
  • Marina
  • From Cycle "Parting"
  • George
  • Good Tidings
  • Return of Rain
  • x x x
  • To Mayakovsky
  • From cycle "Khan's Horde"
  • Praise to Aphrodite
  • Youth
  • Muse
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • From Cycle "Girlfriend II"
  • Bethlehem
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • To Akhmatova
  • New Year's
  • New Year's #2
  • x x x
  • From Cycle "Snowmounds"
  • x x x
  • From Cycle "Earthly Marks"
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Trees
  • x x x
  • Praise to the Rich
  • Poets
  • Words and Meanings
  • Pedals
  • Thus they listen..
  • Dialogue of Hamlet with his Conscience
  • Crevasse
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Moon - to Sleepwalker
  • Rails
  • Letter
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • Conversation with a Genius
  • To Mayakovsky
  • Poems to Pushkin
  • Country
  • Ode to Walking
  • Elderberry
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • x x x
  • To Fathers
  • x x x
  • Readers of Newspapers
  • Poems to Orphans
  • x x x
  • x x x

  •       March 22, 2002

          The most comprehensive translation of Marina Tsvetayeva in English language, prepared for 110th anniversary of her birth. Translations from Russian original in chronological order. Includes classics and lesser-known poems, translated directly from Russian anthology. For inquiries, contact

    To Mother

          In the old Strauss waltz for the first time
          We had listened to your quiet call,
          Since then all the living things are alien
          And the knocking of the clock consoles.

          We, like you, are gladly greeting sunsets,
          And are drunk on nearness of the end.
          All, with which on better nights we're wealthy
          Is put in the hearts by your own hand.

          Bowing to a child's dreams with no tire.
          (Only crescent looked in them indeed
          Without you)! You have led your kids past
          Bitter lifetime of the thoughts and deeds.

          From the early age the sad one's close to us,
          Laughter bores and home we left behind..
          Our ship not in good times left the harbor
          And it sails by will of every wind!

          Azure isle of childhood is paling,
          On the deck of ship we stand alone.
          It appears, oh mother, to your daughters
          You've left an inheritance of woe.

    x x x

          The street awakens. She looks, exhausted
          With the mute windows' sullen eyes,
          On sleepy faces, red from the cold,
          That with thoughts chase the stubborn sleep away.
          The blackened trees with rime are covered -
          With trace mysterious of the night's fun,
          In gleaming brocade sad ones are standing,
          Just like the dead the alive among.
          The gray coat mingles, trampled upon,
          The forage-cup with a wreathe, a bored look,
          And the red arms, pressed to the ears,
          And the black apron with the tied books.
          The street awakens. She looks, unpleasant
          With mute windows' sullen eyes, it would seem.
          To sleep, in a happy thought be forgotten,
          What life seems to us, this is a dream!

    Little World

          Children - are staring of eyes so frightful,
          Mischievous legs on a wooden floor,
          Children - is sun in the gloomy motives,
          Hypotheses' of happy sciences world.

          Eternal disorder in the ring's gold,
          Tender word's whispers in semi-sleep,
          On the wall in a cozy child's room, the dreaming
          Peaceful pictures of birds and sheep.

          Children - is evening, evening on the couch,
          In the fog, through the window, glimmer street lamps,
          A measured voice of the tale of King Saltan,
          Mermaid-sisters of seas from tales.

          Children - is rest, brief moment of respite,
          A trembling vow before God's eyes,
          Children - are the world's tender riddles,
          Where in the riddle the answer hides!

    Before a Little Coffin

          To Katherine Pavlovna Peshkova

          Mother has painted the coffin brightly.
          The tiny one sleeps in Sunday attire.
          Onto the forehead no longer is falling
          The light-brown hair;

          A round comb no longer is pressing,
          Having seen so little, of the child's head;
          Only of joy knew
          The heart of the kid.

          For five years so happily lived she
          Much played the deft arms!
          Fantasies, fantasies mid lilies,
          Nobody disturbed them.

          The flowers seek a place nearer to her,
          (She seems tight in her new bed).
          The flowers know: Little Katya
          A golden heart had.



          ON THE GROUND
          "Hid in the corner, you look so stubborn,
          We wait for long. Say, you agree?"
          "Ah, I don't know. Leave me, mother!
          Leave me. It's all the same to me!"

          IN THE GROUND
          "Is not the breath of a tired chest heavy?
          In tight grave it's always dark, you see?"
          "Ah, I don't know. Leave me, people!
          Leave me! It's all the same to me!"

          "Did I love passionately with my heart, too?
          Evil - did it so anger thee?"
          "O my good God, I agree completely!
          I'm tired. It's all the same to me!"

    Lady with Camelias

          Your whole way with shining evil's coal
          Margaret, they all do bravely judge.
          What's your fault? The body sinned as such,
          Innocent you have retained your soul.

          To all people it's the same, I know,
          To all nodded with a blurry smile.
          And with this sorrowful semi-smile
          You have wept yourself long time ago.

          Who will know? Whose hand will help along?
          No exception to the rule, one thing entrances!
          They eternally await embraces,
          They eternally await, "I'm thirsty! Be my own!"

          Day and night the bane of false confessions..
          Day and night, tomorrow, and once more!
          Spoke more eloquently than the word
          Your dark glance, the martyr's dark expression.

          The accursed ring is growing narrow,
          On the goddess of the world avenges fate..
          Smiling childishly, into your face
          A young tender boy glances with sorrow.

          The entire world is saved by love!
          In but her salvation and defense is.
          All's in love. O Margaret, sleep in peace.
          All's in love. I'm saved because I love.

    Terminal Silhouette

          I know you not and in no way
          I want to lose starry illusions
          With such a face in worst confusion
          People are loyal to a ray.

          All that the fate has marked for grave
          Have such closed-off face instead.
          You are a page that was not read
          And no, you will not be a slave.

          A slave with such a face? Oh no!
          There is no error here by chance.
          Your slender figure and your glance
          Will be secret to many, I know.

          A heavy bracelet of your hair
          Under the thrown-over scarf
          (You'd do with guitar or a harp)
          And your pale face, as pale as air.

          I know you not. And possibly
          You're kind and moderate like all.
          Maybe! May these be ravings all!
          For only raving ones may be!

          Perhaps the day is not so far
          When I will fathom what's unseemly...
          But this to err - it is so relieving!
          It is so easy yet to err!

          Touching the scarf with a light hand,
          There where the whistles shrilly blow.
          This is the you that I will know
          Where you just like a riddle stand.

    In Paris

          Homes reach the stars, the sky's below,
          The land in smoke to it is near.
          Inside the big and happy Paris
          Remains the secretive despair.

          The evening boulevards are noisy,
          Gone are the sundown's final rays,
          And there are couples everywhere
          Trembling of lips, daring of eyes.

          I'm here alone. To trunk of chestnut
          It is so nice one's head to lean!
          And like in the abandoned Moscow
          In heart weep verses of Rostand.

          Paris at night is sad and alien,
          Dear to the heart is madness gone!
          I'm going home, there's vial of sorrow
          And tender portrait of someone.

          There's someone's glance, sad and fraternal.
          There's tender profile on the wall.
          Rostand and the Reichstadtian martyr
          And Sara - in sleep come they all!

          Within the big and happy Paris
          I dream of grass, of clouds and rain
          And laughter far, and shadow near,
          And deep just like before is pain.


          Christ and the Lord! I thirst for marvel
          Now, here, as the day would start!
          The life is like a book to me,
          So let me die. Let me depart.

          You're wise, and sternly "Now be patient,
          Your time's not ripe" you will not say.
          Yourself you gave me - too much now!
          I thirst at once - for every way!

          I want it all: with soul of gypsy
          To run to plunder with a song,
          To suffer for all near an organ,
          To run to war, an Amazon;

          To divine stars in a black tower
          The kids through shadows to lead...
          That yesterday would be a legend,
          That each and every day be mad!

          I love the cross, the silk, the helmet,
          The minute's trace of soul of mine..
          You gave me childhood - better than fiction
          Now let me die at seventeen!

    To Asya

          Evening noise in the burning sunset
          On twilight of winter day.
          The third call. Hurry, remember me,
          You that are going away!
          Emerald wave is awaiting you,
          Splash of an oar of blue,
          To live our life underground, difficult,
          Was not possible to you.
          Well then, ahead, that our murky struggle
          Into our ranks never calls,
          If the transparent wetness appeals to you
          Flight of the silver seagulls!
          Give my regards to the hot, the brilliant,
          Burning sun,
          Your question pose to all strong and bright -
          Answer will come!
          Evening noise in the burning sunset
          On twilight of winter day.
          The third call. Hurry, remember me,
          You that are going away!

    Books in Red Binding

          From heaven of a childhood life
          A farewell to me you're sending,
          The ever-loyal dear friends
          Within a red worn down binding.
          On learning homework from school,
          At once I ran to see you yet.
          "It's late" - "Please, Mother, ten more lines" -
          But happily she did forget.
          The fires flicker in a lamp..
          How nice it is to read at home!
          To sounds of Greeg, Schumann and Kui
          I learned about the fate of Tom.
          It's dark.. the air is growing cold..
          Tom's full of faith in Becky's joy.
          Within the darkness of the cave
          Wanders with torch Indian Joe..
          A cemetery.. owl is screaming..
          (I'm scared) And now through hassocks flies
          The punctilious widow's foster-child,
          Like in a barrel Diogenes.
          Lighter than Sun is the throne hall,
          Over the graceful boy - a crown..
          At once - a beggar! God! He said:
          "Forgive, I'm heir to the throne."
          To darkness comes, who comes from her.
          Sad is the destiny of Britain..
          O, wherefore not amid red books
          Not to go back to sleep again
          Before a lamp? O golden times
          Where sight is braver, heart is purer:
          O golden times, I say again:
          Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, Prince and Beggar!

    New Moon

          Over meadow stands new moon,
          Over boundary of dew.
          Come, we'll make a friend of you,
          Dear, distant, alien.

          In the day I hide, am quiet.
          Moon above - I have no might!
          I rush on this lunar night
          To the shoulder of beloved.

          I'll never ask me, "Who's he?"
          All to know, your lips will say!
          Hugs are rude but in the day,
          In the day the fit is funny.

          In the day, torn by a demon proud,
          With a smile on lips I lie.
          Night, though.. Darling, far away..
          Crescent stands above the wood!

    On Parting

          Mein Herz tragt schwere Ketten.
          Die Du mir angelegt.
          Ich mocht mein Leben wetten
          Dass Keine schwerer tragt

          Frankfurt song

          Teasing and tempting and playing
          We loved like children, us both
          But somebody, hiding a smile,
          Set up the ungentle nets -
          And here we are at the harbor,
          Not seeing the wished-for abodes,
          But knowing that I will be yours
          In the heart, without words, until death.

          You told me of all things - so early!
          I guessed them so late! In our hearts
          A wound is eternal, a silent
          Question exists in our eyes,
          The desert on earth is so endless,
          The heaven, so high, has no stars,
          Revealed is the tender secret,
          And frost rules for centuries.

          I will talk to shades! O my dear,
          To forget you I do not have might,
          Your visage can't move under shadow
          Of eyelids gone over my eyes...
          It's darkening... Shutters have closed,
          On all things descending is night...
          I love you, one ghostly-eternal,
          And only you - and always!

    To the Next One

          Tender caresses of kind little sisters
          Are ready for you.
          With the birds' songs, O the charmed prince,
          We're waiting for you.
          Branch drunk with sun, you grew, visage of heaven
          Before my eyes.
          Like a girl tender, like a child quiet,
          All - surprise.
          They'll often say: "These sisters are treacherous
          In each reply!"
          Cocky with daring ones, kids with a boy, timid
          With someone shy.
          We love, like you, melting clouds and birches
          And melted snow.
          We love the tales about grandmother's daughters,
          Little and slow!
          Pitiful is the wind, spring remembering,
          Gems in the skies..
          We wait for you, one that knows nothing of life,
          And has blue eyes!


          Evening dimmed, like ourselves charmed
          With this first warmth of the spring.
          Stirring alive, Arbat was alarmed;
          With sympathetic tenderness, the kind
          Gale touched us with a tired wing.
          In our souls, raised on a fairy tale,
          Sorrow quietly cried for past things.

          He came - so unexpected! So hurriedly -
          He who helped in all things before.
          And far off in a line unconsolably
          The streetlamps' radiant dots
          Burned though light darkness some more...
          All around flowers we bought;
          We bought a bouquet.. What for?

          Quietly withered away unseen garden
          In the sky violet-red.
          How to be saved from late trouble?
          All returned. For a moment? For long?
          We speechlessly looked at sun going to bed,
          And Gogol nodded, thoughtful, from
          The pedestral like a brother, sad.


          Near is the meek image of the dark chapel
          Where the organ does weep!
          Alien to me is earthly joy.
          I'm Angelique.

          Quiet singing in unison sounds,
          Unclear are the windows, it seems,
          Elegant vaults have taken control
          Of my life like dreams.

          My sight in childhood slipped away there,
          It's tormented by the towns.
          Talk and the shining hall bore me indeed
          And the world wears me down.

          Someone lit candles before the Virgin.
          (Does the sick healing await?)
          This is the reason I'm silent midst you:
          I'm different all the way.

          Sweet is the weakness of arms relaxed,
          Light to me here is all woe.
          Dark-leafed ivy, as if they were friends
          Embraced the stones;

          Grass has blossomed here all the way
          Like almond, white and pink...
          I need no joy. I don't pity the world:
          I'm Angelique.

    From Four till Seven

          Like in a mirror, there's shade in the heart
          I'm bored alone - and with men...
          Slowly drags the light of the day
          From four till seven!
          Everybody is cruel in the dusk,
          Don't go to people - they'll lie.
          Fingers have wound into a knot
          The kerchief. I want to cry.
          Only don't torture me so,
          If you hurt me I'll forgive!
          From four till seven o'clock
          I endlessly grieve.

    Easter in April

          Eggs on a plate warmed the soul with delight
          And ringing of bells.
          What is more radiant than Easter in April,
          People, pray tell?
          Rays are caressing the grass, from the street
          Phrases and words...
          Quietly I wander from porch to the barn,
          Measuring boards.
          Waves of Easter ringing, external dawn,
          Like glow in the sky,
          Sound of a gramophone of our neighbors
          Bitterly cries,
          From kitchen follows it endlessly woeful
          Harmonica's sound,
          Much has gone on, oh yes much has gone on..
          The past, fall down!
          No, I don't get help from eggs on the dish!
          It's late... Gone are the rays..
          What is more hopeless than Easter in April,
          People, please say?

    Contact through Dreams

          All's for a moment, that people create,
          Glimmer of new things dims,
          But yet unaltered, like sorrow, remains
          Contact through dreams.

          Calming.. If but to forget.. but to sleep..
          Sweetness of eyelids over eyes..
          Dreams open fates of the future, and bind
          For centuries.

          All that I stealthily thought, is to me
          Clear like a crystal clean.
          Us, with a timeless and endless riddle,
          United the dream.

          I do not pray, "O God, make to vanish
          Torment of coming day!"
          Oh no, "Oh God, send to him about me
          A dream," I pray.

          May I get pale at the meeting with you -
          Sorrowful is it to meet!
          Secret is one: The contact through dreams. We are
          Powerless before it.

    x x x

          Azure are the fields, where our dreaming had met.
          Don't rush my memory!
          Be truthful: Anew you'll touch the silver cup
          Not soon with a one such as me.

          All's destroyed, not by our volition. And sweet
          Is the sigh over lost heaven! May be! -
          You're all - May's! For you is my sorrow of May.
          All that's dreamed of in May is for thee.

          Here we don't need to rendezvous. Truly, we'll meet
          Where the truth with the truth I shall meet;
          Every evening on bridges shaky and light
          We come out one another to greet.

          A familiar figure I'll see from afar -
          Heart beats rarely, then frequently, though...
          Like before you're not wrathful, not vengeful, oh no!
          And your eyes are the same, full of woe.

          These are dreams. To us both the night is still dear,
          Bravely breaking all barriers so.
          But the image of her that could not lie, my friend,
          Once awakened, don't chase like a foe.

          And when he will appear in the evening shade
          Under call of a previous song,
          Nod to happiness that has elapsed with a smile
          And recall without rage the one gone.

    Hello from a Train

          Louder is noise, as if taller than buildings,
          Train is shivering for the final time,
          Final time... we're riding... now my winter
          Dream, say goodbye!

          My winter dream, good to the point of tears,
          From you fortune is bearing me away.
          Judged in this way! I need no dream nor burden
          Along the way.

          Under train's noise to swim to far-off days,
          Still foggy, to trust marvels is so sweet.
          World is so wide! Maybe within it you
          I will forget?

          The train's darkness presses on the shoulders,
          Into window pours a torrent of the fog...
          My distant friend, please fathom - self-deception
          Is all this talk!

          Why the new land? The glimmer of same stars,
          Same laughter, war with boredom, everywhere,
          And your sweet gesture will be as a torment
          Here, like there.

    x x x

          It is true, is it not, that our souls are not used yet to parting?
          With a shimmer of glimmering wings they each other call!
          Someone higher parted the arms, tenderly interwoven,
          But forgot the remembering souls.

          Every evening, lit up by the will of a sorceress gentle.
          Every evening, when over the hills, in the heart, stands the fog,
          To the soul not forgetting the former deception comes near
          With a meek and not confident walk.

          Like the wind, that with sharp gusts awakens the things of times prior,
          From the glimmering lines your are smiling at me once again.
          All is permitted, all! You from dream, I in dream. Will not judge us
          The angst of the day.

          Someone higher betrayed us to nameless delicious torment,
          (Many wanderings blunderings through dark and snow there will be!)
          Someone higher parted the arms, tenderly intevowen...
          Not responsible for this are we!

    Except for Love

          Did not love, did not weep. Oh no, did not love, but regardless
          I have showed in the shadows the beloved likeness to you.
          In our sleep all things did not appear like love:
          No cause, no clues.

          From the evening hall only to us nodded this image,
          Only we - you and me - to it pitiful verses bore.
          What has bound us stronger than love has bound others
          Is that we adore.

          But the gust was escaped, and tenderly somebody approached,
          He who could not have prayed, but did love. To judge do not hurry!
          Like the most tender note in awakening of the soul
          You're memorable to me.

          In this sorrowful soul you had wandered, like in open house..
          (In our house, in the spring)... Forgotten don't call me!
          All my minutes are filled with you, except for love -
          The most melancholy.

    In the Winter

          Behind the walls once again
          Bells' whining is heard.
          Several streets between us,
          And several words!
          The city in darkness sleeps,
          Silver sickle appears,
          The falling snow scatters
          Your collar with stars.
          Do your wounds ail for a long time?
          Do the calls wound of the past?
          Teases the new, seductive,
          And shining glance.

          (Blue or brown?) It matters more than
          Wise pages to the heart!
          Rime turns to white the
          Eyelashes' darts...
          Behind the walls, bell's whining
          Lacks strength, is barely heard.
          Several streets between us,
          And several words!
          Clear crescent is leaning into
          Books' and poets' souls,
          Into your downy collar
          In sheets is pouring snow.


          The exhausted world sighs of confusion,
          The pink even streams oblivion...
          We were parted by shadows, not people,
          Oh my dearest boy, heart of mine!

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Walls are towering, in a fog dressing,
          Spear was dropped without strength by the sun..
          In the evening world I'm cold. Where are you,
          Oh my dearest boy, heart of mine?

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          You will not hear. The walls are encroaching,
          All things blend into one, all dies down...
          Nothing did, does, will substitute for you,
          Oh my dearest boy, heart of mine!

    Another Prayer

          Once again I am bending my knees before you,
          Having noticed your garland of stars far apace.
          Let me know, dear Christ, that not all things are ghosts,
          Allow me, at last, not a ghost to embrace!

          I am tormented by these long days. With no worry,
          With no aim, in half-darkness, I am so lost..
          I can love ghosts, but can one survive on this planet
          For eighteen years solely on ghosts?

          And they sing, and they write, joy is in the beginning!
          Blossom with your full jubilant soul!
          Isn't it true, there's no happiness without sorrow?
          I don't have any friends save the dead, none at all.

          Those enflamed with another belief for all time, is it so,
          From the world in empty desert had hid?
          No, I don't need the smiles gained at the cost
          Of profaning the highest shrines of my creed.

          I don't need bliss that comes at the price of debasement.
          I don't need love! I'm sorrowful - not for her.
          In the quiet kingdom of beloved ghosts, only ghosts -
          Give me my soul to give back, Savior!

    To a Growing-Up One

          Outside the window once again
          A fir is lit by snow..
          This cradle of yours, my dear friend,
          Why did you outgrow?

          The snowflakes fly, to all adhere,
          And melt too fast to know..
          What therefore for, you stupid one,
          Did you it outgrow?

          Days' weight upon it didn't press
          T'was easy sleeping there,
          And now your eyes have darker grown
          And gold of your hair..

          It burned your sight, but will it give
          Happiness, this wide world?
          Why, why did you outgrow
          Your cradle, my dear girl?

    Girl Death

          With a milky and even wave
          The moon washed the cold parquet.
          I sweetly was sleeping under the moon,
          To a hot cheek pressing a bouquet.

          With light and with sleep doubly disturbed,
          I opened the eyes sleepy,
          And like a pink angel without wings
          The Girl Death leaned to me.

          Medallion trembles around the thin neck,
          A blush on her cheeks pours,
          It's visible, that she ran: dusted
          A bit are her bluish shoes.

          There's fanciful pattern of golden edge,
          A turquoise thread in the curls.
          "We'll play on the road, together us two:
          You - little boy, me - a girl

          Put on (you're the knight) my scarf of lace!"
          I silently gave the bouquet...
          And with a milky and even cold wave
          The moon washed the parquet.


          I have brought you a bouquet,
          Scarlet-red roses, poppies.
          I'm not same in anything,
          I'm the happy boy-madness.

          I'll blow out a yellow candle -
          It will be a flashlight pink.
          And a golden diadem
          I will wear like a king.

          I'm a conqueror sleepy
          Kingdoms, a mage. Is't full, King?
          I'm a doctor that is healing
          Without pills or medicines.

          Why the medicines? Why pills too?
          We will dance together, kid!
          Now flies mounted on a chair
          A completely empty bed.

          Where he's from - it is my secret:
          Serpent, red, will weave and hiss.
          I am laughing, all are laughing.
          I'm the happy boy-madness.

    On a New Year

          Let's meet the stranger with a lamp,
          With a quiet, loyal flame.
          Only no hidden whisper,
          No whisper about him!

          We do not need the bright light now,
          Dim the lamp till it's barely lit.
          Only no sight of the better,
          No sight of it!

          May in a careless worry
          Year like a day only seem!
          Only no thought of eternal,
          No thought about him!

          We will again become "sisters",
          Nearer to each other sit.
          Only no words of the past,
          No words about it!


          today all night long could not sleep
          From the magickal month-of-May noise!
          Quietly pulled on the pantyhose
          And to the window slipped.

          I'm a rebel with whirlwind in the blood,
          Only passion and cold matter to me.
          I have read Bourge too: One can't be
          Happy when one is unloved.

          "He"'s rejected since he was twelve,
          Plays but Greeg and but Liszt - and come look:
          He is smart and well-read, like a book,
          And a poet as well!

          For but one of his looks of fire
          I am ready to fall on my knees!
          But my parents our happiness
          Do not desire.


          Here's the world, where glass-cases are shining,
          Here's Tverskaya - we miss it eternally.
          Whom does Asya need more than Marina?
          Whom does dear Asya need more than me?

          In a lively row walking, drinking
          Sunset, voices, lights, - all that's there,
          And at times lowering our eyelids
          Under someone's assiduous stare.

          Moscow April night is only ours,
          Only ours, the flames shining like darts -
          Street to grown ups, to us - Tverskaya
          Is a cradle of semi-grown hearts.

          This, a cradle of golden sunrise,
          The world marvels at what's in morn given..
          Here's a window with Tate's diamonds,
          With lights here's a window again..

          We will know all by faith or by sense,
          Starry distance and width of the sky!
          Pink stands Strastnoi monastery
          Over grey plaza towering high.

          Without moment of silence we're walking.
          All dear words, all dear traits - in all truth!
          Unforgettable April - Tverskaya
          You're the cradle of our youth!

    At Age Fifteen

          Ring, sing, oblivion preventing,
          The words "fifteen years old" in my soul.
          Why, did I grow up and become big?
          Nothing consoles.

          Just yesterday, into green grove of birches
          Free, in the morning I ran away.
          Just yesterday I frolicked without hairdo,
          Just yesterday!

          Spring ringing of the far-away belltowers
          Told me: "Run and sit and lie!"
          And every step frolicking was allowed,
          And every cry!

          What is ahead? What failure lies before me?
          In all deceit, all is forbidden.
          Thus, crying, with dear childhood I parted
          At age fifeen.


          To rock a cradle this morning in May?
          Proud neck in lasso, like some?
          Distaff to jailbird, to herder - a shawn,
          To me - a drum.

          Role of a woman's not dear to me:
          I fear not wounds, but boredom.
          Gives to me everything - honor and might -
          This my drum.

          So many countries I have not seen!
          Trees are in bloom, stands the sun..
          Kill all the sorrow around you in flight,
          Beat, my drum!

          Beat, now you drummer! Ahead of all!
          All else - deceit for the dumb!
          Why does it conquer the heart on the way.
          How is the drum?

    Autumn in Tarus

          Clear morning is not hot, lightly
          You run through the meadow.
          Down the Oka pulls a barge,
          Very slow.

          Several words without willing
          You are repeating still.
          Somewhere in the field is ringing
          Weakly the bell.

          Ring in the field? On the meadow?
          Are they going to the prayer?
          Eyes into somebody's fortune
          For a moment stare.

          Distance is blue between pine trees,
          On threshing-floor voices ring..
          And smiles the autumn
          To our spring.

          Life has flung open, but still..
          Ah, days of gold!
          Lord, how are they distant!
          How are they distant, God!

    To Literary Prosecutors

          To melt all, that the people forget all,
          Like a candle or molten snow?
          Be a handful of dust in the future
          Under cross of a grave? I say no!

          Every moment, from anguish concussing,
          I return to the same once again:
          Die forever! Did for this the fortune
          Give me all things to understand?

          Evening in the child's room, where with muppets
          I'll be sitting, cobweb on the meadow,
          The accursed soul by the vision..
          To live for everyone, all to know!

          For this (there is strength in the expressed one)
          I give to court what's dear to me,
          That these my restless young years
          Youth would keep eternally.

    x x x

          You walk, looking just like me,
          Lowering your eyes.
          I lowered them - also!
          Stop, the passerby!

          Read - having gathered a bouquet
          Of hens' blindness and poppies -
          That they called me Marina
          And how old I was.

          Don't think I'll appear with menace,
          That a grave here is hidden..
          I loved to laugh too much
          When it was forbidden.

          And blood to the skin was rushing,
          And my curls did twist..
          I once was too, passerby!
          Passerby, cease and desist!

          Tear off for yourself a wild stem
          And after him a berry:
          There are no strawberries sweeter
          Or bigger than at cemetery.

          But only don't grimly stand there,
          On the chest lowering your head.
          Lightly do think about me
          And lightly about me forget.

          How the ray alights you!
          You're all in a golden dust..
          And at my voice from below
          Do not you be nonplussed.

    x x x

          These my poems, written so early
          That I did not know then I was a poet,
          Which having tore, like droplets from a fountain,
          Like sparks from a rocket,

          Into a sanctuary, where there is sleep and incense
          Like little devils having burst,
          These my poems about youth and about death,
          This unread verse!

          Scattered through shops in piles of dust
          Where nobody picked them up or does,
          These my poems, like precious wine,
          Will have their time.

    x x x

          Passing me by, as you walk
          To charms doubtful and not mine -
          If you but knew how much fire,
          How much life is wasted in vain,

          On the rustling, occasional shade
          What a heroic flame -
          And how enflamed my heart
          This gunpowder wasted in vain!

          O the trains flying into the night,
          Carrying sleep on the station away..
          If you recognized - if you but knew -
          Then and there, I know, anyway.

          Why are my words so sharp
          In the smoke of my cigarette -
          How much dark and menacing angst
          Is there in my light-haired head.

    x x x

          My voice is dumb and all the words,
          In vain. So now, go!
          I won't be in the right before
          Anyone, I know.

          Beautiful coward, in this battle
          It's not for me to fall!
          But, dear youth, I do not fight
          For power in this world.

          And this the noble-minded verse
          Never yourself denies.
          You can - because of someone else -
          Not see my very eyes,

          Not to grow blind upon my flame,
          Nor feel the strength in me..
          What demon in me you let loose
          Into eternity!

          But know that there will be a court,
          Like arrow taking aim,
          When two angelic fiery wings
          Over the head will gleam.

    To Asya

          We're sharp and we are ready,
          We're faster.
          In each word, in each glance, in each gesture -
          Two sisters.

          Unique and refined our taste is
          And our words,
          We from the old Damascus
          Are two swords.

          Out, threshing-floor and bread's burden
          And the ox!
          We - are stretched out in heaven
          Two arrows!

          On the world's market without sin
          We're alone.
          We - from William Shakespeare
          Are two poems.

          We - are the dressing of poplars
          In the spring,
          We - are the last hope
          Of the kings.

          We're on the bottom of ancient cup.
          Come see now:
          In it is your dawn, and ours
          Two dawns too.

          And touching lips to the cup
          Drink to bottom.
          You will see our names
          On the bottom.

          Light glance is brave and shining
          Evil too.
          Who on earth ever met it
          Among you?

          Guarding the cradle, the mausoleum
          And other things,
          We are the final visage
          Of the kings.

    To Sergei Efron-Durnovo

          Such voices can be,
          That you're silent, don't repeat them,
          So that wonders you foresee.
          There are also giant eyes
          The color of the sea

          Now he stands in front of you:
          Look at forehead and at blood
          And compare him with you!
          The decrepit blood,
          Tiredness turned blue.

          Of each noble vein
          Blueness triumphs.
          Gesture of the prince and lion
          With a white foam lace
          Repeats again.

          Your regiment's - dragoon,
          Decembrists and Versaillians!
          You don't know - he's so young -
          Fingers ask for brushes,
          Spars and strings.

          Like seaweed, like branches of willows
          Of Malmazonia are your limbs,
          Thus you did lie in sprays of sea foam
          Transfixing absent-mindedly

          Upon the sweet light-golden melons
          Of diamond and aquamarine
          The eyes forever semi-open
          So blue-and-grayish, bluish-green.

          The waves are just like rabid lions,
          The arrows of the sun did fly.
          And from intolerable blueness
          Too whitish, you did there lie.

          Behind the back, the desert, somewhere
          The station Djankoi had to be,
          And underneath your arm stretched out
          Melon grew golden quietly.

          Thus, calm and precious, you lie there,
          Don't give a glance and do not see,
          But look - and waves will heave with power,
          And mountains will be moved to sea.

          And new moons will in sky be burning,
          And joyful lions will lie down
          Under the single downward leaning
          Of your head beautiful and young.

    To Byron

          I think about the morning of your glory,
          About the morning of your days too, when
          Like a demon you from sleep had stirred
          And were a god for men.

          I think of when your eyebrows came together
          Over the burning torches of your eyes,
          Of how the ancient blood's eternal lava
          Rushed through your arteries.

          I think of fingers - very long - inside
          The wavy hair, about all
          Eyes that did thirst for you in alleys
          And in the dining-halls.

          About the hearts too, which - you were too young then -
          You did not have the time to read, too soon,
          About the times, when solely in your honor
          Arose and down went the moon.

          I think about a hall in semi-darkness,
          About the velvet, into lace inclined,
          About the poems we would have told each other,
          You - yours, I - mine.

          I also think about the remaining
          From your lips and your eyes handful of dust..
          About all eyes, that are now in the graveyard
          About them and us.

    x x x

          How many people fell in this abyss,
          I fathom from afar!
          There will be time, and I will vanish too
          From earth's exterior.

          All will be still, that sang and that did struggle,
          That glistened and rejoiced:
          The greenness of my eyes, the gold of my hair,
          And this my tender voice.

          Life will continue with its soft hot bread,
          With day's oblivion.
          All will continue - under outstretched heavens
          As if I'd never been!

          Like children changeable in every mien
          And angry not for long,
          Who loved the times when in the fireplace
          Into ash turned the log,

          Violin and cavalcade within the forest
          And in the village, bell...
          Upon this dear earth - I will be no longer
          That was alive and real!

          To all - who are the friends and strangers
          To never having known the measure, me?
          I turn to you with this my faith's demand
          And love's query.

          Both day and night, in word and letter both:
          For truth of yes and no,
          For that though I am but twenty I am
          So often in such sorrow,

          For unavoidably my slights and trespasses
          Will be forgiven me -
          For all of my impetuous tenderness
          And look too proud and free -

          For quickness of events as they come rushing,
          For truth, for play, say I -
          Please hear me! But do also please love me
          For this that I will die.

    x x x

          Thus to thirst life: And to be tender
          And rabid and noisy,
          To be intelligent and charming -
          Gorgeous to be!

          More tender than what are or have been,
          Guilt not to know...
          This, that in graveyard all are equal,
          Angers me so.

          To be what nobody holds dear -
          Like ice become!
          Not knowing what has come before now
          Nor what will come,

          To forget how the heart broke and
          Grew back together,
          To forget both the words and voice
          And shine of hair.

          Bracelet of ancient turquoise
          On the stem, on
          This my white arm
          Narrow and long...

          Like painting over a cloud
          From afar,
          One took the mother-of-pearl pen
          In one's arm,

          Just like the legs jumped
          Over the fence,
          To forget, how along the road
          Shade advanced.

          To forget, like flame of azure, how
          Days are subdued...
          All my mischief, all my tempest,
          And poems too!

          Laughter will be chased away by
          My miracle.
          I, always-pink, will be
          The most pale.

          And they won't open - thus is needed -
          Pity this one!
          Not for the sight, not for the fields,
          Not for the sun -

          These my lowered eyelids. -
          Flower not for! -
          My earth, forgive for centuries

          Thus both the moon and the snow
          Will melt away,
          When this young, beautiful century
          Will rush on by.

    x x x

          You, whose sleep is without awakening,
          Who does still quietly move,
          Go to the Three-Pond alley
          If you my poems love.

          O, how sunny and how starry
          It's to start the life's first tome
          I pray - while it is not too late yet -
          Come and take a look at our home!

          Soon that world will be snuffed out,
          In a secret of the night look at it,
          While the poplar is not cut down
          And our home is not sold yet.

          This our poplar! Our childhood's evenings
          Underneath it nestle and thrash.
          This our poplar among acacias
          Is the color of silver and ash.

          Hurry on, you will find this world
          Unforgettably wonderful!
          Go to the Three-Pond Alley
          To this soul of my soul.

    To Alla

          You will be innocent, gorgeous,
          Refined - and to all alien.
          A striving, aspiring mistress,
          An enticing Amazon.

          Your braids of hair, most likely,
          To wear like a helmet you'll choose,
          You will be the queen of the ballroom -
          Of all the poems of our youth.

          And your vicious blade of humor
          Will pierce through many, queen,
          And you will have at your feet
          All of which I can but dream.

          All will be obedient to you,
          And all before you will be quiet.
          Like me, you will indisputably
          And better poems write.

          But will you press tight and deadly
          Those temples of yours - who knows -
          Just like your young mother
          Is pressing her temples now.

          Yes, I am jealous of you
          With such a jealousy!
          Yes, I also disturb you
          With my angst already.

          And this my miserable nature
          In you is most awfully clear:
          In your without two months two years -
          You're in despair.

          All dolls in whole wide world, all horses
          You'll give without a second thought
          For one page from my notebook
          And pencil I bought.

          You're in a fight with maids - you want
          All things by yourself done.
          Then suddenly you're in despair:
          "The sea's gone home."

          However proudly I speak of you,
          I can't transmit you all about
          When you are asking me, "Mother,
          Please kiss my snout."

          You know, all in me is laughing
          When somebody once again
          Attempts to kiss you
          In vain.

          I am the snake that took the princess,
          A dragon! Groom of grooms! O light
          Of my eyes - O the jealousy
          Of my night!

    From Cycle "P.E."

          Clad in the golden dust of evening
          An August day did quietly melt.
          The ringing streetcars rushed onwards
          And people went.

          I went along a quiet side street
          Without aim, absent-mindedly.
          And I remember how the church bells
          Sang quietly.

          I decided all things on the way
          Imagining your pose:
          Am I, or am I not, to bring
          To you a rose?

          And I was readying a phrase,
          Forgotten afterward, Alas -
          And suddenly - no wait! - at once!
          That self-same house.

          With many stories, looking bored...
          I count the windows, here's the porch.
          Unwittingly, cross on the neck
          The hands do search.

          I count the gray steps, that are leading
          Me to the flame.
          I ring the bell. Here for thinking.
          There is no time.

          I but remember roar of thunder
          And my two hands, as cold as ice.
          I call for you. - He is at home,
          He'll come at once.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          May with my youth the years bear out
          What's unforgotten, one and all.
          The paint upon the colored wallpaper
          I will recall.

          And glass-beads of the lampshade, and
          The sound of some strange voices and
          Port Arthur and the dull clock beating

          The moment, long, in the least measure -
          Like hour. But steps from afar.
          And you have entered. Here's the squeaking
          Of open door.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          And there at once was fascination.
          He leaned down, simple like a king.
          And two stars in awe and terror
          Were glimmering.

          And squinting them, so huge, you did not
          Know of the tender face so dear,
          Still one more moment - what a tempest
          Played here.

          I struggled like a hero. Even
          You and I once together dined!
          A muted voice I do remember
          And lips' outline.

          And hair, fluffier than down,
          And - the most dear! -
          The gorgeous wrinkles of laughter
          Your long eyes near.

          And I recall - you sat right there,
          I, here - but you do forget.
          What effort all this cost to me,
          What minutes yet -

          To sit, giving off reams of smoke,
          And to observe silence complete ...
          It was intolerable to me
          Like this to sit.

          You do recall this conversation
          Of weather and of letter "e."
          Behold, you know, for such a strange dinner
          There cannot be.

          In a half-turn, in a half-darkness
          I laugh, not waiting for myself:
          "Eyes of a thoroughbred dog,
          Count, Farewell."

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Lost and without aim completely
          I walked an alley dark as well
          And, seemingly, there was no singing
          Of the bell.

          When he did live everyone loved him
          Eternal loyalty did vow,
          Carry the wreaths out of the lilies
          Onto fresh snow.

          Over his miserable lodgings
          For a brief minute go slow
          That he would not for too long shiver
          On this first snow.

          Warm, melt the icy blood inside him
          With breath of body and of soul!
          But if at once the love inside is
          Already cold -

          To lover - love the brother even,
          The child on forehead wears a wreath -
          He can hug no one in the coffin
          After his death.

          Ah, he, whom you so loved, for whose sake
          You would have gone into hell's vault -
          That he is now in a coffin
          Is not his fault!

          From rustling of steps and of dress
          Trembling from head down to your feet -
          How he'd discover your embraces,
          Whene'er could he!

          O women! For each one among you
          He became ash and madness all!
          With what thirst, fully, did he love you,
          You must recall!

          Recall, how you caught
          From his eyes each look,
          Recall the former vows you've spoken
          In the night's dark.

          Thus you will not become disloyal
          Before his cross so nondescript,
          And each should quietly remember
          His lip.

          And before rushing onwards
          In sled with gypsy bell, go slow,
          And with your faces fall down
          Into night snow.

          Let it your cheeks tenderly sprinkle,
          And melt in droplets near your eyes..
          I am among you one as I am
          Writing these lines -

          I won't break vows I have not taken -
          Life - your brown eyes -
          And for the soul of Love herself,
          O women, pray!

          The leaves are scattered above your tombstone
          And winter's smell.
          Listen, the dead one, listen, O dear one:
          You're my own still.

          You laugh! - Moon is high - in the roadside cabin
          Full of charm.
          My - so undoubted and unchanging -
          Like this arm.

          To hospital doors with a knot in the morning
          I'll come again.
          You simply have gone to the great wide seas,
          To sunny land.

          I kissed you! I charmed you! I laugh at this darkness
          Beyond the tomb!
          I disbelieve death! I wait at the terminal -
          Come home.

          May leaves all be scattered, erased and washed out
          On mourning ribbon the words.
          And, I am also dead, if you're dead
          For the whole world.

          I see and I feel - I sense you everywhere -
          What's ribbon from wreaths of yours -
          I did not forget you and will not forget you

          I know the aimlessness of such a promise
          Its pointlessness too.
          Letter to endlessness - letter to limitlessness -
          Letter into the blue.

          Here's your roses - pull your hands toward them -
          Having gone farther than the sea, dear friend!
          My dear friend, having with you born out
          The most precious treasures of the land.

          I am robbed and deceived - There's no letter,
          No ring in my memory!
          How the features are memorable to me
          Of your face, wondering for centuries.

          How memorable is the asking, attentive
          Stare - inviting to sit near -
          And the worldy flattery of the dying
          And the smile from the great Afar -

          My dear friend, gone to sailing eternally -
          A fresh hillock among other mounds!
          Pray that there will not be other sailors
          Ensconced in your heavenly sound.

    From Cycle "Girlfriend"

          You're happy? You won't say! Barely!
          Better let go!
          You kissed too many, I do think,
          Therefrom, sorrow.

          All heroines of Shakespeare's tragedies
          In you I see.
          Nobody saved you, you the young
          Tragic lady.

          You are so tired of repeating
          Love's charm!
          Eloquent, the pig iron bracelet
          On bloodless arm.

          I love you. - Like a thundercloud
          Above you - sin -
          Because you're best of all and caustic
          And sting,

          Because in darkness of the roads differ
          Our lives and we,
          For your inspired enticement and
          Dark destiny,

          Because to you, my round-headed demon,
          "Forgive" I'll say,
          Because you - tear apart above the coffin! -
          Cannot be saved!

          For this trembling, because - is it not so -
          I have a dream? -
          For the ironic beauty of this,
          That you - aren't he.

          Under caresses of an ivy
          Plaid I recalled yesterday's dream.
          Whose victory? Who's been defeated?
          What has it been?

          Rethinking everything once more,
          Torturing myself once again.
          In this, for which no word I know,
          Had love ever been?

          Who was the hunter? Who - the hunted?
          All is reversed as if by Satan!
          What did the loudly purring Siberian
          Cat, understand?

          In this self-willing one another
          Who in whose hand was but a ball?
          Whose heart flew - yours or mine,
          Do you recall?

          And still again - what has it been too?
          What do I want, what do I pity?
          And I don't know: Did I win? Did somebody
          Conquer me?

          Today was melting, and today
          Before the window I did stand.
          A sober look, a freer chest,
          I'm satisfied just once again.

          I don't know why. Perhaps the soul
          Has simply grown tired withal,
          And somehow the rebellious pencil
          I do not wish to touch at all.

          Distant to good and evil both,
          Inside the fog I stood, and thus,
          Was lightly drumming with my finger
          Upon the barely sounding glass.

          It is indifferent to the soul
          Than this one you first met - say I -
          Than mother-of-the-pearl mud puddles
          Where in full pleasure splashed the sky,

          Than bird that overhead is flying
          And dog that's simply running by
          And even the impoverished singer
          Did not begin to make me cry.

          The dear art of oblivion
          The soul has mastered all the way.
          Some overwhelmingly big feeling
          Melted within my soul today.

          You were too lazy to get dressed,
          Too lazy to get up for me.
          And every following day for you
          Would have been happy with my glee.

          To come so late on a cold night
          Embarrassed you especially.
          And every following hour for you
          Would have been young with this my glee.

          I was the youth that passed you by -
          You did this without ill intent,
          Your actions were in every way
          Incorrigible, innocent.

          Today, around eight, dashing through
          Big Lubanka straight ahead,
          Like bullet, like snowball,
          Somewhere rushed the sled.

          Already the laughter rang...
          I froze as I peered:
          Red down of the hair
          And somebody tall was near!

          We were with another, and opened
          Another sled route entire,
          With wished-for and dear to me -
          More strongly, than I - desired.

          "O, je n'en puis plus, j'etouffe!" -
          You screamed in full voice of yours,
          And boldly went tucking in
          The hollow of fur on her.

          World is happy, and evening is bold!
          From the muff purchases fly...
          Thus you rushed in a snowstorm,
          Coat to coat, eye to eye.

          And cruelest mutiny happened,
          And white snow did pour.
          I followed you with my eyes
          For two seconds - and no more.

          And caressed the longish nap
          Upon his coat - without wrath.
          O Snow Queen! Your little Kai
          Is frozen to death.

          Just like a young plant sprout
          The neck is high and free.
          Who'll tell the name, who - years,
          Who - place, who - century?

          The curve of not bright lips
          Is capricious and wan,
          But blinding is the terraced
          Forehead of Beethoven.

          Clean to endearment
          Is the molten oval.
          A hand, in which a whip would do,
          And - in the silver - opal.

          Hand, meriting a fiddlestick,
          Gone into precious silk,
          A beautiful hand also,
          A hand that is unique.

          You on your road pass me by,
          And your hand do not touch I.
          But my angst is eternal yet,
          That you be the first I met.

          Heart said "Dear!" at once
          I forgave you all by chance,
          Knowing nothing - not even the name!
          Love me, love me, I proclaim.

          From the curve of your lips with one glance
          I see their forced arrogance,
          By above brows jutting out:
          This heart storms, no doubt.

          With a black silk armor - dress,
          Voice with gypsy hoarseness,
          Until pain I like all things in thee,
          Even that you are not a beauty.

          Beauty, in summer won't wilt!
          Not a flower - you're a stalk made of steel,
          Meaner than mean, sharper than sharp, dear,
          From what island born away here?

          With a rod you do wonders, with a fan -
          In each bone and in each vein,
          In the form of each finger full of rage -
          Woman's tenderness, boy's courage.

          Parrying all ridicules with verse
          I open for you and the Universe
          All that's ready in you then
          Stranger with forehead of Beethoven!

          Under sun the eyes are burning,
          Day's not equal day.
          I tell you for that occasion
          If I would betray:

          Whose lips I had not been kissing
          In the hour of love,
          To whom I upon black midnight
          Did not scarily vow -

          To live, like a flower blooms, like
          Mother tells a child,
          Never with an eye to go
          To any side..

          See that cross made of cypress?
          It's familiar to you.
          All will wake - you only whistle
          Under my window.

          I'll repeat in hour of parting
          When love comes to end
          That I loved, yes that I loved these
          Your masterful hands

          And the eyes - somebody isn't
          Gifted with a glance! -
          Those that answer are demanding
          For a look by chance.

          You with your thrice-cursed passion -
          God sees all, say I!
          And demanding a payment for
          An accidental sigh.

          And I tiredly say, to listen
          Hurry not at all!
          Why is it that your own soul
          Stands across my soul.

          And again I'll also tell you:
          All the same - start this! -
          Far too young was this my mouth
          For your gentle kiss.

          Glance is luminous and daring,
          Heart - like five year old...
          Happy's he who did not meet you
          On your road.

          Before a mirror, where there's fog
          And turbid sleep, your way
          I want to try - where it will lead
          And where there is the quay.

          I see: the mast upon a ship,
          And you - on deck, standing...
          You - in the smoke of train... the fields
          In lament of evening

          The ravens flying overhead,
          The evening fields in dew...
          In all the four directions I
          Am truly blessing you.

          The clock - what time it is?
          Rang out.
          Hollows of giant eyes,
          Watered satin of the dress..
          I just about see you, I guess,
          Just about.

          The neighboring porch
          Has turned off the light.
          Somewhere they love too much..
          Your face's sketch
          Is a scary sight.

          It's semi-dark in the room,
          One is the night.
          Pierced by the light of the moon
          Window deepened -
          Like ice sheet.

          "You give up" - the voice burst.
          "I didn't fight by choice."
          Voice from the moon catches frost.
          Voice - like from hundred verst
          This same voice!

          Between us stood ray of moon,
          Moving the world everywhere.
          Intolerably shone
          Metal red-brown
          Of crazy hair.

          Run of the moon forgot
          History's run.
          Mirror breaks moon apart.
          Knocking of hooves far apart,
          Screeching of a cart.

          Light on the street burned down,
          Running fades.
          A cock will sing soon
          Parting for two young

    x x x

          Insanity - and good reason,
          Disgrace - and honor,
          All, that brings on thoughtfulness,
          Is spilling over -

          In me. - All the penal passions
          Become as one! -
          All images wage war inside
          This hair of mine!

          The lover's whisper, all around
          By rote I know,
          Experience of twenty two years
          Nothing but sorrow!

          But - won't you say - innocently pink
          Look I,
          I'm virtuoso's virtuoso
          In art of lies.

          In her let out like a ball,
          Caught once again,
          The blood of Polish great-grandmoms
          Is evident.

          I lie because in cemeteries
          The grass does grow,
          I lie because in cemeteries
          Snowstorm does blow...

          From violin - from automobile -
          From silk, from fire...
          From torment that not only me
          They all desired!

          From pain, that I am not the bride
          Of the groom...
          From poem and gesture - for the gesture
          And for the poem!

          From tender boa on the neck...
          And how can I
          Not lie - when my voice sounds more tender
          When I do lie...

    x x x

          I like it that you're burning not for me,
          I like it that it's not for you I'm burning
          And that the heavy sphere of Planet Earth
          Will underneath our feet no more be turning
          I like it that I can be unabashed
          And humorous and not to play with words
          And not to redden with a smothering wave
          When with my sleeves I'm lightly touching yours.

          I like it, that before my very eyes
          You calmly hug another; it is well
          That for me also kissing someone else
          You will not threaten me with flames of hell.
          That this my tender name, not day nor night,
          You will recall again, my tender love;
          That never in the silence of the church
          They will sing "halleluiah" us above.

          With this my heart and this my hand I thank
          You that - although you don't know it -
          You love me thus; and for my peaceful nights
          And for rare meetings in the hour of sunset,
          That we aren't walking underneath the moon,
          That sun is not above our heads this morning,
          That you - alas - are burning not for me
          And that - alas - it's not for you I'm burning.

    x x x

          My ancestor was a rider,
          A thief, man with violin.
          Is this not why my taste wanders
          And hair smells of wind?

          Does not he steal from a car,
          Tan, apricots with my hand,
          The author of my passionate fate,
          Hook-nosed and curly-haired.

          Twirling between teeth a wild rose
          He wondered at tiller with plough..
          He was a bad comrade - and wild
          And tender he was at love!

          Moon, beads, pipe and neighboring girls -
          All of them - he loved.
          I also think that my yellow-eyed
          Ancestor was a coward.

          That, having sold soul to Devil for a pence
          At midnight he did not go
          By cemetery; that he carried a knife
          Behind a boot-leg, so.

          That many a time from a corner he jumped
          Like a cat, agile and thin..
          And somehow I understood that he did
          Not play on a violin.

          And somehow all was not fitting to him,
          Like in the summer - last year's snow.
          Such a violinist my ancestor was.
          I became such a poet - so.

    x x x

          Sleep the rattles and dogs of neighbors -
          Not one voice, not one car.
          O lover, do not investigate
          Why I am parting the bar.

          New moon to a midnight is going:
          Hour of monks - and of sharp-eyed birds,
          Hour of youths and conspirators,
          Hour of lovers and murderers.

          Here each person's thought is double,
          Here, rider, hurry the horse.
          We will pass, not jingling with bracelets
          And not tinkling with a purse.

          Now the houses part with houses,
          On the square there is talk and dance..
          Here, before a small Mother of God,
          Cordoba did its love pronounce.

          Here, upon a stone porch,
          By the fountain we'll sit silently,
          Where you first for my face were aiming
          With wolf's eyes.

          Rustling of silk around the knees,
          Smell of rose and a lock of hair..
          O, beloved one - see, she's here -
          Carmen the poisoner!

    x x x

          There is no day's temptation
          In a folio in which people die.
          To woman - all of the planet,
          To woman - Ars Amandi.

          Heart - of a lovers' potion
          Heart - is more loyal than all.
          Somebody's mortal sin is
          Woman from the cradle.

          Ah, so far to the heaven!
          Lips - in the dark are near..
          God, do not judge! On the planet
          A woman you never were.

    x x x

          The gypsy passion of parting!
          You meet it - and you take flight!
          I dropped the arms and the forehead
          And think staring into the night:

          No one, digging in our letters,
          Understood in all depth
          How we're sacrilegious - that is
          How we in each other have faith.

    Poems about Moscow

          Clouds - all around,
          Cupolas - around,
          Over all Moscow
          Many arms are wound!-
          I am lifting you, my best burden you
          Oh my little tree
          Flying weightlessly!

          In this wonder-town,
          In this peaceful town,
          Where if I were dead
          I'd be happy one,
          To be king for you, and to grieve for you,
          A wreath to take on,
          Oh my one firstborn!

          You to Sacrament bow
          Do not blacken brows
          And all forty - count -
          Forty churches now.
          You with steps do walk - with a young one's walk -
          All the many thrills
          Of the seven hills.

          Time will come for you:
          And the daughters - too
          You will give Moscow
          With sweet sorrow.
          My sleep by my will, like a ringing bell,
          Early dawns above -
          On the Vagankov.

          From my hands - not a hand-created town,
          My gorgeous brother, my strange one.

          Upon the church - Forty times forty, side by side,
          And pigeons that above them glide.

          And Spassky - with flowers - gate,
          Where Orthodox Believer doffs his hat.

          The starry belltower - haven from sin -
          Where from the people's kisses floor is clean.

          Incomparable five-cathedral round
          Accept, my ancient and inspired friend.

          To Unexpected Joy in the garden
          I'll lead my guest from foreign land.

          The sleepless bells will ring, will shine
          The cupolas of gold very fine,

          And a cloth will be dropped by Mother of God
          Upon you from the purple clouds.

          And you will get up, full of divine power..
          And you won't repent that you were my lover.

          Past the towers at night
          We are rushed by squares.
          Oh, how roar of soldiers
          In the night instills fear!

          Rumble, loud heart!
          Kiss with passion, love!
          This roar is so bestial!
          Daring - oh - is blood!

          My mouth is aflame,
          Given that sight's divine.
          Like a golden chest
          Iverskaya does shine.

          You stop picking quarrels
          And a candle light,
          That it won't be now
          With you as I'd like.

          The day will come - a sad day, they say!
          They'll finish ruling, finish crying, burn away -
          Chilled with the others' nickels all the same -
          My eyes, moveable like the flame.
          And - like a double as his double he does sense -
          The likeness will appear through light face.
          O, I at last will merit thee,
          A gorgeous belt of beauty!

          And from afar - do I envy thee? -
          Will pull, absently cristening,
          A pilgrimage along the road black
          To my hand, which I surely won't draw back,
          To my hand, on which the ban no longer sits,
          To my hand, that no more exists.

          Your kisses, O the living ones,
          I won't oppose at first - not one.
          The majesty's shawl beautiful
          Has shrouded me from head to heel.
          Nothing will make me blush, today
          I have a holy Easter day.

          Along the streets of left-alone Moscow
          I will drive forth, and you will slowly go.
          And none will lag behind along the road,
          And on coffin's roof will thunder the first stone -
          And sleep, self-loving and lonely
          Will be resolved finally.
          And nothing will be needed to Marina
          Our newly-introduced ballerina.

          Above the city Peter cursed to hell
          Rolled the delirious thunder of the bells.

          Turned over thundering the high tide of the sea
          Above the woman that was rebuked by thee.

          To Peter and to you, O Tsar, praise be!
          But bells are higher still than both of ye.

          While they are ringing still out of the blue -
          Indisputable, Moscow's primogeniture.

          And sixteen hundred churches, near and far
          All laugh at puny hubris of the tsars.

          The rain of bells drizzles above
          The blue of near-Moscow groves.
          Blind men wander the Kaluga road -

          Beautiful - Kaluga - song, and the same
          Washes and washes the names
          Of peaceful wanderers, in darkness of ones praising God.

          And I think at these times: Someday I
          Of you, friends, and you, enemies, having tired,
          And of compliance of Russian word -

          A silver cross on my chest I will don
          Cross myself and quietly go along
          The old Kaluga road.

          Seven hills - just like seven bells!
          Belltowers on the seven bells.
          Sixteen hundred of them, to count them all.
          Full of bells are these Moscow's seven hills!

          In the ringing, fine-gold day of John
          The Baptist was born. House like gingerbread,
          And around a hedge, and around a hedge,
          And the churches there stand with golden heads.

          And as nuns were pouring to dining hall,
          The first ringing I did love, I did love
          And the sorceress from a neighbor's yard
          And hot sleep and noise in the stove.

          Do conduct me, all you imbecile,
          Thieving, flagellant Moscow crowd!
          Priest, shut my mouth more tightly still
          With the ringing-bell Moscow's ground!

          Moscow - what a giant
          And strangely-mannered home!
          In Russia all are homeless.
          We all to you will come.

          A knife behind a boot-leg,
          A shoulder brand in shame.
          From far away us all
          You will call all the same.

          Upon the penal brandings,
          On every kind of ill -
          A baby Panteleimon
          We have, O man who heals,

          And there behind that door,
          Where all the people pour -
          There the fine golden heart
          Is burning of Iver.

          And "Halleluiah" pours
          Upon the fields grown tan.
          I kiss you in the bosom,
          O the Moscow land!

          With a red brush
          The mountain-ash burned:
          The leaves were falling
          And I was born.

          Hundreds of belltowers
          Argued at least.
          It was the Saturday:
          John the Baptist.

          And in my teeth now
          I want to crush
          The hot ashberry's
          Bitter brush.

    From Cycle "Insomnia"

          In a shady ring my eyes
          She surrounded - insomnia.
          With a shady wreath insomnia
          Did my eyes bind.

          At night - the same!
          To idols don't pray.
          Idol-worshipper - I'll give
          Your secret away.

          To you - day's not enough,
          Fire of sun above!

          You pale-faced one, wear
          My rings' pair!
          You screamed - and proclaimed
          The wreath of shade.

          Enough - did you - call me?
          Enough - did you - sleep with me?

          People bow to you.
          Light in face you'll lie.
          I'll be reader to you,
          I, insomnia:

          Sleep, soothed,
          Sleep, rewarded one,
          Sleep, wreathed,

          That - you would sleep - easy,
          I will sing - to thee:

          "Never-silent one,
          Go to sleep, my girl,
          You the sleepless one,
          Sleep, my little pearl."

          And to whom we didn't write letters so,
          And to whom we did not vow..

          Here now parted are
          The inseparable.
          Here released from arms
          Are your little arms.
          Here you're tormented,
          My dear tormentess.

          Sleep's - holy.
          All - sleep.
          Wreath's - gone.

          In my giant city it is night.
          From the sleepy home I alight
          People think: Daughter and wife
          And I recall just this: Night.

          On my way blows the wind of July
          And somewhere music in a window - barely.
          Ah, now the wind will blow until dawn
          Into the chest through the chest's thin wall.

          There's light on the window, and a black poplar,
          A flower in the hand, and ringing in the tower,
          And this step nobody behind,
          And this my shade, but me you can't find.

          Fires - like threads of golden beads,
          Taste of night leaf between my teeth.
          Free me from shackles of the day,
          That I'm your dream, friends, understand.

          After a sleepless night the body gets weaker,
          It becomes dear and not yours - and nobody's.
          Just like a seraph you smile to people
          And arrows moan in the slow arteries.

          After a sleepless night the arms get weaker
          And deeply equal to you are the friend and foe.
          Smells like Florence in the frost, and in each
          Sudden sound is the whole rainbow.

          Tenderly light the lips, and the shadow's golden
          Near the sunken eyes. Here the night has sparked
          This brilliant likeness - and from the dark night
          Only just one thing - the eyes - are growing dark.

          This night today I am alone in the night -
          A sleepless and a homeless nun!
          This night today I have the keys
          Of all the gates of capital, just one!

          The sleeplessness has pushed me on the way.
          O, dusky Kremlin, how you're beautiful!
          I kiss into the chest this night today
          The whirling-round ground as it does howl!

          The stifling wind blows straight into the soul,
          The hair arises - not the hair, but down.
          Those who are pitied and those who are kissed -
          This night today I pity everyone.

          A window here again
          Where they don't sleep again.
          Maybe they thus sit,
          Maybe they drink wine.
          Or they would not part
          Simply the two hands.
          There is such a window
          In each house, friend.

          Window in the night -
          Partings', meetings' scream!
          Maybe - hundred candles,
          Maybe - only three.
          And my restless mind
          Cannot find its peace.
          In my very home
          Was begotten this.

          Pray, friend, for the sleepless home
          Behind a window with a flame!

    From Cycle "Poems to Blok"

          A bird in the hand is your name,
          An icicle on the tongue is your name,
          One movement of your lips is your name,
          Five letters is your name.
          A ball caught in the flight it is,
          A silver tambourine between the lips,

          A stone, into a quiet pond thrown,
          Will sob the name by which you're known.
          Your loud name resonates in the light
          Crackling of the hooves in the night.
          And a trigger with crackling ample
          Will call it back into the temple.

          Your name - forbid this! -
          Your name - the eyes kiss,
          In tender chill of motionless eyelids
          Your name - to the snow give a kiss.
          Key, ice, blue gulp - deep
          With your name is the sleep.

          A knight without reproach,
          A ghost, a gentle one,
          Who is it that called you
          Into my life so young?

          In fog greyish-blue
          Dressed in a chausible
          Of snow, stand you.

          Around the city
          By the wind I'm chased,
          For the third evening
          A thief I sensed.

          The blue-eyed
          Singer of snow
          Stared at me so.

          The snow-white swan
          Puts down under my feet. Flow
          And slowly fall on the snow.

          Thus on the feathers
          I walk to the door
          Behind which is death.

          Beyond blue windows
          He sings to me,
          With far-away tambourines
          He sings to me,

          With far-off cry
          With swan's cry
          He calls.

          My dear ghost!
          All's my dream, I know.
          Do a good thing:
          Amen, amen, scatter so!

          You walk out to the Falling Sun,
          You'll see the evening light,
          You walk out to the Falling Sun,
          And the snowstorm the trace blots out.

          Past the windows - passionless -
          In the quiet snow you will go,
          My beautiful believer in true God,
          Quiet to the light of my soul.

          I do not lust after your soul!
          Your footpath is inviolable.
          Into the arm, white from the kisses,
          I will not hammer my nail.

          And I will not respond to the name,
          And I will not pull with my arm,
          To the sacred image of wax
          I will only bow from afar.

          And, standing under the slow snow,
          I will fall on my knees in the snow,
          And in your holy name
          I will kiss the evening snow -

          There, where with a majestic foot
          In the coffin quiet you did go,
          Quiet to light - holy glories -
          You the keeper of my soul.

          To beast - a den,
          To wanderer - road
          To dead one - quay
          To each - their own way.

          To a woman - to connive,
          To the king - to rule,
          To me - to glory
          Your name.

          Cupolas are burning in Moscow!
          Bells are ringing here in Moscow!
          And coffins here stand in row -
          In them queens do sleep, and the kings.

          And you do not know, in Kremlin at dawn
          Breathing's lighter - than on all the earth!
          And you do not know, in Kremlin at dawn
          Till the dawn I pray and sing.

          And you walk on by this your Nieva
          At the time, when on river Moskva
          I stand and my head bow
          And the flashlights cling.

          With insomnia I am loving you,
          With insomnia I am hearing you -
          Of the time when, on the whole Kremlin too
          Awaken those who ring..

          But my river - with your river flows,
          And my arm - with your arm goes
          They won't come together, Oh my joy
          Dawn catches dawn until.

          They thought he was a man!
          And they forced him to die.
          He died forevermore.
          About a dead angel, cry!

          He sang the evening beauty
          At sundown of the day.
          Shimmer hypocritically
          Three waxen flames.

          Rays went from him -
          On the snow, hot strings!
          Three candles of wax -
          To the sun! Light-bearing!

          O look now, how his
          Dark eyelids have sunken in!
          O look now, how his
          Wings are broken!

          The black reader reads,
          Crosses the arms idle...
          The dead singer lies
          And celebrates Sunday.

          Like a weak ray through black gloom of the hells -
          Thus is your voice against exploding cannonballs.

          And in the thunder, just like some seraph
          Announces in a voice tone-deaf -

          Somewhere from foggy mornings long ago -
          How he did love us blind and nameless so -

          For sin - disloyalty, for coat of blue..
          For how, Russia, he did not stop loving you,

          And more tender than all - that, the most deep
          Into night vanished he to do the wicked deeds!

          And near the temple - how with a lost pen
          He leads and leads.. and about that then,

          What days await us, how God will tell lies,
          How you will call the sun - and it won't rise!

          Thus, as one with prisoner
          (Or child is silent in the sleep no more)

          Before us came - on square wide and far -
          Alexander Blok's holy heart.

          Here is he - look - tired of the foreign lands,
          A chief without friends.

          Here -drinks from mountain rapids with his hand -
          A knight with no land.

          There's all for him: knighthood, and land,
          Mother, and bread.

          Great's your inheritance - so rule this land,
          Friend without friends!

          His friends - do not bother him!
          His servants - do not bother him!
          It was so evident on his face:
          Not from this world does my kingdom come.

          Eternal snowstorms circled the veins
          Hunched-over shoulders bent from the wings,
          In singing cut, into baked-over flame
          He let his soul go like a swan.

          Fall then, O fall then, copper heavy!
          Wings are ordained correctly: To fly!
          Lips, that have shouted the word: Respond! -
          They know, that this is not there - to die!

          He drinks the dawn, drinks the sea - in full
          Revels. - Don't serve the requiem!
          Of one who forever ordered: Be! -
          There is enough bread left to feed him!

          Not a broken rib -
          A broken wing.

          Not to the shooters shot -
          Through chest. Not to take out

          This bullet. Wing can't be repaired.
          He walked impaired.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Sticky is crown of thorns on the head!
          What is the noise of mob to one dead,

          The swan's down of woman's flattery...
          He walked, deaf and lonely,

          Freezing over the sunsets
          With emptiness of eyeless statues.

          But one thing still lived in him:
          The broken wing.

          Without word, without call -
          Like a thatcher from the roof falls.
          And maybe, again
          He comes - you lie in the cradle?

          You burn and don't dim,
          The light of weeks several..
          Which of the mortals
          Rocks your cradle?

          The blessed heaviness!
          Singing chestnut that prophesies!
          Oh, who will tell me
          In which cradle you lie?

          "While it's not sold!"
          With jealousy in my head
          With a great detour
          I'll walk the Russian land.

          The midnight countries
          Will go from end to end.
          Where's his wound the mouth,
          His eyes' bluish lead?

          Take him! Hold tightly!
          To love him and love him only!
          O, who will whisper
          In which cradle you lie?

          Pearly grains,
          Muslin shade full of sleep.
          Not laurel but thorn -
          Sharp-toothed shade of a cap.

          Not angel, but bird
          Opened two white wings!
          And to be born once more,
          That could be swept by the wind?!

          Tear him! Hold tightly!
          Just don't give away! Hold high!
          Oh, who will breathe to me
          In which cradle you lie?

          And maybe false is
          My feat, and my labor futile.
          How you're put in the ground,
          Maybe - you'll sleep till pipe call.

          The giant indenture
          Of your temples - catches my sight.
          Such an exhaustion -
          Can't be lifted even with pipes!

          The country pasture,
          Rusty, quiet reliably.
          The janitor will show me
          In which cradle you lie.

          Like drunk, like sleepy
          Unawares, without caution,
          The dimples of temples:
          Sleepless conscience.

          Empty eye sockets:
          All dead and light.
          Empty glass of a dreamer
          And man with second sight.

          Not you on
          Still rustling pile of garbage
          Carried out -
          Returning by Hades' gorge?

          Did not this,
          Ringing with a silver bell,
          Head flow past
          The sleepy Gebr?

          Thus, O the Lord! And this my prayer
          Accept for temple's confirmation.
          I sing not pleasures of my love -
          I sing the wound of my nation.

          Not nasty person's rusty trunk -
          Granite, with people's knees rubbed coarse.
          Hero and king given to all,
          To all - a singer - righteous - corpse.

          Not bashful at the coffin boards,
          Breaking upon Dnieper the ices,
          Russia - on Easter we do swim
          To you with pouring thousand-voices.

          Thus, heart, there will be cry and praise!
          Let your cry - which thousand?
          The mortal love is jealous so.
          The other's at the chorus glad.

    To Akhmatova

          O muse of weeping, the most beautiful muse!
          O you the child of white night, ever mad and fierce!
          A black snowstorm over Russia you send
          And your cries our hearts like flying arrows pierce.

          And we tumble down and a deaf "Oh" -
          A hundred thousand people your name are calling:
          Anna Akhmatova! The name is a giant sigh,
          And she who is nameless into the abyss is falling.

          We're blessed that along with you we walk the same
          Earth, that the sky is the same overhead;
          And he, who is wounded with your mortal fate,
          As an immortal goes onto his deathbed.

          In my singing city the cupolas are aflame,
          And wandering blind man praises the Spassky light..
          And I give to you my city that's full of bells,
          Akhmatova, and my heart I give to you beside.

          What are people's wiles to me? Holding
          My head I stand,
          On late dawn I sing
          Holding my head.

          Ah, I have been raised on the crest
          Of a wave wrathful and mad!
          I sing you, that you are alone among us,
          Like moon overhead!

          That, having flown like a raven on the heart,
          Pierced the clouds so.
          Hook-nosed one, whose wrath is deadly and
          Whose mercy's deadly also.

          That over my Kremlin made of fine gold
          Has spread out her night,
          That tied my neck as if with a belt
          With singing delight.

          Ah, I am happy! Never the dawn
          Had been more clear,
          Ah, I am happy, that for your sake
          I'm leaving as a beggar -

          That you, whose voice, narrowed my breath -
          O depth, O haze -
          That by the name I called
          The Village of the Tsar muse.

          Just one more gigantic flap -
          Eyelids are quiet.
          O, dear body! O the ash
          Of bird so light!

          I sang and waited, what I did
          In fog of day.
          So little body was in her,
          And so much sigh.

          Her dreamy sleepiness is not
          Humanly dear.
          Something of eagle and of angel
          There was in her.

          She sleeps, and chorus lulls her to
          Garden of Eden.
          As if he's not sated with song,
          The sleeping demon!

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Hours, days, centuries - Not us,
          Not our rooms yet.
          And monument does not recall
          Already, bent.

          The broom is doing naught for long,
          And sweetly heave
          Over the Muse of Village of the Tsar
          The nettle's leaves.

          Mother's name is Anna,
          Lev - of the child.
          In his name is fury,
          In her is quiet.
          Red is his hair -
          Tulip's head!
          So, Hossanah
          To the little tsar!

          God give him lungs
          And the smile of Mom
          And a look of
          Pearl-seeking one.
          God, attentively
          Look after him:
          Tsar's son's more divine
          Than the other sons.

          Red lion-cub
          With green eyes,
          Heavy burden is on your head!

          Northern and Southern oceans
          And thread of pearl
          Black rosary is in your hand.

          You repeat nobody. How many
          Companions and friends! And
          Pride and bitterness rule over
          This youth so tender.

          Remember the crazy day at the port
          Threats of the Southern wind,
          Roar of the Caspian - and in the mouth
          A rose's wing.

          Like a gypsy I gave to you
          A stone in a cut frame,
          Like a gypsy I lied to you
          Something about fame..

          And - high at the sails -
          Teenager in blue blouse.
          Thunder of sea and the menacing call
          Of the wounded Muse.

          You won't leave alone! I'm a warden,
          You're an escort. The fate is one.
          And one in the frigid empty
          Order for horses is to us given.

          And my temperament is peaceful!
          And clear are my eyes!
          Let me go, Mr. Escort, now
          To take a walk to that pine!

          That from catafalques and from cribs
          You, ripping away the cover,
          You that fan the winds
          And snowstorms send over,

          Sending fevers, poems and wars -
          Serf-keeper! Black magician! -
          I have heard the menacing roar
          Of lions, of the chariot preaching.

          I hear voices in passionate tones -
          And a steadfastly silent one.
          I see the red sails -
          And a black one them among.

          Either by ocean you lead the way,
          With the full breast - or by air
          I, like sun, wait, holding out my chest
          To the judgment that does death bear.

          People shouted on the street,
          Smoke flew from the bakery place.
          I remembered the ruby mouth
          Of a street singer with narrow face.

          In the dark kerchief with flowers -
          Honored by your civility
          You were drowned in the crowd
          Of praying ones at Sergei-Trinity,

          Pray for me, beautiful one,
          Sorrowful one and mad,
          How the forests will crown you as
          The lashing mother of god.

          To the golden-lipped Anne - to a word
          That all of Russia redeems!
          Carry away my voice
          And my heavy sigh, wind.

          About quiet bow of the earth among
          Golden fields, O the burning skies,
          Tell the story; and also about
          From the agony blackened eyes.

          You attained once again
          In the thundering height!
          You - the nameless one!
          Carry love of mine
          To the gold-lipped Anne -
          All of Russia!

          At the thin wire over oats' wave
          Like thousand voices - is the voice today!

          And - holy, holy, holy - tabors passing by
          Speak with the same voice, O the holy,

          I stand and I listen and I rub the corn ear,
          And voice locks me up with a dark cupola.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Not these branches of swimming willows
          But your arm I truly touch so.

          For all, who in torment your approach glory -
          The earthly woman, a cross in the sky to me!

          At night curtsies to you alone I bear,
          And with your eyes from the walls the icons stare!

          You'll overtake the Sun in the sky,
          In your hand all the stars!
          Ah, if - only to enter you
          Like a wind - door ajar!

          And to tremble, and burst out,
          And sharply to dull the sight,
          And, like a forgiven child,
          To sob and to go quiet.

          I have been given arms - to each one to stretch both,
          Not to hold tight not with one, lips - to give names,
          Eyes - not to see, the high eyebrows above them -
          To tenderly marvel at love, and more still at not love.

          And this the bell there, heavier than the Kremlin's,
          Ceaselessly walking and walking around in the chest -
          This - who knows? - I don't know - maybe - it must be -
          I will not become a guest on the Russian soil!

    x x x

          I'll conquer you from all lands, from all the sky,
          Because forest is my cradle and in the forest I'll die,
          For I stand on the ground with just one of my legs,
          For I will sing to you like no one else.

          I'll conquer you from all times, I will fight
          All golden banners, all swords and all nights,
          I will chase away dogs from a porch and I'll throw the key
          For in winter night not even dogs are more loyal than me.

          I'll conquer you from all others - from that one
          I will be no one's wife, you - no one's groom,
          And in the last argument I will take you - be quiet! -
          From the one with which Jacob stood in the night.

          But for now I won't on your chest the fingers cross -
          With you, you remain - O the curse! -
          Your two wings, that at the ether take aim -
          Because the world is your cradle, and world your grave.

    x x x

          To you, my rival, I will come sometime
          At night when moon is standing overhead
          When frogs are wailing loudly on the pond
          And women are from pity going mad.

          And, marveling at the beating of the eyelids
          And on your jealous eyelashes, it seems,
          I'll tell you that I'm not a human being
          But just a vision which you only dream.

          And I will say: "Console me, console,
          Someone is beating nails into my heart!"
          And I will say to you that wind is fresh
          And that the stars over our heads are hot.

    To Jews

          Who did not stomp on you - who did not melt you -
          O merchant of the non-flammable roses!
          One thing unshakable on this planet
          Did allow behind him Jesus:

          Israel! Your second kingdom's coming:
          For all the money, if they only knew,
          You paid with all your blood - you are the heroes,
          The traitors, prophets, and the traders too.

          In each of you - Even in him that counts
          His gold before a candle in the dark -
          The voice of Jesus resonates more loudly
          Than in John, Matthew, Luke and Mark.

          Around the earth - from ocean to ocean -
          Crucifixion and from the cross taking down -
          We'll give Jesus Christ a true burial,
          Israel, with the last one of your sons!

    x x x

          You, measuring me by days,
          With, hot and homeless, me,
          Wandered under the giant moon
          Upon the squares heated strongly?

          And in the tavern filled with plague,
          When solemn waltz a sound did make,
          Did you not in a drunken fist
          My piercing fingers verily break?

          With which voice in my sleep do I
          Whisper - you heard? - O smoke and ash! -
          What can you know of me, since you
          With me did not sleep or get trashed?

    x x x

          August - asters,
          August - stars,
          August - bunches
          Of grapes and ashberry
          Rusty - August!

          Like a child, August
          You play with your apple
          Good-natured and full of weight.
          Like with hand, with your imperial
          Name you do caress the heart:
          August! - Heart!
          Month of late kisses,
          Of late roses and late lightning!
          Of the rain beneath the stars
          August! - Month
          Of the rain beneath the stars!

    Don Juan

          Under the sixth birch
          At the corner church
          On the frosty dawn
          Wait, Don Juan!

          But with groom, alas,
          And my life I swear,
          There is nowhere
          In my land to kiss!

          We don't have a fountain,
          And the well did freeze,
          Strict, severe eyes
          Does Madonna have.

          And so that the beauties
          Trifles would not hear
          We have loud and clear
          Ringing of the bell.

          Here I would have lived,
          But - I will grow old,
          You don't like my world
          O the handsome one.

          Ah, in a bear coat
          It's hard to recognize you,
          If not for your lips too,
          O Don Juan!

          Long upon the foggy dawn
          The snowstorm did weep.
          In a bed of snow they lay
          Don Juan to sleep.

          No hot stars above his head,
          Not a roaring fountain..
          Othodox cross is on the chest
          Of our Don Juan.

          I have brought a Sevillian
          Fan, black, so that night
          That's eternal, for yourself
          Would become more light.

          That you'd see a woman's beauty
          With your own sight,
          I will bring without a doubt
          A heart to you tonight.

          And for now - from distant lands -
          Sleep now, sleep in peace! -
          You have come to me. Complete,
          Don Juan, is your list.

          Aren't you tired, after so many roses,
          Cities and toasts
          To love me? You're almost a skeleton,
          I'm almost a ghost.

          And why should I know, that you had to call
          On a higher power?
          And why should I know, that there was smell of Nile
          In my hair?

          No, I better tell you a tale:
          January it was.
          A monk with a mask carried a flashlight.
          Someone threw a rose.

          Someone's drunken voice at cathedral walls
          Prayed and swore.
          Don Juan of Castille met Carmen
          At this hour.

          Exactly - midnight.
          Moon - like a hawk.
          "Why - do you peer?"
          "Thus - I peer!"
          "Do you like me?" "No."
          "Do you recognize me?" "Maybe."
          "I am Don Juan."
          "And I am Carmen."

          And this Don Juan had Donna Anna,
          And this Don Juan possessed a sword.
          Of the beautiful, unhappy Don Juan
          This from people is the only word.

          But I was a clever one today:
          I at midnight stepped on roadside,
          Someone went along with me in stride
          Calling names.

          And in fog the staff paled, a strange one..
          There was no Donna Anna for Don Juan!

          And the silk sash is falling
          To his feet - a snake heavenly..
          And "someday, when she's underground,
          You will calm down" they tell me.

          I see my profile, old
          And arrogant in brocade white.
          And somewhere - guitars - guitars -
          And youths in a cloak like the night.

          And somebody under mask hiding:
          "Recognize!" - "I don't know" - "Recognize!"
          And the silk sash is falling
          On a square round like paradise.

          And fanning in eyes of the coming
          Sadness and sin,
          You pass the city - brutally-black,

          Covered with torment, like with fog,
          Is your eye.
          In loop - a rose, in all the pockets -
          Words of love. Aye!

          I hear your call over the restaurant
          I send a smile to you from the distance,
          Robber king!

          And then I recognize that same look,
          Spreading my wings,
          With which in Castille at me stared
          Your older sibling.

    x x x

          Above the church there are blue clouds,
          A crows' cry...
          And pass - the color of ash and sand -
          Revolutionary troops... oh my
          Blue-blooded, my kingly angst!

          They don't have a face, don't have a name -
          Nobody sings!
          You got lost, the Kremlin ringing
          In this banner forest full of wind.
          Lie, Moscow, onto eternal sleep, and pray!

    To Tsar, on Easter

          Open, Open,
          The gates of the tsar!
          Darkness dimmed and poured out far.
          With clean heat
          Burns the altar -
          Resurrect, Christ,
          Yesterday's tsar!

          Without glory fell
          Two-headed eagle.
          Tsar - you were wrong.

          He'll remember inheritance
          Many more times -
          Byzantine sacrilege
          Of your clear eyes.

          Your judges -
          Lightning and wave!
          Tsar! God sought
          You, not men.

          But now there's Easter
          In all the land,
          Sleep in your village
          With a calm mind,
          Don't dream of
          The banners red.

          Tsar! Descendants
          And ancestors - sleep.
          There is a knapsack since
          A throne you won't keep.

    Stepan Razin

          Winds have gone to sleep - with golden dawn,
          Night comes - with a mountain of stone,
          And with his princess from hot land
          Rests the rabid chieftain.

          Having gathered his youthful shoulders in a sack
          He listened, his forehead leaning back,
          How over his hot tent it thunders -
          Nightingale's thunder.

          Over Volga - night,
          Over Volga - sleep...
          Ornate rugs they have laid down,
          And on them the chieftain has laid
          With a Persian princess - black brows.

          One can't see the stars, one can't hear the waves,
          Oars and darkness extreme, this is all!
          And the shuttle bears away into the chieftain's
          Night sinful Persian soul.

          And such a speech
          Did the night hear:
          Don't you want, at last,
          To lie nearer?
          Out of all our women
          You're the pearl!
          Am I this scary
          I'm your all-time slave,
          Persian girl!
          My prisoner!

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          And she knitted the brows,
          The long brows.
          And she eyes cast down
          Eyes Persian.
          And from her lips
          Only one sigh rings:

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          And over Volga - a ruddy dawn,
          And over Volga - heaven.
          And the drunk crowd roars:
          Get up, chieftain!

          With a Muslim dog you did lie!
          See the tears in the beauty's eyes!

          And she - like death,
          Bit her mouth in blood.
          Thus goes a chieftain's brow so hard.

          This our bed, you dog, you did not want,
          So make do with our baptismal font!

          It's dark in the day,
          In the sky it is clear.
          Red is the shoe
          In the ship's rear.

          And like menacing oak stands Stepan,
          And to very lips pales Stepan.
          Ah, so tiring - it shakes, rocks!
          Hold up, heathens - in the eyes it's dark!

          Here to you is the Persian girl,
          The prisoner girl.


          (DREAM OF RAZIN)
          And Razin dreams a dream:
          Like a cry of a heron of the swamp.
          And Razin dreams a ringing:
          Like silver droplets drop.

          And Razin dreams of the bottom:
          With flowers, like a kerchief, covered.
          And he dreams of one face -
          Forgotten, with black brows.

          He sits, like God's mother,
          Stringing pearls on a thread.
          And he wants to tell her,
          But only moves lips instead...

          The breath has been stifled - ah
          In the chest there is a glass chip.
          And the glass slope walks past them
          Like a guard who wants to sleep.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Down the Volga-river with
          The steering dawn drove he.
          Over just a single shoe
          Why did you leave me?

          Who will want a beauty
          In just one shoe?
          For the other shoe, friend,
          I will come to you!

          And rings, rings the bracelet: Drowned
          The happiness of Stepan!

    x x x

          From a strict and elegant temple
          On the squealing of squares you alight.
          Freedom! The beautiful lady
          Of marquises and Russian knights.

          A dreadful rehearsal is on now -
          Still ahead is the mass!
          O freedom! The partying woman
          On the mad soldier's chest!

    x x x

          Bitterness! On your lips, passion -
          Is eternal aftertaste!
          Bitterness! It is temptation
          For all times - to die at last.

          I from bitterness - am kissing
          Everyone who's young and sweet.
          You from bitterness - another
          By the hand at night do lead.

          With bread I eat, with water swallow
          Bitter woe, bitter sorrow.
          There is one such kind of grass,
          Mother Russia, on your meadows.


          Divine, childish-plain
          The dress is, and short to the plait.
          How the sides of a pyramid
          Rush sides from the belt.

          What big rings there are
          On the fingers little and dark!
          What big buckles there are
          On the tiny shoes!

          And people eat and argue,
          And people are playing cards.
          You do not know, players,
          What you have bet on the card!

          And she - she needs nothing!
          And she - she needs nothing!
          Here's my chest. Tear my heart out -
          Carmen - and drink my blood!

          She stands, throwing back the throat,
          And bit the mouth in blood.
          And set the hand against bosom -
          The left one - where there is love.

          "On your knees!" - "What to you
          Are my knees that I should bend,
          Abbot?" With these words
          Her last night Carmen did end.

    Gypsy Wedding

          Dirt flies
          From under the hooves.
          Shawl like a shield
          Over the face.
          Newlyweds, have fun
          Without the young!
          Eh, carry them out,
          Disheveled stallion!

          We didn't have freedom
          Under mother and dad,
          The whole field for us
          Is marital bed!
          Full without bread and without wine drunk -
          Thus the gypsy wedding does run!

          Full is the glass.
          Empty is the glass.
          Guitar sound, dirt and moon.
          To right and to left swings the den.
          Gypsy - to knight!
          To gypsy - knight!
          Hey mister, careful - it burns!
          Thus drinks gypsy wedding!

          There, on the shawls'
          And fur-coats' heap
          There's ringing and rustling
          Of steel and lips.
          Ringing of spurs,
          Necklaces - in return.
          Silk has whistled
          Under someone's hand.
          Someone has howled like a wolf,
          Someone like a bull is snoring.
          Thus sleeps the gypsy wedding.

    x x x

          The first day I recall, ferocity of childhood,
          Exhaustion and the darkness of the gulp divine,
          The carelessness of arms, the heartlessness of heart,
          That fell onto the chest, like hawk, like stone.

          And now - this time - trembling from heat and pity,
          One: to howl like wolf, one: to the feet to fall,
          To cast down - understand - penalty for sensuality
          Is cruel love and passion terrible.

    x x x

          Night. North-East. The soldiers cry. Waves roar.
          They bombed a wine warehouse. Along the walls,
          Through ditches, runs a precious torrent
          And in it dances bloody moon.

          The trunks of the poplars are mad.
          Mad also in the night, birds sing.
          Empty, yesterday's monument to the tsar,
          And over the tsar's monument - the night.

          The harbor drinks, the barracks drink. The world is ours!
          Ours is the wine in cellars of the knights!
          The whole city, stomping just like bulls,
          Falling to murky puddle on the road - drinks.

          In cloud of wine - there is the moon. Who's here?
          You beauty, be a comrade, drink!
          And in the city there's a happy rumour,
          That somewhere two have drowned in the wine.

    x x x

          Strong and wealthy have a hard time,
          It is hard to all the lords.
          I won't lower the light eyes
          A red soldier before.

          City's moaning and carousing,
          Moon in cloud made of wine.
          Not a living soul will touch me:
          Poor and arrogant am I.


          A Cossack, a Cossack's son...
          Thus the speech has begun.
          Homeland. Darkness. Foe.
          Everyone's heads fall down.

          Sound alarm, priests.
          "There's no food." "Good."
          Not a day should be lost!
          A soldier must
          Clean the horse...

    To Moscow

          You did not bend the shoulders, when the red-haired
          Impostor seized you and for you did reach.
          Where is your pride, you baroness? Your blush,
          You beauty? Brilliant girl, your speech?

          Like Tsar Peter, the law of sons despising,
          Did lust with avarice after your head -
          You answered to the Tsar of Russia truly
          As baroness Morozova on the sled.

          The fiery drink was not at all forgotten
          By lips of Bonapart that were so cold.
          The sides of Kremlin all things will endure.
          In your cathedral not the first time stands a stall.

          The thief Grishka did not make you Polish,
          The Tsar Peter did not make you German.
          "What're you doing, little dove?" "I'm crying."
          "Where, Moscow, is your pride?" "It's gone."

          "Where are all your doves?" "There is no feed."
          "Who bore him away?" "The raven black."
          "Where are all your holy crosses?" "Torn down."
          "Where are your sons, Moscow?" "Killed."

          Liquid ringing, meager ringing.
          To all sides I'm curtsying.

          Cry of infant, cow's roar.
          The tsar's daring word.

          Lashes' whistling, snow full of blood.
          The dark word of Love.

          The pigeons' quiet noise.
          The Shooter's black eyes.

    x x x

          In vain, Cavalier de Grie,
          Do you dream of the full of beauty,
          Autocratic - her self not ruling -
          Your voluptuous Manon.

          From your rooms we are succeeding
          In a flock tired and willing.
          They recall us not past the evening.
          Be obedient - such is the law.

          We are coming in from night stormy,
          We really need nothing from you,
          Except supper - and pearls we need from you
          And maybe one more thing - your soul!

          Honor and duty, Cavalier - convention it is.
          Let God give you a regiment of mistresses!
          Showing a readiness in all this.
          Passionately loving you
          - M.

    x x x

          Standing for homeland, word "Marina"
          Within your cutlass you did draft.
          In your magnificent existence
          I was your first one and your last.

          A night and pre-dawn I remember
          In hell of the soldiers' rail car.
          In chest I keep the shoulder pieces
          And in the wind I rush my hair.


          White army, your way's a high one:
          Temple and chest - to the black gun.

          White and divine is your cause:
          Your white body - into the sand.

          Not a flock of swans in the sky:
          The sacred white army
          Melts, melts with white sight..

          The last dream of the old world:
          Youth - Valour - Vandea - Don.

          Who has survived will die, who has died will arise.
          And now descendants, remember the times long gone:
          Where were you? The question will roar like thunder,
          Like thunder will roar the answer: On the Don!

          "What did you do" "We were accepting torments,
          Then grew tired and to sleep had gone.
          And in the dictionary the thoughtful grandsons
          Before the word "duty" will write the word "Don."

          Waves and youth - outside the law!
          Don has moved - we die - we drown.
          We ask the wind of time to bear
          To grandsons a wicked rumour:

          Yes! Broke the Don's ice!
          The white army - Yes! - died.
          But with children and wives parting,
          But on Don departing,

          With a white flock flying onto the block,
          We died for one thing: Huts!

          On the last church having baptized,
          White army - for centuries.

    x x x

          Hard and marvelous - loyalty till the coffin!
          Tsar-like luxury in squares' time!
          Firm are the souls and ribs are firm likewise
          Where are you, people of days gone by?

          With ash equating altar and the throne,
          Like a red-haired Tatar the freedom prowls.
          Over the ashtrays at the table there's
          Fugitive soldiers' and faithless wives' growl.

    x x x

          O, pitiful exertions of usurpers!
          Like sleep, like snow, like death, to all - a shrine.
          A ban on Kremlin! There's no ban on wings, and
          Therefore - there is no ban upon Kremlin.

    x x x

          Either soldiers drove into the ground a stake,
          Either they covered a face with a red rag,
          Either deaf and dumb from punches is the Divine,
          Either on Easter they were banned from Kremlin -

          Old revelers should sit at the linen,
          Birds should crawl, fish should sing, women - reason,
          Horse on a horseman should ride out wild,
          Wine should be given a newborn child,

          Corpses carried out the window, rivers - burn,
          In the midnight must arise the red sun,
          The groom should the betrothed's name forget..

          Ladies should love peasants yet.

    x x x

          Like blood and sweat it is simple:
          To people - tsar, to tsar - people.

          Like mystery of two it is clear:
          The third is the spirit, the two are near.

          From the sky tsar is placed on the throne:
          That is clear like dream and snow.

          To the throne tsar will come again yet:
          It is holy like blood and sweat.

    x x x

          The rich man loved a poor woman,
          The scientist loved a dumb woman,
          The ruddy man loved a pale woman,
          The kind man loved a bad woman,
          And the gold a copper coin.

          "Where, merchant, is your wealth all?"
          "In a wallet that's full of holes!"

          "Where, proud one, is what you know?"
          "Under a girl's pillow."

          "Where are your red cheeks, gorgeous sight?"
          "Whitened down in the black night."

          "Where is the cross with silver chain?"
          "Under the girl's boots again."

          Rich man don't love a poor woman,
          Scientist don't love a dumb woman,
          Ruddy man don't love a pale woman,
          Kind man don't love a bad woman,
          And the gold a copper coin.

    x x x

          I'm - now. You're - will be. An abyss between us.
          I drink. You're thirsty. We cannot agree.
          Ten years, oh no, a hundred thousand years
          Do stand between us. God does not build bridges.

          Be! - this is my demand. Let me walk past you
          Without violating growth with my breath.
          I'm - now. You're - will be. In ten springs from now
          You will say "is!" - and I will say "sometime"...

    x x x

          Dying, I won't say: I was. There's no pity,
          The culprits I don't seek.
          There are more important things on earth
          Than passions' storms and the lovers' feats.

          Beating against this bosom with a wing,
          You, the youthful inspiration's culprit,
          I demand this of you: Be!
          From obedience I will not flit.

    x x x

          Like right and left arms, here,
          Your soul to my soul is near.

          In bliss and warmth we to each other cling
          Like right wing and left wing.

          But whirlwind rises - and lay the abyss
          From left to right between the wings!

    x x x

          Inept and aimless is my time:
          I ask a beggar for a dime
          I proffer cash to rich and famous,

          Into the needle ray I weave,
          Unto a robber key I give,
          With whiting I am blushing paleness.

          The bum puts nothing in my palms,
          The rich man does not take my alms,
          The needle won't let through the ray,

          The robber enters without key,
          Dumb woman weeps in streams of three
          Over a fameless, empty day.

    x x x

          Who didn't build homes with his hand
          Does not merit the land.

          Who the homes did not build
          The earth will not be:
          Ash - Straw..

          I did not build the home.

    x x x

          Cradle, that is wound up in red!
          Cradle, that is rocked by the rabble!
          Soldiers' thunder - by the evening - past the temples..
          And beautiful will grow up the kid.

          With the milk of wet nurse of Ryazan
          He sucked in inheritance's good:
          Flag - and the tri-unity of God.
          Russian anthem - and space Russian.

          In the needed day, by clear sun of God,
          Duty he'll recall daughters and noble -
          Cradle, that is rocked by the rabble!
          Cradle, that is wound up in red!

    x x x

          I don't disturb, I do not sing
          With a woman's poison. Hand
          That is loyal I give to you -
          Right one, that will hold the pen.

          That, with which I form the cross
          In the beauty of the night.
          That, with which the things that God
          Did command to me I write.

          My left hand is daring,
          Flattering and also sly.
          Here to you the righteous
          And right hand do proffer I.

    From Cycle "Comedian"

          It's not love, but fever! Light
          Battle's sly and full of lies.
          Now it's nauseous, next day sweet,
          Now he's dead, next day alive.

          Battle rages. Both are laughing:
          How intelligent are they!
          By both heroine and hero
          I am charmed in every way.

          Viewer, a battle - or a dance now?
          This a sword - or cattle stick?
          Step ahead - three steps back now,
          Three steps forward - one step back.

          Mouth like honey, in the eyes, trust,
          But already raised, the brow.
          It's hypocrisy, not love now,
          It is acting, and not love!

          And result of these (parentheses -
          Uncommitted so far) sins -
          Will be of astounding poems
          A stack oh-so-very thin.

          You can't be friends with me, you can't be loving me!
          O beautiful eyes, look carefully!

          A longboat has to sail, and the mill has to turn.
          Is it for you to stop a heart as it whirls?

          The notebook by the hand - you a mister won't be!
          Is it not enough to sigh at comedy?

          The cross of love is heavy - and we won't touch it.
          Yesterday's day is gone - and we will keep it.

          Your mouth is perfect for kisses, so tender..
          And this is it, I am totally like a beggar.
          Who am I now? Alone? No, many more!
          A conqueror? A conquest, no!

          If this be love - or if this be adoring,
          A pen's caprice - or else an axiom,
          If this be torment for the angels' home -
          Or little bit of pretense by calling.

          Sadness of soul, charming of eyes, or
          The script of pen - is not the same it all,
          How and until these lips will call
          Your mouth, perfect for kisses, so tender.

          You do not hope - how I am merry!
          They're dull after the revelry.
          You are the mister, I - the lady.
          And mainly I am just like thee!

          Don't be deceived! By evil chill
          Within the throat you yourself know
          That for your lips I had become
          Just from the hills of Champagne, foam.

          There are revelries full of gold.
          And just is this my revelry:
          Without the syrup of love's truth -
          Champagne of love's lies only.

    From Cycle "Poems to Sonya"

          Who has left - let him sing! Heart,
          Sing away!
          Now the ruddy mouth is mine,
          Yours - next day.

          Ah, but everyone is friend
          Of rose-beauty.
          There are many such like you
          And like me.

          Friend will tear from a friend
          Flower rose -
          Rose can be torn apart: there's
          Nothing worse.

          Over the pink mouth to fight
          Rather than -
          Better is to kiss the boy
          In his turn!

          Hundred girlfriends has the friend -
          We're all here.
          While he is not taken yet
          Do love him.

          In the forest a bird chirped,
          Under window, organ grinder.
          "You're a liar, traitor,
          You're a traitor, liar."

          In the chorus sang
          Devils from a barrel:
          "All of you, my girl,
          I sold for a dime."

          Cows in the grass:
          "You are having amoo-ours!"
          Sheepdogs in an alley:
          "Fool, aurs, aurs."

          Lady with a beard
          Thought herself to drown:
          "That is nothing, babe!
          Water'll bear you down!"

          Comb your hair now,
          Wash out your clear eyes.
          One dear threw you down
          And another'll raise!

          The rain is knocking at my window.
          The worker creaks at the machine.
          I truly once was a street singer
          And you were a nobleman's son.

          I sang about the evil fortune,
          And from the golden handrail
          You gave not ruble and not kopeck -
          You gave me as a gift a smile.

          But the old knight the plan discovered:
          He tore the medals from his son
          And to servant-lackey he did order
          To chase the girl from the yard.

          And I got drunk within that night, too!
          But in the blissful world - that -
          I was the daughter of a nobleman
          You were a singer on the street.

    x x x

          You won't chase me away anytime:
          They don't push away the spring!
          I too tenderly sing before sleep:
          With a finger you won't push away me!

          Never will you make me glorious:
          Water for lips is my name!
          You will never leave me either:
          Door is open, empty is your home!

    x x x

          To rule troika and guitar
          Means: to rule each ever
          Lady, means: with old beer
          To circle overhead!
          O handsome one! Halfbreed!
          Who baptized you? In what font?
          All the gypsy snowstorms
          Opened up your vest
          O the brave guitarist!
          Eh, I fear - your strings and hollows
          Will discard me down to lie!
          God be with you, driver Sergei!
          Women are Russia and I!

    x x x

          That same youth, and these same holes,
          And the same nights at the fire..
          Sister of your own guitar
          Is my divine, holy lyre.

          To circle souls just like a snowstorm -
          One is the gift that us befalls.
          Into my sleeping crib is lowered
          This title: Stealer of the souls!

          Breaking the arms in angst, you know:
          Not one alone in the day's fog
          With poison gypsy broth of parting
          The young noblemen you do drug.

          Know: not alone on the sharp knife
          You look with anguish in your blood
          Know, I'm alone still.. we're sisters
          In the great lowliness of love.

    x x x

          Who's made of stone, who's made of mud,
          And I'm made from silver and shine.
          My act is betrayal, my name is Marina,
          The fragile sea foam am I.

          Who is made from mud, who is made from flesh -
          There's coffin and coffin plates..
          Baptized in a sea font and unceasingly
          Broken in my flight!

          Through every heart, through every net
          Will poke its head my will.
          You will not make me the salt of the earth
          Can you see these my loose curls?

          I resurrect with each wave, pounding
          Against your granite knees!
          May be well the foam - the high foam -
          The high foam of the seas!

    x x x

          I wrote on paled leaves of the fan
          And on the board of slate
          And on the river and sea sand,
          On glass with a ring and on ice with skates -

          And on the trunks, a hundred winters old,
          And in the end - that everyone would know
          That you are loved! Loved! Loved! Loved! -
          I signed with a celestial rainbow.

          How yet I wanted this, that each would bloom
          For centuries with me! My fingers under!
          And how thereafter I crossed out the name
          Leaning my forehead on the table yonder.

          But you, within the arm of sellout scribe
          Pressed down! You, why you sting my soul?
          Not sold by me! Inside the ring!
          You - in the tablets will stay whole.

    Two Songs

          And what to tome is a chilled fire,
          To whom the parting is a trade!
          With one wave it has been brought near,
          Removed with yet another wave.

          Would I not with a servile anger
          After my dear with a crawl creep -
          I, borne to term within the belly
          Not of my mother but the sea!

          Bite, my dear friend, just like an apple
          The entire sphere of the earth!
          Conversing with a swelling water,
          With me however you converse.

          Like virgin born upon this planet
          Won't cross the arms swinging free -
          Daughter, carried within the belly
          Not of your mother but the sea!

          No, our girls do not weep, do not
          Write, do not wait for news, yet
          No, once again I go out fishing
          Without drag-net, without a net!

          What power is in my singing -
          I alone do not know, you see -
          I, borne to term within the belly
          Not of my mother but the sea.

          Such is my estate: I give
          And give - for a whole century!
          I am breaking my chest as I'm breaking
          The stones that on the shore do lie!

          What I mumble on a court simple,
          As though an imprisoned queen -
          I, borne to term in the belly
          Not of my mother but the sea.

          Yesterday you looked in my eyes,
          And all things slant aside right now!
          Yesterday you sat before birds
          And now all larks turn into crows!

          I'm dumb, and you are very smart,
          You live, I'm stupefied, I hear.
          O cry of women of all times:
          "What have I done to you, my dear?!"

          Tears are to her like water, blood -
          Like water, washed in blood, in tears!
          Don't wait for trial or mercy: love
          Is stepmother, not Mom, it's clear.

          Ships bear away the ones we love,
          A white road them away now bears...
          And stands the moan across all earth:
          "What have I done to you, my dear?"

          Yesterday you lay at my feet!
          Compared to China! When both hands
          You forced apart from fists to palms
          Life fell out like a rusty cent!

          At trial, as killer of a child
          I stand - not dear, and full of fear.
          And I will say to you in hell:
          "What have I done to you, my dear?"

          I'll ask the chair, I'll ask the bed:
          "Why do I suffer and am poor?"
          They answer "He has kissed - now break
          Upon the wheel; now kiss one more."

          To live he taught in fire itself,
          He threw on icy steppes, austere!
          What did you, dear, do to me?
          What have I done to you, my dear?

          I know all - do not contradict!
          Seeing anew - no more the lover!
          Where love no longer does exist,
          There Death the gardener comes over.

          Itself - why shake the tree? In time
          Ripe apple falls itself, you near.
          For all, for all forgive me please,
          What have I done to you, my dear!

    x x x

          Wind, Oh wind, sweeping away things,
          Sweeping tracks until they're gone!
          Like a red bird flying, flying
          Into foreheads of white stone.

          Like a long-legged dog delving
          Through the oat-bearing plains.
          Wind, that loses his own mind
          At a skirt that's made of lace!

          It's a purple epidemic,
          The first missive of revolt -
          Wind - gallows-bird, flighty man -
          In my fist you I now hold!

          Play no more on turbid places,
          Heads across the snow don't beat -
          You are bound in my neckerchief
          By your hands and by your feet!

          We will settle obligations
          For your not-so-careful deeds -
          Wind inside red leather coat
          With a star upon the head!

    x x x

          I desire no love and no honor:
          They intoxicate - no falling away!
          I don't even desire an apple
          Tempting - from hawker's tray..

          Something drags behind me like chain,
          Soon the thunder will sound in the sky...

          How I desire -
          Oh how I desire -
          Very quietly simply to die!

    x x x

          Others - with eyes or with face full of light,
          And I converse with wind in the night.
          Not with that Italian
          Zephyr oh-so-young -
          Russian, blow-through,
          A good one, a wide one!

          Others with all flesh are in the flesh lost,
          Swallow the breath from dried out lips...
          And I - arms wide open - like tetanus - stall
          So that the Russian wind blow out my soul!

          Others - o tangles tender and strong!
          No, Aeolus is doing us wrong.
          Perhaps you won't melt! It's just one family
          As if I am not a woman truly.

    x x x

          June and July. Part of nightingale tremble.
          And we had something of a bird's way, when
          The night of the nightingale then disturbing
          We - each over ourselves - were frozen.

          August is tsar. It cares not for a roulade,
          It only wants October cannonade.
          August is tsar. You do not need the tsars,
          And I without the tsar such ones do not need!

    x x x

          There's officer's straightness within my stature,
          There's officer's honor within my ribs.
          I go to all torments without being stubborn:
          A soldier's patience there is!

          As if we had corrected this step
          Sometime with a butt and with steel...
          Not in vain, not in vain the Cherkessian waist
          And the tight buckle of belt.

          My dear father! Open the gates of heaven
          With a storm - when the dawn I sense!
          As if deliberately for the hike bag
          The width of the shoulders.

          All can - some insane cripple over the cradle
          Has sung me a song... From this day
          Something persisted, remained and is here:
          I take the word - and take aim!

          And thus does my heart over Russian Republic
          Screech - you can feed, or no way! -
          As if I myself had been officer also
          In deadly October days.


          Then a friendship, now a duty.
          Brother wolf, God be with you!
          Our friendship is now dying:
          I'm not gift but debt for you.

          Disturb a verst with a verst,
          Send a verst into a verst!
          I have petted on a fur -
          And I have been missing angst!

          I'm not making you a villain -
          It's not your guilt, it is my sin:
          With my insatiability
          I am feeding everyone!

          To go after you with silicon
          Fire in forest - thus judged Lord -
          Girls are jealous of just one thing:
          That the paws would not grow cold.

          To hold - I won't move a finger:
          Finger - not pole, great is wood.
          Take away with you your gray spots,
          Brother fang, be with you God!

          Fare thee well, I won't remember
          In my dreams, you, O gray hide!
          To believe in the wolf's grayness
          One more idiot you will find.

    To a Stranger

          Your banners - not mine!
          Our heads apart.
          Not to betray in the Snake's vice
          My Pigeon - Spirit.

          Not to start in a red round dance
          Around a May tree.
          Higher than all earthly gates
          Are heaven's gates to me.

          Your victories - and not mine!
          Others in hallucination!
          We aren't on two ends of the Earth -
          On two constellations!

          What am I doing - we're jealous
          Of two different stars -
          I, throwing over the bridge
          With a brave arm?!

          Treasure more precious than the icons
          I have with me.
          There is another law, covering
          The laws - you hear?

          Before him all wedges incline,
          Dim precious stones.
          The law of a stretched-out arm,
          Flung open soul.

          And we'll be judged with the same
          Measure, know.
          And heaven in which I believe
          Will take us both.

    x x x

          O love! O love! In the convulsions, in the coffin,
          I'll be on guard - entice - worry - and tear.
          Not in the snow mound of the coffin, nor a snow mound
          Of cloud, I will part with you, O my dear.

          And not for this are given to me gorgeous
          Two wings that weight upon my heart would lie.
          Pathetic village of the eyeless, voiceless,
          And swaddled I will never multiply.

          No, I wheedle the arms! Your sturdy body
          From out your cloth I'll beat out with one blow,
          Death! For a thousand kilometers all around
          The wood is burned and melted is the snow.

          And if still - shoulders, wings, knees pressing -
          I let you to the churchyard drive me -
          It is so that, laughing over the ashes,
          I'll rise like poem - or like rose bloom free!

          x x x
          Either at dawn or at dusk, I will die, but on which
          One of the two - can't be told from the orders, I know.
          Ah, could it be that my torch could go out twice again!
          At the same time at dusk and at dawn it would go!

          Heaven's daughter! With a full apron of roses! Not a sprout
          Violating! Went through earth in a dancing gait!
          I'll die at dusk or at dawn, this I know! God won't send
          After my soul like a swan the hawk-like night!

          Driving away the unkissed cross with a tender hand,
          In the kind sky I will seek the last greeting, I know it.
          Slit of the dawn - and the slit of a smile in response...
          Even in hiccup of death I will still be a poet!

          x x x
          Happy New Year, encampment Swan!
          Ruins so glorious!
          Happy New Year - in other places -
          Knapsack-bearing warriors!

          Dances, mouth foaming, not caught up,
          The pursuit in red!
          Happy New Year - beaten in the races
          Homeland with a hand!

          The whole Earth sings with a toast song
          To the earth do lean!
          Thus, Igor - with Yaroslav is crying
          Russia over the sea.

          With a tired moan it quenches sorrow:
          My brother! My knight! My son!
          Happy New Year, you across the blue sea
          Russia oh-so-young.


          To say - to be thoughtful of what?
          In rain - under one coat,
          At night - under one coat, later
          To grave - under one coat.

          To be your light-haired little fellow -
          Oh, through all years! -
          To drape a student behind your dusty purple
          In cloak severe.

          To catch through people's density your sigh
          That life does give
          With soul that lives with your breath, like a cloak
          With blowing wind.

          More victorious than King David, with shoulder
          The crowd to move.
          To serve from all slights, all earthly slights
          As cloak to you.

          To be he who between the sleeping students
          In sleep won't dream.
          A shield, and not a cloak, at the first stone
          That crowd brought in.

          (This verse's not stopped willfully! The knife is
          Sharp to no end!)
          And - with inspired smile - to be the first your
          Fire to ascend.

          There is an hour - just like discarded clothes:
          When in ourselves the pride we quench in full.
          The hour of study, it in every life is

          The high hour, when, before the feet of one with finger
          Appointed, our weapons laying down,
          We change the purple of the warrior
          On sand into the camel's down.

          Like voice that rises us to our exertion
          From self-will of the days, behold this hour!
          Behold this hour when we are leaning down
          From heaviness just like a ripe corn ear.

          And ear grew up, and beat the happy hour,
          And for the millstone did thirst the grain.
          The law! The law! Still in the womb of earth
          The burden I desired does remain.

          The hour of study! But beheld and known
          Is different light - the dawn still burns, still burns.
          Blessed to him are you, following behind him
          The supreme hour of loneliness!

          Evening sun is kinder than
          Sun at noon.
          Screams fanatically, not warms
          Sun at noon.

          Meeker, more aloof is the sun
          At night. Wise,
          It does not want to beat
          In our eyes.

          Stirring with its simplicity
          Made for kings,
          Dearer is evening sun
          To one who sings.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Crucified by darkness
          Each evening,
          Evening sun does not bow
          To the throng.

          Thebe, remember! He, cast down
          From the throne.
          He, cast down - looks above
          Not below.

          O, don't wait upon the neighboring
          Bell tower!
          I want to be your final
          Bell tower.

          The wooden load
          Below waves fell.
          Two eternal ones quietly
          Ascended the hill.

          Tightly - shoulder to shoulder -
          They stand, don't talk.
          Two breaths are walking
          Under one cloak.

          The leader of yesterday's and
          Today's sleeping wars
          Silently stand by
          The double black tower.

          They stand wiser than serpents,
          Milder than doves.
          Father, take me back into
          Your life above!

          Smoke of the wars of the Lord
          Across the sky.
          Struggles the cloak, raised
          With double sigh.

          Prays and trembles, jealousy
          Eats out the sight...
          Father, take me into sunset,
          Into your night!

          Breathe deserts, they celebrate
          The night's entry...
          Son falls like a ripe fruit

          Quiet is the human flock
          Within its fold.
          Calm are the two alit
          On hill of gold.

          We were like ancient ones, the hour
          Was wonderful and full.
          We side by side ascended up
          The hill, I do recall.

          The speech of the cascading streams
          Has wound fancily
          With cloak, falling on the shoulders
          In a wave gracefully.

          The final gold of the heights
          Is higher, higher yet.
          The dreaming voice: The sunrise that
          Comes out to meet sunset.

          All magnificence of
          Pipes - is but murmur of
          Grass - before you.

          All magnificence of
          Storms - is but chatter of
          Birds - before you.

          All magnificence of
          Wings - is but patter of
          Eyelids - before you.

          On the hills - round and tan,
          Under the ray - dusty and strong,
          With a boot - meek and mild -
          After the cloak - reddened and torn.

          On the sands - greedy and rusty,
          Under ray - burning and drinking,
          With a boot - meek and mild -
          After the cloak - with trace and trace.

          On the waves - angry and blown-up,
          Under the ray - wrathful and ancient,
          With a boot - meek and mild -
          After the cloak - lying and lying...


          His dove to be, like an eagle!
          More than a mother to be, Marina!
          A messenger - a guard - a courier -

          A flag-bearer - flatterer of the court!
          With a seraph and dog to guard
          A sleep restless and full of fear.

          Taking a pack of sallow cards for a game,
          Legs in stirrup! - through water and flame!
          Where on horse - where to swim - where to crawl!

          By the swamp - by the willows - by the reeds -
          And where horse does not take - fly, all winds
          Having captured in your shawl!

          In a black noiseless whirlwind flying,
          Not a lady - a handy, I am!
          Not to be sole - the second!

          A twin - a double - slender
          Godbrother in flame of bonfire,
          To be his crooked friend.

          Clamor of Kremlin's uninvited guests.
          If Basmanov is your name, set
          Aside - yield before love!

          Threw open a chest kerchief, I.
          Arms wide open! That on Judgment Day
          Will not stand in Basmanov's blood.

          Three usurpers' wife,
          Daughter of arrogant Mnishka,
          You did not birth a son
          To your husband so proud.

          In bare-headed sleep
          In resounding window flight
          You did not wave a trace
          To your husband so proud.

          On the square full of fate
          From spits and boxes on ear
          You did not cover with body
          Your own husband so proud.

          In a foolish mask lay,
          With bloody pipe in the mouth.
          You did not wipe the sweat
          Of your husband so proud.

          Oh the treacherous blood!
          Be accursed, be accursed.
          You that to false Dimitry was false Marina!

          Heart, betrayal!
          But never parting!
          And the tan arm of the thief
          To the white lips.

          Short concussion of bones on the plates.
          Gregory! Dimitry!
          Tsar-killers! Blood and fluff!
          And - with the second jump -
          On the spears!

          "Your chest is redolent,
          Just like a rosemary trunk...
          A most honorable lady..."
          "My young honored one..."

          "I'm dark, unrecognized, quiet...
          With what shall I repay...
          From underneath the eyelids
          Something, "With life!" did say.

          In every chased-down stranger
          We are serving Jesus Sir.
          Mangles in mangled confusion
          Handful of genuine pearls.

          Pearls have been sprinkled - like tears!
          Aiming with every eyelash,
          He sees, while stranger picks up
          Them, as if fidgeting in ash.

    From Cycle "Parting"

          So long ago thrown down
          I raise the arms.
          In empty black window
          Empty arms
          I throw in the midnight beating
          Of hours - to go home
          I want! Thus: head down
          From the tower! Home!
          In whisper and rustle:
          Not on the stone of a square...
          My wing was shot
          By some young warrior.

          More sharply, more sharptly
          Your arms do twist!
          Between us are heavenly
          Rivers - not versts,
          Between us are parting's lands azure,
          Where forever inseparable
          Are I and you.

          In silver harness
          The highway runs.
          I don't twist the arms!
          Without sound
          I only pull them
          Like mountain-ash waves
          Into the parting,
          Into the stork flock's trace.

          Without looking back
          The stork flock aspires,
          Conceit I won't doff!
          In death - well-attired
          I'll be - your golden-feathered speed is
          The final bulwark
          In loss of space!

          With a dark olive
          Hide head of bed,
          Jealous of earthly
          Love are the gods.

          Every rustle
          And whisper they hear.
          Know, not just to you
          The youth is dear.

          Someone is mad at
          Luxury of May.
          Be careful of
          The sharp-eyed sky.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          That rocks and cliffs
          Lure him, you claim,
          That copper-voiced
          Call of fame

          Lures him - to depth,
          Chest on the spear?
          The rising wave
          Drowns him - you conjure?

          Sting of the fortune
          Pierced - you see?
          Deeper than disgrace
          Is tsar's mercy.

          That you wander late in the
          Low lands you shed tears.
          Invisible, not the
          Earth-born you should fear.

          On sight of the comb
          To them is each hair.
          Gods have a thousand
          Eyes to spare.

          Fear not the quicksand -
          Fear sky's blue!
          Is heart of Zeus.

          With an arm careful and thin
          I'll untangle the tangles:
          Arms - and with neighing
          Obedient, will rustle the amazon
          On empty and resounding steps of parting.

          Stomps his feet and neighs
          In the lit flight the winged one. In the eyes -
          Flaming of dawn.
          Little arms, little arms!
          You call in vain:
          The staircase of Lethe pours them between.

          Big you won't see,
          You won't see me gray.
          You won't press the tears
          From motionless eyes.

          For all of your torment.
          Crying is the battle:
          Put down your arm!
          Leave the mantle!

          In apathy's
          Stone-eyed cameo
          Like mother I won't
          Tarry in the door:
          (With heaviness of
          Blood, knees, eye -
          In the final earthly

          Not with a crawling wounded beast
          No, with a lump of rock
          To leave the door -
          From life. What for
          Do the tears pour,
          When the stone is lifted
          From shoulders of yours?

          Not a stone! Already
          With an eagle's width
          Is the cloak! And already by river of azure
          Into the city of light, where
          The mother
          To take her kid
          Would not dare.

          With silver growth
          He tore up and away.
          That Zeus would not
          See him -

          At the first rustle
          Be fearful and stand.
          They're jealous of
          Beauty of man.

          Their call is scarier
          Than jaw of a beast.
          Jealous of beauty
          Is the gods' nest.

          With flowers, with laurels
          They'll lure up and away.
          That Zeus would not
          Choose him -

          In thunder of eagles'
          Wings is the sky.
          With all chest shatter -
          That you won't hide.

          In eagles' thunder -
          O beak! O blood!
          The tiny lamb
          Is hanging - Love..

          With chest - prostate..
          That Zeus would not
          Raise him -

          Imprinted once begun.
          I'll become older, and you
          Will remain still young.

          Sharpened by burning wind.
          I'll be hunched over, and you
          Will elegantly stand.

          Midday shade of the hair,
          That to my gray spots lean...
          My age, day to day, year to year,
          Will eventually become my son...

          Together we were thirty-six
          A beautiful pair we were...
          And - with a rainbow - a good news:
          .................. - I won't be old!

          The final beauty,
          Last heaviness yet:
          The child, hitting palms
          At my feet.

          But this final beauty
          I'll take care of no less
          And I'll throw down this
          Last heaviness.
          . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
          Stinging with inspired
          Women's flattery,
          As if not a teen but
          A lover at the feet -

          About the wanderings -
          Along the amazed Universe
          Under the laurel rain,
          Under the oak rain.

          The beauty final,
          The heaviness final -
          The child, the cloak grasping..
          In torment born! When you'll tell the people
          That there was no equal
          In art of parting!


          Eyelashes, eyelashes
          Bowing down.
          With the shame of eyelashes
          Eclipsed - suns in the arrows' crown!
          How clear and how loud!
          And his cloak was red
          And white was his stallion.

          Embarrassed is the rider,
          Proud is the stallion.
          On the dead serpent
          The whitest stallion
          Looks in half-turn.
          In half-window wide
          A spear behind
          Into the red jaw - blowing the nostrils something wild -
          With slanting fiery-eyed.

          The rider's embarrassed,
          The horse comes down.
          The deceased serpent's
          Accursed blood -
          Amber - with light gait
          Avoids - the amber blood flows
          Froze with a raised hoof - from the heights
          Of the swan turn.

          Meek is the horseman,
          Fastidious is the horse.
          The rattling serpent
          With a spear having pierced -
          Since you're modest and languid!
          In the winds - up high - is the heart of yours,
          At the river edge - the spear of yours
          Now sings at the waxen fingers
          At the pink lips
          Under cover of arrows
          Of eyelashes,
          Sings, shouts. -
          O fearful heaviness
          Of deeds done!
          And his cloak is red
          And white is his stallion.

          The lovely horseman
          Awake, stallion!
          The tender horseman
          Has a chest pain.
          Threads the pearls with eyelashes...
          The holy icon - is face of yours,
          With sunset ray - the spear of yours
          From long fingers splashes.
          Does he mow down with a spear
          The ray purple?
          Or the red cloud
          Rises like mantle?
          The white house.
          He will be
          Let in
          With the horse.

          The horseman leans,
          The horse stands on hind legs.
          The palm around the spearman is weaker.
          Now he will bring victory!
          Stirs - moves - and after the spear
          Into the amber puddle - after the horse
          That slipped away.
          The base sweep
          Of arrows...

          Red is the mantle, white is the horse.

          O heaviness of success!
          Slight of victory!
          George, you cry,
          Like a beautiful lady
          You pale at the deed
          Of your two
          Suddenly alien to you

          Horse is squeamish of the serpent,
          You are squeamish of the voice
          Of victory. With heavy oil
          The blood pours.
          The dragon sleeps.
          Full for all your life
          You are.

          The sun is eclipsed
          By the lifted mantle.
          Union, child's bashfulness
          With the dignity of
          From the saddle -
          Into the sky -
          Fastidious sorrow
          Of lips.

          Horse is squeamish of the serpent,
          You are squeamish of the present
          Of the tsar - her engagement fire.
          Of the church frankincense;
          Strict - harsh -
          In the pitiless
          Roar of

          Trumpet! Trumpet!
          It's not long left to hear.
          The tender victory reed - away.
          The one out-piped away
          Drooped - went quiet.
          And cloudy - above! -

          Bow, bow,
          Obedient grass!
          Reddened under the slap of glory -
          Pales. - Home, trumpeters! - He sleeps.
          Until the judgment trumpet -
          Is full.

          Celestial glow
          And blue versts!
          Glory George
          The Victorious!

          Pearly branches
          Of midnight, proclaim
          The clean youth
          The marvelous man:

          His fiery mantle,
          His spear's song
          Glory the blood-boiling

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          O great masts
          And each proud village!
          Glory the thundering-
          Boiling George!

          In strength and in meekness
          Like sun he'd be.
          Honor of honor,
          Luxury's luxury.

          His towering height,
          His spear's song,
          Glory his lightning-tailed

          Winds of the lion
          And mass of the church!
          Glory the
          Magnificent George!

          Having killed the serpent,
          Over death having won,
          Entering his lady's home
          On a stallion!

          His great momentum,
          His spear's song,
          Glory his transformed

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          Flattering willows
          And leaning grass,
          The freedom-loving
          And full of class

          Youth - glory,
          Youth - bemoan...
          Here is he, on the grass
          That is warrior of heaven:

          His pink mouth
          Its two halves there are -
          Couldn't bear victory
          The victory-bearer.

          The feathers from the clouds nodding away...
          How your arrogance to convey,
          George! Creature of powers of heaven!

          How to convey enslaved fervor of a pupil,
          And of a sober blown-up nostril,
          At the full trot the curbed confusion.

          Before the beauty most filled with delight
          How to convey - from the archangel heights
          The saddles and the spears of deed done

          And these arrows of eyelashes - virginity
          Wrathful - the coat of ebony -
          Piercing - we are not of one bone!

          Having completed witnessing God's missive,
          How to convey, George, how you were evasive -
          That you have touched the ground barely -

          A bow - and how the hole at once,
          Piercing-crooked, filled with ice:
          Oh, don't be grateful! By the orders, squarely.

          From the archangel height of the seat
          To do evangelic deeds.
          River burns, dark for miles far hence.
          O distance! Distance! Distance!

          In piercing straightness of the lashes of the eye
          With a firestorm onto the birds to fly.
          The hooves! The wings! Bound up tight!
          O height! Height! Height!

          To open eyes like jaw! Like gear
          Beyond clouds to disappear!
          And not to come to wits - to fall and die:
          O desire! Desire! Desire!

          And I need no girl.
          By the cold of will,
          By the trace of blue
          I will alone go.

          Widowed and an orphan
          You were till I conquered.
          By the willing trace
          Of rushing spring water.

          I'll wash away feats
          From the glory, from pus.
          In your glory I'll
          Give drink to the horse.

          Keep, little dove,
          The sprouts from hail,
          The girl from the serpent,
          The hero from the girl.

          O, by every wind
          Shaken lotus!
          George's shyness,
          George's kindness...

          The childish - severe - deadly importance
          Of gigantic eyes
          Wide and moist.

          Thus deadly torment
          From the rags peers.
          And the excessive
          Weight of a spear

          Not here - with a proud
          Laugh, full of height:
          George most mild,
          George most quiet.

          Most bitter - candle of my vigils - George,
          Most mild - with eyes of a deer - George!

          (The deer that's forgiven
          To the trembling pack).
          To whom did the day
          Of George strike the clock.

          O my lotus!
          My swan!
          Swan! My deer!

          You're all my vigils of night
          And all my dreams beside!

          You my Easter psalm!
          You my final altar!
          You more than my son
          And more than my tsar!

          My azure eye -
          In the height!
          You, having raised again
          Your escaped wife.

          So listen!

          With thorn, not with laurel
          As a king crowned,
          In a saddle - with wings!

          Around the shape narrow
          On the black velvet
          Maltese gold is.

          Unbreakable thorn
          Needles - a vow
          To friend and God.

          High bending
          Of a swan, on the side
          A Maltese sword.

          The knight of Maltese
          Order - George,
          Midst sleepers - aware.

          The knight of Maltese
          Order - George,
          At women doesn't stare.

    Good Tidings

          Into the treasure chest
          Of the midnight depths
          I let down
          An steady hand.

          Amid seaweed
          There's no sight of him!
          My treasure-chest
          Is not in the sea!

          Into the singing height
          Clouds beyond -
          With double thunder
          I get brave - and now

          A lark has dropped
          From the height for me -
          That you're not beyond cloud,
          That you're beyond sea!

          Alive and well!
          Louder than thunder -
          Like with an axe -

          No, with an axe
          Not enough: with a bull
          Under the butt
          Of happiness!

          What in exchange -
          Will they tear away?

          And from the knees
          All the way to the roots
          Of standing hair -

          So it is, alive?
          Shutting one's eyes,
          Breathing, they call -

          Did the ship go away?
          Oh my crane
          In the whole flock

          Resurrected once died?
          Cutting out sigh
          A stone from the sky,

          Over the head -
          No, till the hilt
          Sword into chest -

          Not hunching under sorrow,
          Under the stone - winged - as
          An eagle - having stayed whole,

          The double sadness
          Of earthly mothers
          And heavenly mistresses

          Having raised on the shoulder -
          Hot Maltese steel
          Was left to me!

          But the wrathful sky
          To the eagles - favorably.
          Is this not a dream: in the waves

          Multitude of horse angels!
          Between them - hosanna! -
          My - whiter than snow...

          Lily chausibles,
          Horse will carry out! -
          Foaming lops on a mantle.
          Wave will carry out! -
          Block standing up...
          God will carry out...
          - Oh!

          Over the sleeping youth - golden spurs.
          Command: Up high!
          Back at the heels the crowd of robbers.
          George, cry!

          With a free left hand you're feeling the cross.
          Command: swim!
          Rule, that to the last one they come under
          The cupola Sofian!

          We're lost! The joints will not bear!
          The end! - Give up!
          With double lightning it opens the wings.
          Command: up!

          In the name of massacre
          Hold tight, my one with wings!
          There was an hour of crossing
          And will be - of getting even.

          In that ton-and-half hour
          Between fact and dream
          Heavily paddled
          The ship's wings.

          Between Charybdis - yes! -
          And Scylla paddled away.
          Oh my wings,
          The ships-cranes!

          Then on the steep
          Shore of Euxene
          Stomped those who escaped,
          Will - those who win.

          In that hour exhausting
          Between mud and muzzle
          The wings did not weaken,
          The hearts did not chill,

          The shoulders were pressing,
          In guard eyes remained.
          O these wings of mine,
          The ships-cranes!

          Not given to offend
          Narrow-faced little birds,
          It was said - a she-eagle's
          Heart of Taurides.

          With many a letter
          Onto cry long-beaked
          The gray-haired Monarchian
          Mom did awake.

          And here's the Sofian
          Cupola - far away...
          O these my wings,
          The ships-cranes!

          Bear! Dark constellation
          Will shiver up high.
          The vengeance will come
          Not from sea, from the sky.

          Look: having been poured
          With lead of heaven,
          The flock of ships
          Is menacing, heavy.

          And there is no end to it,
          There is no land...
          O these my wings,
          The ships-cranes!

    Return of Rain

          Horse - lame.
          Sword - rusty.
          Who - now?
          Leader of crowds.

          Step - hour,
          Sigh - century,
          Look - down.
          All - there.

          Foe. - Friend.
          Thorn. - Laurel.
          All - dream...
          He. - Horse.

          Horse - lame.
          Sword - rusty.
          Cloak - old.
          Stature - straight.

    x x x

          Into the ether
          Leads the path.
          Stop, now!
          Blind is youth.
          Higher, all higher!
          Into blue rye!
          Stop, now!
          You'll step in the sky.

    To Mayakovsky

          Above crosses and pipes,
          Baptized in fire and smoke,
          The heavy-footed archangel -
          Eternal Vladimir, hello!

          He's the rider and he's the horse,
          He's the right and he's the whim.
          He sighed, and spat into the palms:
          Hold tight, the dray fame!

          The singer of plaza wonders -
          Hello, one grimy and proud,
          That he chose the heavy stone
          And was not swayed by the diamond.

          Hello, the thunder of stones!
          He yawned, saluted - and again
          He paddles with shaft - the wing
          Of the archangel dray.

    From cycle "Khan's Horde"

          The Khan's pollen
          Having fully tried
          I beat with the wing
          To escape-god.

          Profitable god
          Fast god
          Spurs in the side - god!

          To inform
          With word and sign,
          Lay them to sleep
          With poppy and vine,

          Darkness and home be,
          Word and sign be,
          Stump and ditch be -
          That all winds in the chest beat!

          A black god,

          With a comb-slant,
          With a stone-grass
          Over the slanting -
          Yuck - Tatars!

          My horse the ground don't touch,
          My foreheads the stars don't touch,
          My breath my lips don't touch,
          Rider-horse, finger-palm.

          A horse god,
          Sleepy god,
          Crowbar in forehead - god!

          To the fast legs -
          Strength and bravery!
          That would be sung
          In villages for centuries:

          Of escaped and barefoot - god,
          Of bare-headed - god,
          Flight, splash, whip, whipped - god,
          Devil on the oars - god.

          Cry - god,
          Whip - god,
          Headlong - god!

          There is no trivet
          And no fire.
          Take me, take me!
          With the Tatars

          He will from me
          Eat the horse bone.
          The milestone!

          "Where, quickness,
          Is cross-your-chain?"
          "Under khan's boots
          Is cross-my-chain.

          My town's in blood,
          Chest without cross -
          Adopt me,

          "Where, orphan,
          Is your load-home?"
          "Hearth - under ribs,
          Under saddle - home,

          My khan - Mamai,
          My bread is angst.
          To old one in heaven,
          Church's porch-versts!"

          "Why are you, beauty,
          Strict to the khan?"
          "Strict to the khan?
          Memory's long.

          My khan - like stone,
          Moscow - like hole.
          To angel's camp,

          Your trace is untrammeled,
          A crown is your tuft.
          The burst and the crier
          Screech under the hoof.

          An incompetent fire,
          An untravelled path, there. -
          An unshod horse
          Oh Russia-mother!

          Your cotton's not selling,
          Your goon has no arms.
          A hook's in your mansion
          And a trough with no charm.

          I'll eat lots of bark -
          Not a marvel it was!
          Oh Russia-mother,
          Spellbound horse!

          Don't jump up - don't sit!
          And once sat - do not blame!
          But one horseman, Mamai,
          For your taste is game!

          A slanting vileness,
          A thief's palm...
          The unconfessed stallion,

    Praise to Aphrodite

          Blessed are the ones that left your daughters, Earth,
          To fight in wartime battle and to run,
          Blessed are the ones that having never tried
          Comfort went to the fields Elysian.

          Thus grows the laurel - writer of the years,
          Heater of battle, sober, with harsh leaves.
          I will never exchange for bitter fate of love
          The friendship's over-the-clouds cliffs.

          Already gods' - not the same generosity,
          Upon the shore of river's shore, not the same one.
          Fly, fly again, the doves of Aphrodite
          Into wide open gates of setting sun.

          I'll leave in day, in which there is no count,
          Lying upon the sand that's growing cold...
          I've outgrown my youth and look upon it
          Like snake that's looking at his skin of old.

          In vain, inside the promised branches hiding,
          Your tender retinue thunders above.
          I drop a myrtle that did love so many,
          I drop the belt that did so sweetness love.

          With a dumb arrow that is heavily piercing
          Freed me from these my shackles your own son.
          Thus at the very throne of my calmness
          You born of foam, as a foam be gone!

          How many, how many of them, white and blue
          Eat from the hands!
          Whole kingdoms are clucking around your lips
          O Lowliness!

          In gold of cup the deadly sweat
          Does not translate.
          The mantle-wearing general will vanish
          Like dove of white.

          Every cloud like a chest circles
          In a bad hour.
          There is your visage, O she-devil, in
          Each perfect flower.

          You fleeting foam, the salt of the sea..
          In torment and foam -
          For what reason should I obey
          You, armless stone?


          This my youth! O this my alien youth!
          This my alien youth, my boot unpaired!
          Purposefully narrowing the inflamed eyes,
          Thus a leaf from calendar they tear.

          From among your very acquisitions
          Nothing took away the thoughtful Muse.
          You were both a burden and encumbrance
          To me. I don't ask you back, my youth.

          You whetted the arrows in the nighttime,
          You whispered within the night with comb.
          I have suffered for the sins of others
          Pressed down with your generosity, like stone.

          Your scepter before its time returning -
          Of what use is evidence to the soul!
          O my youth! My tired youth you are!
          You my tattered rag that once was whole!

          Soon from swallows - into sorcerers!
          Youth! We will say farewell before then...
          We will stand in the wind soul to soul!
          My tan one! My sister console!

          With a skirt of raspberry flare,
          You my youth! My dove you are
          Tan! Waste of my soul!
          You my youth! Dance and console!

          Wash me with a shawl of azure,
          My insane one! We have played with you
          For a plenty! Dance a while and spar!
          My gold - farewell - amber!

          For a reason your arms touch I,
          Like to a lover I say goodbye.
          Torn away from depths within my breast -
          My youth! Go to someone else!


          No awards, no forefathers,
          Not a falcon clear.
          She goes and is torn away -
          She is so far!

          Underneath tan eyelids
          A golden-winged flame.
          Forgotten once she took it
          With a windswept arm.

          An un-picked-up skirt,
          A rag that went bare.
          I'm not kind, not mean
          But like this: so far.

          Does not fuss or cry:
          Tore - and therefore dear!
          You gave - and forgotten
          With a windswept arm.

          With a scream and with a throat's
          Scattering, forgot...
          So distant as she is
          Come and keep her, God!

    x x x

          Without self-control
          With complete meekness.
          Light and soft is
          Air over abyss.

          Growing at once,
          Like lightning - in time,
          As if by an order
          There will be a blossom.

          Answering stars,
          With a snake hair...
          Himself defenseless -
          Not a flame-bearer!

          He to me? I to him?
          I'll try, I know.
          Without intent
          Into death I will go.

    x x x

          Thus swam the head and lyre down
          To the receding far-off place.
          And lips repeated: pity, pity,
          And "world" the lyre did convince.

          Bloody-silver, silver-and-bloody
          And double trace she did then pour,
          My tender brother, my dear sister
          Along the paralyzed Gebr.

          At times, the movement of head slowed
          Inside the unabated angst.
          But lyre assured: do pass me near!
          And lips behind her said, "Alas!"

          Moving together like a garland
          With far-off rippling head of bed -
          Do not the hair pour with silver?
          Does not the lyre pour with blood?

          Thus, with a staircase descending
          Of river - into crib of swells.
          Thus, to new island, where it's sweeter
          Than somewhere - lies a nightingale...

          Where then are they, the holy remnants?
          The salty wave - respond, respond!
          Maybe the net has pulled it out,
          Net of bare-headed Lesbian?

    x x x

          Not for flattering chausibles, frocks of lies -
          I was born in this world with loud voice!

          Wide awake - not the night dreams of mine!
          I don't live, like you, with whisper-spine!

          From you of me, whisper-that-thorn -
          Lyre, lyre, a curve of a swan!

          With laurel, with dawn, with winds one
          I make merry and am not a nun!

          And the boy - is not dumb, is fair-haired!
          And it's gone to the side overboard -

          From you of me, whisper-that-thorn -
          Lyre, lyre, a curve of a swan!

          Heavy, I do hear, is woman's role!
          I don't know - did not put on the scale!

          My product is a gift, not for sale,
          But with blueness will go this my nail -

          From you of me, screaming-wheezing-one -
          Lyre, lyre, a curve of a swan!

    x x x

          Woman's chest! The soul's frozen breath -
          Woman's reason! Wave, that by surprise
          Was caught - and always by surprise
          Having caught up to you - and God sees!

          Of the despising and despised playpen
          Has quieted. - Woman's chest! - Yielding was
          An armament! - I am thinking of those...
          Of those one-breasted ones - those girlfriends!

    From Cycle "Girlfriend II"

          To never-quiet Ave,
          To Easter feast -
          A beautiful glory
          Of girlfriend last.

          Sleeps, merriment, your torment,
          Sleeps suffered heart's torment so.
          Over the Iverian cradle
          Blissful! Allow to go slow.

          Not my fussiness, not envy
          Brought me home - do not forbid!
          I came like shepherds in the village
          To give the glory to your kid.

          O silver-fake gold-mica!
          Not seen by the same star!
          Like dug in over the house,
          Like dug in - look - the star!

          I am not joyous and do not envy
          A saw to my heart, as I see
          What is it to your son I am giving?
          Here is my cloak - my staff is here.

          Like in a precious chausible
          In infant tears,
          You're blessed in your wives!
          You're blessed, dear!

          Near to the roadside cross
          Your eyes you open.
          (He was an orphan just as well -
          Fatherless son).

          Like in a precious chausible
          In infant tears,
          You're blessed in your tears!
          You're blessed, dear.

          Clear, unconcerned over the sleeping
          Bird is your forehead.
          The good news' bearer was your crown,
          Bearer - your bed.

          Shiver and tree your stature is
          Over the sleeping bird.
          The good news' bearer was his dad -
          Be joyful, girl!

          Like in a precious chausible,
          In heaven's snow
          Blessed in snow you have been!
          You're blessed so.

          A giant stroke of a wing,
          Breath whips - in wives
          You are blessed,
          In wives, alive.

          Where's messenger? It's wild and white.
          A crown? A wing?
          Where's messenger? By snowstorm blown -
          Message and wing.

          With what to deserve you and give back your due -
          Blessed forever! Babe's mother you!

          Over the dragnet growing with glass
          Again repeating: Light from the east!

          From his blue eyes to stars of blue
          Having thrown a bridge with the rainbow, you!

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          I don't fall! I don't fall! I swim far
          And - as a rainbow - bridge over Nieva.

          Life-giver in hour of the end!
          Affirmer of kingdoms! Mother of son!

          In wheeze of torments - in a bad song!
          You - "Be" - as a child have thrown!


          Two poems that accidentally did not go into "Poems to Blok"


          Not with silver I came,
          Not with amber I came,
          Not as a king I came,
          As a shepherd I came.

          Here's air of hills of mine,
          Here's of two eyes of mine
          Sharp gaze - and of fires
          Red glare and of dawns of mine.

          Where's wax - that is the fur?
          Through hole I won't turn!
          Poorer than all -
          But ahead of all!

          Behind a camel a camel
          See: on that round hill,
          See: walking are the kings,
          See: they are bearing bins.

          O - after - far!


          Three kings,
          Three bins
          With precious gifts.

          The first bin -
          All the earth
          With indigo seas.

          Second bin:
          Noah within
          With an ark with beasts.

          And within?
          That third bin?
          What is there, my king?

          Gives the king,
          "Holy's my light"
          Don't know what it means

          Ahead - king,
          Mom - behind,
          And the infant weeps.

    x x x

          S. E

          How comes into the middle
          In battles of the Don -
          Thus my dream is with you
          In cities over the ocean.

          For the paper dust they'll take
          Bookcase from the wall.
          All's for sale, and nonetheless
          Memory's not for sale.

          In a green wood full of firs
          There's no such straight pine.
          You and me, that is because,
          From one cradle come.

          Not for thousand fates - we're born
          For one, you and me.
          Nearer than bread to the palm -
          Thus do we agree.

          Fire and flood did not bear off
          Finger of gold made!
          In those sleepless hours we are
          Nearer than to forehead, hand.

          My widowhood will not accept
          Neither miller, nor flour.
          An inviolable bond:
          In one crib we were.

          In my chest my watch, once wound,
          Did not rust, you know.
          There's autocracy within
          The red Russia, know.

          May the whole world come to end -
          At night service I will stand.
          Thus with you before the wall -
          As to others with a garland.

          And now, keen before me, you!
          Brothers, do not yawn!
          Thus together we come at night:
          Our crib was one.

    x x x

          She is unusual all the way! Beyond power!
          He forgot! Do not accuse me so far!
          You're blessed by God! To say he did will -
          You're blessed by God! And beyond, so level

          A satin stitch... Stand: wives between
          You're blessed by God... And beyond ringing
          So jubilant... little child, hear:
          You're blessed by God! - And silence out far

    To Akhmatova

          Your stripe will be harvested
          By which person's arms?
          O the black magician you!
          My black-plaited one!

          Your tumultuous century,
          And your midnight days...
          All your little workers are
          At once born away.

          Where are your campaigner friends,
          Your comrades in arms?
          O the black magician you,
          My one with white arms!

          Not with glory, not with tears
          Can one heal those graves.
          One, as though he had been choked,
          Walked around alive.

          One more went into a wall
          Himself to advance.
          (He was proud - a falcon!) - They
          Knocked him out at once.

          High above your brothers are!
          Can't exude a cry!
          O the black magician you,
          My one with clear eyes!

          And from out the cloud (praise
          Marvel from above!)
          Arrow of a falcon falls,
          Arrow of a dove...

          To know, in two feathers at once
          People to you write,
          Know, that soon you will receive
          A certificate,

          O the boulders! They will shake
          With their wings,
          O the black magician you!
          My one with black wings!

    New Year's

          S E

          Brothers! In the last hour
          Of year - after our
          Russian land, living in us!
          Exactly twelve times
          Mug to mug!

          After the rabble of honor,
          After Taman, after Kuban,
          After our Russian Don,
          Jordan of old faith... Once more,
          Mug to mug!

          Alive still is
          Mother - Passion - Russia!
          Whole still is
          In the hearts - Russia!

          Brothers! Into the distance look in!
          Delvig and Pushkin,
          The deeds' and the hearts' crystal...
          Gloriously, like steel on steel -
          Mug to mug!

          Brotherhood's glorious gown -
          For our brother town
          Prague - till - crunching
          Ring out, Bohemian country! Ring,
          Mug to mug!

          Alive still is
          Rumor - physique - steel.
          Whole still is
          In the hearts - steel.

          Brothers! The final moment!
          On the border of forest
          Disappeared old man...
          Tightly - like fang to fang -
          Mug to mug!

          Voluntary tributes,
          Hello, kind abuse!
          Still alive is Russian
          God! Who believes - stand!
          Mug to mug!

    New Year's #2

          S E

          He - with a tender sigh,
          They - cruel and tan.
          The eagles don't insult
          The migrated swan.

          To eagles - not by invite:
          Brother's he who flew inside!
          Free is our trapese,
          Wild is the New Year's rite.

          Guest of the eagle,
          Walk while you like!
          We are the free pilots,
          Two wings is our mark!

          Under loud vaults, battles:
          Look to look, steel to steel.
          Then the new year's night
          Beats with crystal on crystal.

          Look to look, border to border:
          Paired-up ringing of fates.
          One in New Year morning
          With eyes inarticulate.

          Don't drink, if you don't want!
          Near the table walk!
          We are the free pilots,
          Two wings is our mark!

          With cathedral avalanche
          New Year's collapse
          On the foreheads. The swan's angst,
          Don spent the night in your eyes.

          Swan's angst, to the motherland
          A lingering chain.
          We know your one only -
          Is this not steppe of Don?

          For this is the arrow -
          Fly where you would like.
          We are the free pilots,
          Two wings is our time!

    x x x

          Over the mountains,
          Also foothills over,
          Together with dawns,
          With belltowers,

          Horse without control -
          Heading out full sail! -
          Into unknown land,
          Future, I lead way.

          Not an eagle to call
          And not swallow.
          She is not yet born -
          Do not christen her!

          Essence of two veins.
          Of the distant land.
          With the saw-makers,
          With the anvils, and

          Forehead - don't look back,
          Sigh - without a breath,
          To future I speak
          With the fiery sweat.

          Stumps till hollow -
          Is not taken yet!
          Do not judge her now!
          She is not born yet!

          Shadow - as a guide,
          Body - over a verst!
          Over protoxide,
          Also over rust.

          Over the new skills
          And faiths of times gone,
          Over grandsons, Russia -
          To the great-grandsons!

          (What to us is pasture
          Of the Kitezhs dead?)
          Fall in love with her!
          She is not born yet!

          Sickles are removed,
          Tables stand with food.
          With the fates they come,
          With the kingdoms too.

          With the semicircle,
          Sun over the sea!
          Next day looks between:
          Adamovo - be!

          With the breath - the spirit!
          By the knives - are one.
          Come catch up, you fool!
          On the seventh one!

    From Cycle "Snowmounds"

          To Ehrenburg


          In midnight darkness
          Sky threw mounds of snow.
          Like from a single uterus -
          Chest - and the sky - and the stones.

          Over the caverns' stalactites
          In emptiness of an alley
          Your name Er was
          Resounding hollowly.

          Under the sleepy curtain
          Bruce will not tell this to you:
          A leaning way into dreaming
          Russia - and women - two.

          Heavenly thunder is narrow!
          Er - is the leopard's maw.
          (Plummeting way into dreaming
          Passion - and women - two...)
          Er - an unbreakable fortress!
          Er - ahead through the maw!
          Er - in the tightened blindness
          Of depths - flight in a halo!

          Thus, between sky and the palate,
          One of small faith, joy proclaim! -
          Over the dream-vision snow mounds
          Of Er that is your name.


          Not here, where it's tied,
          But there, where it's willed.
          Not here, where Lazaruses
          Rant with a bed,

          Against day's crushed stone
          With beasts of burden.
          There is no arm here
          To you - mine.

          There, where it's reduced,
          Not here, where it's curved,
          Not here, where with wings
          They decide - with swords,

          Where loud flesh on us
          Finally beat!
          There is no gift here
          To you - from me.

          Not here, where it's asked,
          There where answer is given...
          Not here, where death is
          Messy, and between

          Is heavy - with wormhole,
          And snake-jealousy.
          There's no inheritance here
          To you - from me.

          And hard-browed life will not
          Look back! Here
          There's no rendezvous
          There're only wires here,

          The ends of belts here
          Are bound all through...
          There are no matins here
          From me - to you.

          Not yard with peelings -
          Heaven's bits blessed!
          Not here, where it's sought,
          There, where it's released,

          Where days' betrayal is
          Splashed out all through.
          Where there are no words:
          From me - to you.


          A strange man, for all my rivers,
          Is a wide bed.
          A passerby, in whom arms - like a snow
          With all heat of eyelids

          Guilty - after whom I come and I come,
          In thunder of meeting carts.
          Lover, whom it can and it cannot,
          (Sigh will survive - and not!)

          A strange man,
          A dear man,
          For all time-man!

          Unknown! - in snake oil, without candles,
          I'll bake the bread for wedding.
          Betrayal! My river will run in a course
          Of partings, not meetings.

          In meeting! - And if my speech is dark -
          From shoulders a stone home!
          On tearing of partings, on grumbling of meetings -
          The speech of my stream.

          Open space - man,
          From nothing - man,
          Through floor - man,
          Came through - man.


          I've magicked,
          I've grumbled.
          From left to right I

          Only as no one
          Only about no one,
          Only night vigil -
          Above the icons:

          Oars-fires -
          Grumbling of God
          Is proud above.

          I've cuckooed,
          I've angsted too.
          That with my glory -
          All rocks to you.

          That with my power -
          To you all rivers.
          In first and third time,
          Now and forever...

          That with my left arm -
          Weakness and help.
          That as no one,
          About no one...

          I've sung as nightingale,
          I've frozen.
          Without transfer
          To heaven - I promised,

          (That with my flattery to you
          All birds to the last one...)
          In heaven who knows whose.
          In heaven Persian...

          In sweetness and suffering
          Give through the hand, you!
          Hello - in parting!
          Farewell - in a rendezvous!


          And soon is the parting,
          Snow mounds yielding. Well,
          Your storms' comfort, niceness
          Of grumblings, farewell,

          Grumpy spindles' Kingdom, zeal
          Of wolves white as snow.
          Snow mound heavy, noble-like,
          Post-like, of white stone,

          Knightly, and of comfort
          To your both siblings...
          And soon is the parting,
          Snow mounds are yielding.

          Ah, to discord, loss, dissension
          Wide is open door!
          Gifted luxury of orphan
          Winter, farewell, snow!

          Farewell, white eagles' retinue,
          Trace untried, unknown,
          Farewell, sin covered with snow,
          On the melted snow.

          Hunchbacks-humps-the little camels -
          Householders, farewell!
          And soon is the parting,
          The snow mounds do yield.

          With love, poor people are owed
          A ringing day of spring.
          Where there's snowstorm: cover-our-curtain,
          A head leaning!

          The entire day munches,
          Tireless, icicles' grain.
          Butchery, knackery, pieces,
          Droplets, and parting.

          Day - with belt, the night is skimpy:
          Not to try, nor start...
          And the snow mounds are yielding,
          Soon we too will part...

          In two hands I take - by both:
          I won't be torn - well?
          Beads expensive into two
          Rivers from the holes.

          Enchanted, defrosted is
          The way, sold to the streams.
          Friend! Over the steep snow mounds
          Left my sorceries.

          Do not stare that tears are pouring:
          Water - it may be!
          It is now the time of parting
          That snow mounds do yield.

    x x x

          Familiar! Wherefrom you come to our country?
          Which wind to attack?
          Familiar! I will not fall in love with you:
          Your suit is black.

          While the black bonfire is burning,
          To beauty - spark into an eye!
          Familiar! Yours is a costly fancy,
          And costly is refusal, too, of mine.

    From Cycle "Earthly Marks"

          Thus, in the meager labor of days,
          Thus, in difficult convulsion to her,
          You will forget the friendly trochee
          Of the courageous girlfriend of yours.

          Her severity's bitter gift,
          And the light shyness' hidden heat,
          And that whose name is distance
          That wireless hit.

          All antiquity, except: Give and Mine,
          All, except the earth's, jealousy,
          All loyalty - but in a deadly war
          To a Thomas who does not believe.

          My tender one! Do not take into your home
          This refugee, by the grayness of dads!
          Be well the left-chested smithy
          Of not philosophical ends!

          But maybe, in twitters and counts
          Having tired of femininity -
          And you will recall my arm, right-less,
          And a courageous sleeve.

          The lips, not demanding to laugh,
          The rights not following behind,
          The eyes, knowing not the eyelids,
          And following: light.

          Not correcting the marvel to numbers,
          Find trusting girlfriends for you!
          I know that Venus is work of hands,
          I'm a craftsman - and craft I know.

          To full trampling of the soul
          From silence solemn and high:
          The divine staircase - From:
          My breath - to: do not sigh!


          Ah, from a stark overlook
          Down - into ash and tar!
          To salt the underweight with tears
          Of earthly love - what for?

          Balcony. Darkness of evil
          Kisses through salty rains.
          And sigh of endless hatred:
          Breathe out a poem's refrain!

          What: heart or Batiste rabble
          Is in the arm like stone
          Tight? To such lotions
          There is a name: Jordan!

          This battle with love, I hear,
          Is wild and heartless, yes.
          Even from granite brow
          Soar - to breathe out in death!

          Hands - and resale
          And re-action in a round!
          Only the lips,
          Only not to mix up my hands!

          There is no sleep from these
          All these worries.
          Raising my hands,
          Friend, I curse my memory!

          That in the poems
          (In the landfill of my Highness!)
          You did not wither,
          You did not dry like others.

          That in the chest
          (In thousand-breasted brothers' grave
          Of mine) - you weren't
          Washed by the millenia's rains!

          Midst bodies, body -
          You, that were loss to me of two stars!
          That he won't vanish
          With a message: Not recognized.

    x x x

          Hello! Not arrow, not stone:
          I am the most live of wives:
          With two arms into your sleepless
          Sleep. I am life.

          Give! (On the two-sharp tongue
          Take! - two-sharpness of snake!)
          All of me in bare-headed
          Joy, please do take!

          Cling! - today on the schooner,
          Cling! - on the skies! - Cling! - linen!
          I am today in new
          Gilded and the seventh skin!

          Mine! - and of which rewards
          When in the hands, at mouth - heaven:
          Life is the flung-open joy
          To say hello in the morn!

    x x x

          In empty temple
          Trinity - with myrrh.
          I fell on my crown
          With grain and fire...

          In the night screams
          I entered equally -
          I will be your
          Brazier tiny:

          Domestic fowl:
          To smoke the angst,
          To chase night boredom,
          Warm earthly hands!

          From pitiless chest of
          Gods - so I'm thrown!
          Any love was given me:
          A big one!

          With such bonds!
          With such privilege!
          Half a life? All for you!
          To elbow? Here is she!

          For this, that you torment,
          For this, that you demand,
          For this, that there are
          Poor earthly hands...

          In vain! By amphibrach
          You will not regulate!
          Only open the eyes
          Wider within my breast,

          Not as Logos I came,
          Not as eternity,
          With empty-headedness
          Your twittering

          To the chest... Not to have power!
          Without word on the word -
          To love... a prostrate
          Swallow - in the world!

    x x x

          Inimitably lies life:
          Above waiting, above a lie...
          But by the trembling of all veins
          You may recognize: Life!

          (Why that in rye you lie!) - heat, wave...
          Like in the rye you lie: ringing, blue...
          Blather - through honeysuckle - hundred veins...
          Be joyful! I was called by you!

          And since spellbound us bodies do
          Have the souls, friend, don't be scolding -
          That's now: into the dream with forehead.
          Otherwise - why did you sing?

          In the white book of your quietness,
          In your "yes"'s mud wild -
          Quietly I lean the forehead to you:
          For the palm is life.

    x x x

          Lethe's underwater light,
          Reef of a red heart.
          Lancet has stopped short,
          Closing the singing throat:

          Not the red heat of metal,
          Not the difficulties' heat -
          A non-dissolved pearl
          In the bitterness of singing throats.

          Sorrow sorrow! In all
          We cut, swim and die.
          For not dissolved is the pearl
          In the voice's ray...

          With iron into roar,
          Thousands drills and saws -
          A non-extruded thorn
          In bitterness of singing throats.


          In dead ones believing,
          To be spellbound I do not try.
          In ancient heather,
          In silver-sliding land dry,

          Let pipers with trumpets
          Glory to my shade beam!
          In heather-losses,
          In heather-dry streams.

          Ancient heather!
          Growth on the naked stone!
          In our orphanage's identity
          Having assured and known,

          Bits of the final brocade
          Having lost and taken away -
          In heather-ruin,
          In heather-streams turned dry.

          Two-minded friendships
          And choking of ugliness, life.
          With heat and dryness,
          (For severe is the chief),

          Higher, where mountain-ash
          Is prettier than David King!
          In heather-gray spots,
          In heather-dry seas.

          When drunk on insult became
          The incensed soul,
          When to fight demons seven times
          She gave a vow,

          Not with the ones, with fiery rains
          Flushed into the abyss:
          With earthly lowliness of days,
          With people's bigotries -

          Trees! I come to you! To be saved
          From market cry!
          Like heart it's breathed inside by your
          Wavings up high!

          Oak with God wrestling! Into war
          With root march in!
          Willows - my prophetesses, you!

          On torture raised above
          The pine - you, my lips' psalm:
          The bitterness of ashberry, elm -
          Wrathful Avessalom.

          To you! May the crumbling be
          Of leaves - live mercury!
          First time to open the arms!
          To throw the manuscript!

          The swarms of green reflections...
          Like ones weaving arms!
          My bare-headed ones you are,
          My trembling ones!

          To swimmers, in a circle light
          Having been beaten -
          A flock of guardian nymphs - suddenly,
          The mantles sweeping

          A scroll is unrolled - In a back throw
          Of foreheads and hands
          In dance that suddenly will end
          With blow of defense -

          A long arm put on the thigh...
          Drawing out, I scream...
          A silver of the birches,
          Alive are the streams!

          Friends! Brotherly multitude!
          You, with whose stroke is blown
          The trace of earthly insult. Wood! -
          Elysium mine!

          A co-bottler of souls
          In friendships' loud band
          Having chosen soberness, day
          In quiet brotherhood - I will end.

          Ah, from a stomping crowd
          In light sacrificial fire
          Of groves! In great stillness of
          Moss! In the current of firs...

          The wise tiding of tree! Wood
          That prophesies, of the curves
          On the riffraff, here,
          Is the perfect life:

          Where no slavery, nor ugliness,
          There, where all is its height,
          There, where truth's better seen:
          On the days' other side...

          Refugees? Messengers?
          Respond if you are alive!
          The monks on horseback,
          Having seen God in groves?

          How many sandals are running?
          How many buildings are flaming?
          How many runners and judges
          For the trees' running?

          Forest! You're now a rider!
          That's which people disease
          Call: is the last
          Convulsion of trees -

          This - in a wide dress
          Is a teen with nectar fed.
          This - at once and with root
          Uptorn is the wood!

          No, another, not flakes
          In a day - leafed flood
          I see: spears headlong
          I see: murmur of blood!

          And in upturned junk heap
          Flying - who could have seen?
          That is Saul after David:
          After his death so tan.

          Not with paint or with brush!
          Light - his kingdom, it's gray.
          Here light violates color
          The red leaves - a lie.

          Color, with light violated.
          Light - to fight color on breast.
          Is not in this secret
          The essence and strength

          Of autumn forest?
          Over the quiet creek of days
          Like curtain was torn -
          And behind it's scary...

          Through chausible of parting
          Like seeing a son -
          And suddenly words rise:
          Elysium and Palestine.

          A stream... a draft...
          Through trembling's little script -
          Light, better than death -
          And - connection's cut.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          The autumn grayness,
          You, apotheosis of Goethe!
          Much was sung here
          And was unbound still more.

          Thus light the gray spots:
          Thus family heads - of the son
          Last out of seven
          The final, very last one

          Into the last doors -
          With rubbed-through light of arms...
          (I don't trust paint! Here
          Purple - is last of servants!)

          Not light already:
          They shimmer with some kind of light...
          Not in this or other
          And the connection is cut.

          Thus the deserts are lighting
          And - I said more than I could:
          Cupolas of Elysium
          And Palestine's sand.

          That which slept without a vision -
          Has touched and stands.
          In strict gradualness of psalm,
          With visionary mountain -

          The multitudes of bodies that awaken -
          Hands! Hands! Hands!
          Like warriors under the hail of arrows,
          Ripe for torments.

          Scrolls of the falling into ash
          Chausibles, see-through like nets.
          The lashes of the old ones, not knowing
          Shame, and hands

          Covering the groin... (Of virgins!)
          Of teenagers' - birds!
          With a horsecart on the pipe of court!
          Body till the loins

          Having wheedled from coffin wraps -
          Flight gray-bearded:
          Now! - Transportation! - Legion!
          Entire peoples

          Of refugees! - On dearness and rage!
          Remember! - Be! - See!
          In the evening, on the hill,
          Several running trees.

          Someone is driving - to deadly victory.
          Trees have the gestures of tragedy.
          Jews - the secret dance! The trees
          Have the quivers of mystery.

          This - is a conspiracy against century:
          Weight, count, time, fractions.
          This - is a torn curtain:
          Trees have gestures over the coffins.

          Someone's riding. Sky - entry is.
          Triumphal gestures have the trees.

          With what inspiration,
          With what truths of God,
          Of what you sound,
          The leaves' floods?

          With what frantic
          Sevillian secrets -
          Of what you sound,
          Of what forget?

          What's in your fanning?
          I know - you heal
          Time's insult with
          Eternity's chill.

          But as a young genius having
          Risen - you decry
          With finger of absence
          The beholding's lie,

          That once anew, like never,
          The earth to us did seem.
          That underneath the eyelids
          Took place conspiracies.

          That with money of wonder
          Not to show off - so please!
          That underneath the eyelids
          Took place the mysteries!

          And from strength away!
          And from urgency away!
          Into the flood! - In prophecies
          With indirect speeches.

          Canopy with - leaves?
          Did Seville moan?
          Avalanches of leaves,
          Ruins of leaves...

    x x x

          Gold of my hair
          Comes to grayness quietly.
          All took place, within the chest
          All flowed, sang. Don't pity me!

          Sang - in moaning pipe of land
          On the edge blended distance.
          God! Your design is the most
          Secret: The soul did take place.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          The incombustible salt
          Of my hands - will not I
          Give the Phoenix's ash for tar
          Of magnificence of time?

          Even you have grown silver,
          Satellite! To thunder and smoke,
          To young graynesses of deeds -
          Add the grayness of my thoughts.

          Golden flower so proud,
          Of your luxury don't boast:
          To young graynesses of troubles
          Laurel came - and citizen oak.

    Praise to the Rich

          And henceforth, that between me and you
          There are miles - having forewarned!
          Why do I count myself with the mob,
          That honest is my place in the world:

          Under the wheels of all excess: table
          Of uglies, cripples, backs with hunch...
          And from now, from the roof of belltower
          I announce: I love the rich!

          For their root, rotten and shaky,
          Growing the wound from the cradle,
          For the absent-minded habit
          From the pocket to pocket again.

          For the quietest request of their lips,
          Filfilled like a scream. That in paradise
          They will not be allowed,
          That they do not look in the eyes.

          For their secrets - always with courier!
          For - with messenger - their romantic bliss!
          For the nights that to them are bound,
          (And they violently drink and kiss!)

          And for this that in counts, in boredom,
          In gilt, in yawns, in cotton, I screech
          Me the impudent they won't purchase -
          I'm repeating: I love the rich!

          And still, regardless of being shaved,
          Of satiety, fullness (I wink - and spend!)
          For some - suddenly - being beaten,
          For some sometime doubting glance

          Of a dog... not a rod
          To the zeros? Do not weights play and rage?
          And for this, that among the world's outcasts
          There is not such an orphanage.

          There is such foolish tale: through the eye
          Of a needle a camel to pass...
          For their look, that at death does wonder,
          Apologizing in disease,

          Like in bankruptcy... "Judged... Be glad - Yes"...
          For the quiet, from lips pressed tight, to which
          "I counted karats, I was the brother"
          I am adding: I love the rich!


          Poet - from afar starts a speech.
          A poet - far away starts the speech.

          With planets, with marks, with roundabout
          Tales' hollows... between yes and nay
          He even having swung from the belltower
          Took out the hook... For comets' way

          Is poets' way. The scattered chime of purpose -
          That's his connection! Forehead up - despair!
          You know that the eclipses of the poets
          Are not foretold by the calendar.

          He's he, who mixes cards together,
          Who is deceiving count and weight,
          He's he, who asks from the desktop,
          Who beats with Kant over the head,

          Who is like tree in its own beauty
          In the stone coffin of Bastille.
          He, on whose train all are late,
          Whose traces have been chilled
          Always... For comets' way

          Is poets' way: burning and not warming.
          Tearing, not growing - to break up and tear -
          Your season, o the mantled curved one,
          Is not foretold by a calendar!

          There are the extras, the unneeded
          That do not fit within the norm.
          (Not counting in your dictionaries
          To them the landfill is their home).

          There are the hollow, the pushed-down,
          There are the mute - like dung,
          Nail - to your silken skirt hem!
          Dirt from under the wheels is wrung!

          There are the unseen, the imaginary:
          (Sign: speck of an autumn hen!)
          There are the Jobs within the world
          That would have envied Job - when:

          We're poets - and in rhyme with pariahs,
          But from the shore thus having gone,
          We argue over God with goddesses
          And argue over girls with gods!

          What should I do, blind and a stepson,
          When all have fathers and have eyes,
          When on anathema like embankments
          Of passion! Where runny nose is the
          Name of cry!

          What should I do, with rib and thought
          Singing! - like wire! Siberia! Sunburn!
          Upon your dreams - like on the bridge!
          With their weightlessness
          In weights' world.

          What should I do, singer and firstborn,
          When gray is blackest in the world!
          Where inspiration's like in thermos!
          With this measurelessness in
          Measures' world?!

    Words and Meanings

          You do not ever think about me!
          You think about me: the wires:
          Far - lasting.

          You don't complain about me, that it's pity...
          Sweeter than all...
          Only about one thing: the pedal:
          Pain - lasting.

          The - palm in palm:
          What - for you're born?
          Don't - pity: please:
          Long - last - and pain.

          Distance stretched out long with wires...
          Distance and pain, is the same palm
          Opening - wherefore?
          Distance and pain, is the same way.


          As the distance pierces, likewise
          It the distance does caress.
          Longer - longer - longer - longer!
          The right pedal, this one is.

          It's no pity to be dying
          After seeing life in bliss.
          Deafer - deafer - deafer - deafer:
          The left pedal, this one is.

          Memory's humming Kitezh -
          Right! Lethean water's
          Take the left: the deafener
          Will out-sing the longerer.

          From the plot ones, notice,
          From the cast ones having tired,
          Life doesn't want to live... but often
          Death does not desire to die!

          It demands! From all the meatless
          Keys, all broken up in row.
          (With left pedal they do deafen,
          With right pedal they prolong...)

          It clangs! Like snake out of the falseness
          Of keys, broken up all the way...
          Further, further, further, further,
          With the right pedal they do lie!

    Thus they listen..

          Thus they listen (to the source
          Listens - the mouth).
          Thus they smell a flower:
          Deeply - till feeling's loss!

          Thus there's bottomless thirst
          In the indigo air.
          Thus children, in blueness of sheets,
          Into the memory peer.

          Thus the teenager feels
          Blood - until the lotus...
          Thus one falls in love:
          Falls into the abyss.

          Do not scold me for this
          Dim and business-like look, friend.
          Thus they gulp down the gulp:
          Into depth: till feelings end.

          Thus working into cloth, tailor
          Sews his final attire.
          Thus children whisper in whisper,
          Into the cry crying.

          Thus they dance... (Great
          Is God - you turn around that's why!)
          Thus children are quiet in silence
          Crying in a cry.

          Thus without bane shows itself
          With a sting touched blood!
          Like falling into abyss:
          Thus they fall in love.

    Dialogue of Hamlet with his Conscience

          "She's on the bottom, where is mud
          And seaweed... She went to sleep
          In them - but there is no sleep there!"
          "But I loved her,
          Like forty thousand brothers
          Can't love her"

          She's on the bottom, where is mud:
          Mud! And the final garland
          Has floated on the river-side logs"
          "But I loved her
          Like forty thousand.."
          Still, than one lover.

          She's on the bottom, where is mud"
          "But I"
          "loved her?"


          With what this day will end
          Neither friendship nor love will know.
          With each day you answer more quietly,
          With each day deeper you go.

          Thus, worrying over nothing -
          Only branches move of a tree -
          Thus into the ice crevasse -
          Into the chest, that I smashed against thee!

          From the treasure-chest of likenesses
          Here is prediction - by guess - for thee:
          You in me like in crystal coffin
          Sleep - you like in deep wound in me

          Sleep - tight is the icy crevasse!
          Ices are jealous of their dead ones:
          Finger - armor - print - and belt...
          Without return and without response.

          In vain you scold Helen, widows!
          Not the beautiful Helen's Troy's fire!
          The blueness of ice crevasses,
          On whose bottom you sleep, sire...

          Sleep, dreamer! With you having met
          Like with Empidocles, Aetna...
          Chest will not give out its dead
          And to family say, it's in vain.

    x x x

          On the appointed meeting
          I'll be late. I will come gray
          Having taken spring with me.
          You appointed him up high!

          I will walk for years - to bitter mercury
          Did not go Ophelia's taste!
          I will walk through mountains - and deserts,
          I will walk through souls - and hands.

          The earth will live for long! Thicket -
          Blood! And each droplet - creek.
          But always with the stream's side
          In bitter grass, Ophelia's look.

          That which quaffing passion, only
          Filled with mud! - On the stone, with shaft!
          I have loved you highly, highly,
          In the sky I have myself kept.

    x x x

          Early still - not to be!
          Early still - not to burn!
          Tenderness! Cruel lash of
          Meetings from other world.

          How deeply not to lean -
          Bottomless vat is heaven!
          O, for a love like this
          It's early - without wounds!

          Life lives with jealousy!
          Into the earth the blood
          Pours. The widow will give
          Her right - for a sword?

          Life lives with jealousy!
          Damage to heart is blessed!
          Her right for a sickle
          Will give away the grass.

          Secret thirst of the grass...
          Every sprout: "break me down"...
          Given away to the rag,
          Still all the wounds are - mine!

          And till a common seam -
          I pour - you will not place -
          It is still early for ices
          Of other-worldly lands!

    Moon - to Sleepwalker

          Those who wound up - will remain.
          Further - up.
          In the hour of final forgetfulness
          Don't wake up.

          He has no friends who is a genius
          And walks at night.
          In the hour of final vision
          Don't gain sight.

          I'm your eyes. The owl's roof
          Of eyes, dear.
          I will call you by the name -
          Do not hear.

          I'm your soul: Urania:
          To gods - door.
          Do not check me in the final
          Melding's hour.


          In some frequent lining of a note
          Coddling on the sheets without fail -
          Linens of a railroad are appearing,
          Cutting through, the blueness of a rail!

          Pushkin's: How many of them, where
          It chases! (It passed - they don't sing!)
          Here they all are leaving and departing,
          Here they chill and here they linger still.

          Here they stay. Pain like a note
          Remaining... Above love all
          Remaining... With wife of Lot
          Like embankment have grown cold the poles...

          Hour, when with despair like with loom
          Sheets have been spread out - Yours!
          And the that-has- now-gone-voiceless Sappho
          Cries in pain like a final seamstress.

          Cry unmurmuring! Cry of a swamp
          Heron, knowing already... Deep
          Linens of a railroad spreading out,
          With a scissors cutting is the beep.

          Flow apart with an unneeded dawn,
          O the red unnecessary spot!
          The young women each in their turn
          Do aspire onto such a sheet.


          They don't wait for letters,
          For a letter they wait.
          A shred of rag
          Around a braid
          Of glue. Within - a word.
          And happiness. And this - is all.

          Thus they don't wait for joy,
          Thus they wait for the end:
          A soldier's salute
          And into the chest - lead
          Three pieces. It's red in the eye.
          And this is it. And only.

          No happiness - she's old!
          Wind blew - color!
          The black muzzles
          And the yard's square.

          (The letter's square:
          Of ink and spells!)
          No one is too old
          For sleep of death!

          The letter's square.

    x x x

          You that loved me with the falseness
          Of truth - and truth of lie,
          Abroad! There is nowhere further!
          You that in me placed your love!

          You, that loved me for much longer
          Than the time. - The right hand's stroke!
          You don't love me any longer
          Is the truth in six small words.

    x x x

          The demon in me
          Is not dead but lives!
          In self like in jail
          In body like in bilge.

          Exit is axe
          From the world that is walls
          (An actor mumbles,
          "A stage is the world.")

          And lump-legged jester
          Did not act sly.
          In body - like in glory.
          Like in toga - in body.

          Many a year!
          Hold dear that you're alive!
          (Only the poets
          In bone - like in lie!)

          We won't make merry,
          Singing brothers,
          In body like in cotton
          Gown of a father.

          We cost the better.
          In heat we wilt.
          In body - like in stall.
          In self - like in a pot.

          Transitory magnificence
          We do not hold.
          In body - like in morass,
          In body - like in vault,

          In body - like in extreme
          Exile. - Wilt!
          In body - like in secret,
          In temples - like in a grip

          Of an iron mask.

    x x x

          Into the gray spot - temple,
          Into rut - a soldier.
          Sky - with a sea we are painting you.
          Like on every syllable -
          That on secret peer
          I turnaround,
          I make myself cute.

          In the shootout - scythe,
          In the Christ dance - switch,
          Sea - I choke you off with the sky.
          Like on every poem -
          On a secret screech
          I am stopping,
          Putting my guard up high.

          In each line: You stand! In each spot
          There may treasure be.
          Eye! With light in you I unfold myself,
          I come apart. With angst
          On guitar harmony
          I rebuild myself,
          I cover myself.

          Marriage - in dawn
          Not in feather - of swan!
          Marriages are altogether different!
          Like on hyphen sign
          That on secret sign
          Brows are starting -
          You suspect me yet?

          Not in drunken tea
          Of glory - strong's my soul.
          And my exchequer is not small!
          Under your finger
          Like bread of the Lord
          We are broken up,
          We are being milled.

          x x x
          Brother in the songtime woe -
          I am envying you.
          Let it be fulfilled this way -
          In separate room to die! -
          How many years? Century?
          Is the dream of every day.

          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          And not pity: little lived,
          And no anguish: little gave.
          He who lived in our days, lived
          A lot: he who gave a song - all gave.
          To live (only not newer
          Than death!) here across the veins.
          For some one thing this exists -
          Hooks upon the ceiling.

    Conversation with a Genius

          With blocks - on forehead
          Resides the laurel.
          "I cannot sing"
          "You will" - "Vanished, fell

          (Translate into
          Sound from the chest -
          Just like milk.

          Empty and dry.
          In full spring -
          Feeling's a bitch."
          "An old song!

          Throw, don't confuse!"
          "Better I go -
          Pound a stone"
          "And to sing now"

          "What am I, bullflinch
          In the day to sing?"
          "Do not be able to,
          Bird, but sing!

          To spite the foe!"
          "That just lines, two
          I cannot parse?"
          "Who ever could?!"

          "Torture!" - "Endure!"
          "Meadow mown down -
          Gullet!" - "Wheeze:
          That too is sound!"

          "Business of lions
          Not of wives." - "Kids:
          Broken apart -
          Orpheus did sing!"

          "Thus in a coffin?"
          "A board underneath."
          "I cannot sing"
          "So you sing this!"

    To Mayakovsky

          That the world would not die
          Without desperate men,
          Be, baby Vladimir, ruler
          Of world from end to end.

          Literary - not in it is
          Truth, but here - spill blood!
          It comes out every seven days.
          Departed - once in a hundred

          Years it comes. Killed is the first
          Soldier. Which, capital,
          Missives to you, which
          Article to you still?

          Gold - to a bourgeois:
          This is to us, dear.
          "Bass, they say, and walks in vests.
          Mayakovsky, Vladimir"...

          Hey, blood-your-blood!
          How to make peace with the news,
          When the blood of her first
          Soldier - on second page
          (Of the news).


          "In the coffin, in the usual dark suit,
          in steady, rough shoes, shod with
          iron, lies the greatest poet of the
          Revolution." -
    One-day Newspaper, April 24 1920.

          In the boots shod with iron
          In the boots in which he took the mountain -
          Not with any detour or redirection
          Having reached the crossing -

          Over a run of twenty years
          Until they were shining, spent.
          Mountain of the proletarian Sinai,
          On which he as the prophet stands,

          That the resident office would not meddle
          In the boots - a two-foot living square -
          In the boots, in which, wearing a frown,
          He carried the mountain - and took - and sang - and swore -

          In the boots before, without refusal
          By the untilled fields of October,
          In the boots - almost like water-climber:
          Infantryman, speaking clearer:

          In the boots of a great hike,
          On the Donbass, I do fear, nails.
          Of hundred ten million (State Publications)
          Mountain of the grief of own people...

          In which kind, I'm asking you with honor,
          Of one's own, when is which year:
          "Nothing of one's own in the factory!"
          Burning mountain of all the peoples - here.

          Thus in these - about his Rolls-Royces
          Talk has not gone silent at this time -
          To dead pioneers he shouted: Take formation!
          In the boots - witnesses to the crime.


          The lovers' boat broke against life.

          And a bet one would not place
          Upon a leader such as this.
          Comrade, comrade, this your boat
          From what dictionary is?

          Still within the lovers' boat
          Thrown one's head back - a scandal!
          Razin - what here does not suit you?
          Better mastered life, withal.

          This novelty - medicine
          Bursting, what is your faucet?
          Fellow, not like proletarian
          You behave, what's with you yet?

          It was worth in gods and mother
          Us, that - not the dawn, the blood!
          The white undercoat of class
          To turn over toward the end.

          Like a cadet, at the Toska
          From despair having shot!
          Fellow! Not like Mayakovky
          You're behaving, like a shah.

          With a cap upon your brow
          And - farewell, my dear one!
          You ended as great-grand-father
          Having lived as great-grand-son.

          And again, like on the checkup
          We will go - shame'll eat you, son:
          You the Soviet-Russian Werther,
          Gesture noble-Russian.

          Earlier - to police station,
          Now... My enemy, dear one!
          There are no new lover's boats
          Underneath the shining moon.

          Like only by enemies,
          In the very soul - a shot.
          This today, the final temple
          Is destroyed by foe of God.

          Having not yet oriented,
          Went to sleep, reaching the spot.
          Heart began now beating, beating,
          Stop, within the trace of shot.

          (An abroad, within the meeting:
          "Incident! What a land mine!
          This means - there is a heart also?
          And with our own, the same one?"

          A shot - in the very spot now,
          Like into the aim of market.
          (Often - the left lobe
          Having shaved - with wife in bed. )

          Hotshot! You did not miss target!
          And this for the woman - what!
          And Helen a lousy creature
          You will call, having thought.

          By but one thing, but completely,
          The Left poet surprised us so:
          Only to the right and knowing
          How to shoot, and left did go.

          In the right - would that the lancet
          Shine - and healthy is your chef.
          Well, the self-same Central Singer:
          A shot in the door on left!

          The Soviet grandee,
          Under full Sinod...
          "Hello, Sergei!"
          "Hello, Volodya!"

          "Got tired?" "Just little"
          "By common?" "My own yet."
          "Did it shoot?" "Habitually."
          "Did it burn?" "Excellent."

          "Thus maybe it lived?"
          "Pass in which type, here."
          "Not so good, Sergei!"
          "Not so good, Vladimir!

          And do you remember,
          How in your pop
          Bass you did curse me?"
          "Well, now, stop...

          Thus here a boat
          Is this lovers' boat!
          Not from a skirt?"
          "It's worse from vodka -

          A bloated face.
          From that time on platoon here?
          Not so good, Sergei."
          "Not so good, Vladimir.

          And maybe - not razor -
          Is worked out cleanly.
          Thus beaten is card
          Completely?" "It trickles."

          "Apply now the plaintain"
          "It's good and collodium.
          Let's apply it, Sergei?"
          "Let's apply, Volodya."

          And what is in Russia -
          The mother? "Where's it?"
          "In USSR
          What is new?" "They build

          The parents give birth,
          The harmful ones sharpen,
          The publishers drive and
          The writers are writing.

          The new bridge is laid
          And washed out with half-water.
          It's all the same, Sergei!"
          "It's the same, Vladimir

          And the singing flock?
          "People, know, winding
          Our ground laurels
          Like rod of the dead ones.

          The old Rost
          With tomorrow's lacquer.
          You will not do with
          Just one Pasternak here.

          Let's apply the arms
          To that there lack of water?
          Let's apply them, Sergei?
          "Let's apply, Vladimir!

          Still bows to you now...
          "And what's the kind, our
          Lsan Alexandrovich?"
          "There -angel!" "Fyodor

          Kuzmich?" "On the canal:
          By the red cheeks
          He went." "Nikolai Gumilev?"
          "On the East

          (On the complete dray,
          In matting bloody...)
          "Still the same, Sergei"
          "Still the same, Volodya.

          And still this the same,
          Volodya dear friend -
          Let's apply the hands
          Though there are no hands

          Volodya." "Though there is none,
          My dear brother Sergei,
          Underneath this kingdom
          Let's place a grenade!

          And on the sunset
          By us bothered
          Let's place it, Sergei!"
          "Let's place it, Vladimir!"

          He destroyed many temples,
          And this - more precious than all.
          Accept, Lord, your deceased enemy's soul.

    Poems to Pushkin

          Scourge of gendarmes, god of students,
          Bile of husbands and wives' sweetness,
          Pushkin - in a monument's role?
          In a role of a stone guest?

          Bare-toothed, looking like dare,
          Pushkin - in role of commander?

          Critic - whining, whiner - speaking:
          "Where is Pushkin's (weeping)
          Sense of measure?" Feeling - having
          Forgotten sea - beating

          On the granite? Salty one,
          Pushkin - in role of lexicon?

          His two legs having stretched out
          To warm, and upon the table
          Having jumped before the tyrant
          African man of free will -

          Killing of our great-grandfathers -
          Pushkin - in role of governor?

          Negro can't be painted over
          Can't correct it into white!
          Not bad is the Russian classic,
          Having once African sky

          Called his own, cursed the Nieva's!
          Pushkin - in role of Russia-lover?

          O you, the bearded augurs!
          Would have given to you the ball
          He who rhymed the tsar's censorship
          With the creep, and for it all

          "Europe's messenger" - with...
          Pushkin - in role of gravedigger?

          To the jubilee of Pushkin
          We will at this time give word:
          Ruddier than all and tanner
          Till this time in all the world,

          Livelier than all and living!
          Pushkin - in role of mausoleum?

          By the cabins of Pushkin
          You model, that're trash - themselves!
          Like from shower! Like from cannon -
          At the Pushkin's nightingales

          Words, the flight of falcons!
          Pushkin - in role of a gun!

          From the scream the ears are popping:
          "In a row before Pushkin!"
          Where did they leave the red of lips,
          Where did they leave the Pushkin's

          Mutiny? Lips' cursed pleasure?
          Pushkin - in the Pushkin's measure!

          Having placed tomes in the bookcase -
          You will bring laughter to him,
          Having mixed your refugeeness
          With his white insanity!

          White-bloodedness of brain, blueness
          Of morgue - with Negro's leer, a throat
          To the seeming...

          Would you, O the Copper Horseman,
          On all hooves behind come leap.
          Poor Vanya was a coward,
          But he - is not cowardly.

          He, looking in all directions -
          In Tatyana's role, one's own?

          What are you doing, you crows,
          This - pigeons' olives -
          The most free, the most far-out
          Forehead - having branded for centuries

          With the two-pieces gone low
          Of the middle and the gold?

          "Pushkin - toga, Pushkin - scheme,
          Pushkin - measure, Pushkin - frame..."
          Pushkin, Pushkin, Pushkin - like
          Invective is noble name

          Scream of parrots - of the square.

          Pushkin? We're very full of fear!


          Not with fleet, not with sweat, not with back
          In patches, not with Swede at the feet,
          Not with growth - from any row,
          Not - to all there is time - with the drift,

          Not with lot, not with boat, not with German
          Through smoke of the stoves beer,
          And not even with Peter-wonder
          His own (his own deed of Peter!)

          And would there be little of big one
          (God gave, not a burden is man!)
          When he could not bear Hannibal-Arab
          Onto the white Russian land.

          This African into learning
          Having taken, the noses of Russians
          Having wiped and insisted - there's light
          In Russia from Negro grandson!

          The turning one he would not have
          In the string! "Onto freedom? Instead!
          He was such a chamber officer
          As I'm king of masquerade!"

          Having learned, not with foam, not with pumice
          Of Africa - literary tsar
          Would've decided: "From now of your African
          Passions I am a censor."

          And having hit him on curly
          Neck (cut - not cut!) "Go, son,
          Onto a short little visit
          Into the wilds African!

          Sail - and be sad of nothing!
          There's someone into sails to blow!
          If you'll get bored - come back to me,
          If not - forget even the door!

          Order: having abandoned
          Icy fogs - inch, an inch behind
          To trace the hot countries
          And with a verse to describe."

          And past the retinue placed there,
          Left behind - at the warehouse, straight,
          A giant, having left the poet,
          Ran - on or over the land?

          The tan-faced one not on Russian
          Snow - the snow's Ismael!
          He, now, with the archives
          The foreign bird did not kill!

          He, not on the fast Slavic blood,
          He is a mestizo also!
          You, now, on the homeland archives
          Of him simply would not sour!

          He would have made peace with you!
          For the unforced bow
          Complained by Nicholas,
          By Peter would be granted so!

          The gendarmes' search he would not cover
          With "homeland of feelings"!
          He would for you - a demon
          Glance! - not freeze the lips.

          He would not crumple Poltavan
          Ends, would not blunt the pen.
          For what as unworthy descendant -
          As a creep - Peter's agaric - was sent

          Into Romanian area
          And with it - by him was granted -
          He killed his shy son, having shyness
          Of man so much hated.

          "This chaff - I? Here
          Now grow, having been born!"
          His true son was the Negro,
          As his true great-grandson

          You'll remain. The pact of equals.
          And having not asked for alms here
          The great-grandson of giant's godson
          Peter's spirit made its heir.

          And step, and the lightest of the light
          Glances, to which it's light now...
          The final - posthumous - immortal
          Peter's gift to Russia.


          All his science is -
          Might. It's light - and I look:
          The hand of Pushkin
          I press, do not lick.

          Friend to great-grandfather:
          In the same old shop!
          Like with one's own hand
          Each and every blot.

          Under piles - to a free one?
          To me, in wonders' cauldron
          Weight that is exploring
          Bracket open,

          Minding written notes -
          Meaning, than all more brief.
          There's not greater search
          Than relationship!

          It was sung - is sung
          And now - it is so.
          We know how it's "given"!
          Over you we know,

          "Trifle" - how it sweated!
          Out of you, O stroke,
          How I wanted forest -
          Ball - and sleigh - I know...

          And how - sleep I wanted!
          How above love's flower -
          I know, how it creaked
          With teeth of Negro!

          Feathers on alert -
          I know how he fixed!
          Fingers have not dried yet
          From his ink!

          And midst tallow candles,
          Midst card games, I know
          How it shook! From naked
          Shoulders, from mirrors,

          From the glasses beaten
          On the floor -
          How it ran on naked
          Table I know!

          Battle, without evil:
          Of self with self, I knew!
          Do not beat with Pushkin!
          With him I'm beating you!

          Of inertness Russian -
          Genius of Pushkin?
          Pushkin's muscle

          On the fate's carcass
          Of the sperm whale -
          Muscle of flight,

          With morning languor
          Vigorously having battled!
          Of a long walk,
          Of running equal -

          Muscle. A muscle
          Of flights the steppe over,
          Of boat that bears
          Through whirlwind to the shore.

          Not burdened
          With blood Russian -
          O, not a camel's
          Or ox's vein

          (From under the belt
          He did work hard!) -
          Mine is the muscle
          Of horse's heart.

          Prettier than ever -
          More ballast!
          Muscle of acrobat
          And gymnast,

          That on the rope
          Of one's own tendons
          From casemate -
          Flew as a falcon!

          Pushkin - from guiding
          Of monarch's hands
          Beating, like beats
          To the death

          (Might - arrived,
          Strength did grow)
          With muscle of shaft
          Muscle of oar.

          Someone, having carried
          On cart: "Of athlete
          Musculature is this,
          Not of poet!"

          That was the strength
          Of an angel:
          Wing's muscle

          (POET AND TSAR)

          With other-sided
          Tsar's hall. -
          And is this one not
          Unbowed, of marble?

          In ornaments' gold
          So grandly framed. -
          A pitiful gendarme
          Of Pushkin's fame.

          He ran down the author,
          Cut text writ by hand.
          A brutal butcher
          Of Polish land.

          Look more intensely!
          And do remember:
          Tsar Nicholas the First
          Is the first-born's

          No, the drum beat before the dark brigade
          When the chief we did inter:
          The teeth of the tsar over the dead singer
          Beat out the drill of honor.

          Such is the honor, that for closest friends
          There's no space. At the head, feet - arms,
          To the sides - on the right, on the left -
          Are chests and mugs of gendarmes.

          Is this not a wonder - in quietest box
          A supervised boy now to be?
          Like something, like something, like something it is
          His honor, honored - overly!

          Look, now, the country, how in spite of the talk
          Monarch dotes over the poet!
          Honorably - honorably - honorably - arch-
          Honorably - honorably - to hell yet!

          Whom then this way - like a thief, shot to death
          They bore over the land?
          A traitor? No. Through the gatekeeper's yard -
          The smartest of Russian men.

          The people's power, having overthrown the throne,
          Not celebrated - friction:
          To executioners not to allow burial
          Of victims, the burial of Pushkin

          To censors. In the unassigned time,
          In prevention of strife.
          Not to bear under the (great!) noise
          Over the route of the thief -

          Not to doom to the final dark,
          The complete deaf-and-dumbness
          Of the body, cropped as such
          With scissors - in the poems.


          With the flashlight turn the world
          Under moon into a ball!
          On the map or in the space there's
          No such country, not at all.

          Drank like from a saucer,
          And the bottom shines.
          Can one come back home
          To a house that's gone?

          In the newer country
          Once again be born!
          On the spine of horse
          That threw you, return

          Now at last! The bones
          Are the whole - although?
          To such a guest
          Breadmaker - the broken

          Slices, carpenter -
          Will not sell the coffin!
          He - for the uncounted
          Miles, kingdoms of heaven,

          Such, where on the coins
          Is the youth of me,
          There's no such a Russia -

          There's no such a me.

    Ode to Walking

          In the century of giant,
          Fateful speeds -
          Glory to sturdy brotherhood
          Of the walkers' feet!
          Tightly, all-terrain,
          Straight, without roads,
          Mightily beating down
          The nature's threshold,

          Daringly violated by century.
          (In time of dynamos and turbines
          Only to live, as invalids!)
          But to you avenging

          Over the advertisement stamps
          On the chest reared and fed.
          No, the footless tribe,
          Reach distance with your feet!

          Glory to the thick soles,
          With the nails, boots,
          To walkers, speed-runners -
          To in boots shod gods!

          If there's ode in the world
          To god of strength and peaks -
          It's the look of the walker
          At the motor that's stuck.

          Grin in all fifteen inches,
          Than the face it's wider:
          Popping is look of walker
          Upon the tire.

          Look now at the torso
          Shattered by arrogance!
          Alcoholics of distance,
          Parasites of wide space -

          That through dusty cloud
          Of arm-dancing mobs
          Break apart. An occurrence?
          Of one's foolishness post.

          Here's he, sword of the dreamers,
          Lash of loads on the spine!
          Casting beauty, like rapist,
          From its feet: to lie down!

          He won't answer and lie down -
          Like a bed - like a grave -
          But he won't show the face
          And the soul will not give

          Back... He'll give you back nothing
          Not July, not April -
          O the eyeless, bespectacled,
          Lacquered null!

          Creator of trouble
          Between South and North!
          (Records of speed:
          Emptiness) your Fords.

          Your Rollses and Royces -
          That old snake, flattery!
          Son! Be fearful of God,
          To trudge feet he told thee.

          Precious dolls from Oper
          And Madeleine, to you
          In exchanged for the lacquered
          Boat - quiet shoes

          Of the dead. O,
          The lie so cold
          Of the mannikin blocks,
          The unstepped-upon soles!

          Glory to God in heaven -
          God of strength, God of tsars -
          For granite and crushed stone,
          For the quartz and the spar,

          Under silicon hoof
          Change given in cash...
          And for this that he made me
          Walking marvel in flesh.

          Growing cozy in sponging,
          From a tire hurries grandson.
          Walkers! Hold to your feet
          Like great-grandfathers - arms.

          Where there's boundary for rubber -
          There for legs there is space.
          Room for breath in the bosom
          When there's not enough gas!

          Like a flood Prague is thirsty,
          Thus thirsts thrill of expense.
          Do not dare teach the children
          Anything but the steps!

          By the streams, by the seashores,
          Ahead - no! Ahead - stop!
          That with feet the savannas
          You knew, with knees the Alps.

          For the openings of schools,
          Friends, I'll kick my two bones
          That from the first step
          To the last - my grandson

          Went! Muscle, putting
          Hades to shame! My offshoot!
          That in kingdom of mollusks -
          On my own two feet!


          Elderberry fills the whole garden!
          Elderberry is green, green,
          Greener, than mold on the vat!
          Greener, than summer at the start!
          Elderberry - till the end of days!
          Elderberry greener than my eyes!

          And after - through the night - with the fire
          Of Rostov! - it is red in the eyes
          From the trill of bubbly elderberry.
          Redder than measles on one's own body
          In all your times, azure,
          Measles that scatters and pours

          Of elderberry - till winter, till winter!
          That in small berry sweeter
          Than poison, what are dissolved paints!
          Of red cotton, sealing wax and Hades
          Mix, a shimmer of corral beads,
          And a taste of baked blood.

          Elderberry has been killed, has been killed!
          Elderberry the whole hall filled
          With blood of young and pure,
          With blood of branches of fire -
          With the blood most merry -
          With blood of heart of you and me...

          And later - grain's waterfall will be,
          And later - black is elderberry:
          With plum something, sticky something.
          Over the gate, moaning with violin,
          Near the house, which is empty,
          Is lonely bush of elderberry.

          Elderberry, without mind, without mind,
          Of your beads, elderberry, am I!
          Steppe - to Mongol, Caucasus - to Georgian will go,
          To me - elderberry bush under window
          Give. Instead of Arts Palace, only
          Give this bush of elderberry.

          Newcomers in my country -
          From the berry - elderberry,
          My ruddy childhood thirst,
          From the tree and from the word:
          Elderberry (till this day - at nights...),
          Poison - sucked in by the eyes...

          Elderberry is red, is red!
          Elderberry - took the whole land
          In its paws. In power, my childhood all.
          Something like passion criminal,
          Elderberry, between you and me
          Century's disease - elderberry

          I would call...

    x x x

          Despair for homeland! Long ago
          Exposed torment! To me
          It is completely all the same
          Where completely lonely to be,

          By which stones on the road home
          With the bazaar knapsack to drag
          Home, not knowing, that it's mine,
          Like hospital or a barrack.

          It's same to me, among which faces
          Like an imprisoned lion to bristle,
          And from among which people's midst
          To be forced out - without fail -

          Into oneself, into individual feelings.
          As polar bear without ice floe
          Where not to live - it's the same to me
          (And I don't dare) - where to go low.

          I won't be tempted by the milky
          Call of my own native tongue.
          It is the same to me on which
          To be not sensed by meeting ones.

          (To reader of newspaper tons,
          To gulper, milker of rumors.) He
          Is of the twentieth century,
          And I - without a century!

          Grown petrified just like a log
          Remaining only of an alley,
          They're all the same, it's all the same,
          And maybe most the same - to me -

          Dearer than everything that was.
          All marks from me, all signs that were,
          All dates - brushed off as if by hand:
          Soul, that had once been born - somewhere.

          Thus my land did not keep me there,
          That the detective most keen
          Along the soul, across it all!
          The birthmark has not sought or seen!

          Alien is home, temple - empty,
          And all's the same and one to me.
          But if along the road a bush
          Rises, especially - ashberry...

    x x x

          The time did not think of a poet,
          And I don't care to think of him.
          God be with him, with noise and thunder,
          He did not come within my time!

          If time has not time for ancestors,
          I've no time for grandsons as well.
          My time's my bane, my time's my damage,
          My time's my foe, my time is hell.

    x x x

          They cut
          Ashberry -
          Is bitter
          Ashberry -
          With gray-haired

    To Fathers

          In the world bellowing:
          Glory to the coming!
          What whispers in me:
          Glory to the gone be!

          To you, passing,
          That won't counted be,
          Not bearing children,
          Preceding me.

          With brush, with key
          They argued, with deed
          Written - pure
          Was their life, with honor.

          White - than treasures
          Of snow more fair! -
          A novel - your
          Conscience's - hair.

          Generation with lilac
          And on Easter in Kremlin,
          My hello to generation
          In the earth to the knee,

          And with gray spots - in stars!
          Than the reed louder,
          To you, speaking: "so-ul"
          Will tremble the air.

          Only having saved the soul
          From wealth of family
          Without brotherhood or equals
          To older contemporaries,

          Arms of faith and of friendship,
          Like Caucasian - an ewer
          Full of grape! - to the foe
          Stretching out - the two!

          Not with Siren - with lilac
          Locked in cave with a key,
          Generation - with soaring!
          With gravity

          From the earth, over earth,
          From the grain and the worm!
          Generation - without soil,
          But with such - to bottom,

          With seen bottom's abyss.
          That from orbits sunken
          Looks as if one alive
          Like a pleasant virgin.

          Generation, where he looked
          The best who suffered the most!
          Continuation of mirrors.
          Generation! I'm yours!

          Yours - in physique and essence,
          And respect for the mind,
          And contempt for the flesh's
          Dress dissolving with time!

          You - to the child doomed
          A poet to be,
          Having persuaded to honor
          All but ringing money:

          All gods - all times - all tribes
          Except the god Vaal!
          My immortal bow
          Generation with fall!

          To you, that with one unheard of
          Were able to - live,
          To you, that among noisy ball
          Were able to - love!

          Having turned to the stars
          Till the hour final -
          Departing race,
          Gratitudes to you all!

    x x x

          Not a warrior of two camps, but - if occasional guest -
          Like a bone in throat - guest, like a nail in sole - guest.
          I was given a head - on it knocked two hammers:
          For some - profit and for others - meanness.

          You from this head - to creator's wonder
          My proletarian patience add -
          You from this head - what did you demand? - lechery!
          Wondering at the insistent answer: cut off the head.

          You from this head, leveled - like rows
          Of mountains, divine draft writ in heights,
          You from this head - what did you demand? - Row.
          Wondering at the answer (speechless): cut off the feet!

          You from this head, tuned - like a lyre:
          On the highest kind: lyrical... - No, stand!
          Two builders: Homebuilder and Dnieperbuilder - for choosing!
          Wondering at the insane answer: Lyres - build. And

          From this head, from the forehead of gray granite,
          You demanded: love us! Hate them all!
          Is it not the same for her, from which side it's beaten,
          To be muffled from which profile of the soul?

          There are times, there are times, when the heads are not needed.
          But to reduce the word to the beets used for feed -
          More honest with Orpheus' head - serenades!
          Herodias with John the Baptist's head!

          You're a tsar: live alone... (But tsars have concubines'
          Minute). God is one. He - in empty skies.
          Not a warrior of two camps: judge - prophet - hostage -
          Freedom fighter of two! Spirit - for freedom fights.

    Readers of Newspapers

          The underground snake crawls,
          Crawls, carries people.
          And each - with his own
          Newspaper (with his own
          Eczema!) Newspaper
          Bone eater, chewing tick.
          Readers of newspapers,
          Chewers of mastics.

          Who's the reader? Old man? Athlete?
          Soldier? Not features, not years,
          Not faces. Skeleton - since no
          Face: sheet of newspaper!
          Which - entire Paris
          From navel to forehead wears!
          Enough, girl! You'll give birth to -
          Reader of newspaper.

          Rock - "lives with sister" -
          ing - "his father he killed!" -
          Rocking - of vanity
          Pumped themselves full.

          What do such men care
          If it is dusk or dawn?
          Swallowers of voids,
          Newspaper-reading ones!

          Read newspapers: slander,
          Read newspapers: waste.
          A column - calumny,
          A paragraph - disgust...

          With what on Terrible court
          In the light you'll appear!
          Seizers of minutes, you
          Readers of newspapers!

          He went! Vanished! Got lost!
          Old is the mother's fear.
          Mom! Guttenberg's press than
          Schwartz's dust is scarier.

          Better on churchyard
          Than in hospital of pus
          To cast scratchers of scabs,
          Readers of newspapers!

          Who is it that rots our sons
          In their prime of years?
          Mixers of blood, they are,
          Writers of newspapers!

          Here, friends, - and where
          Stronger than in these lines!
          What do I think, where
          With writing in my palms

          I stand before the face -
          There is no emptier space!
          That means - not with face
          Of editor of news -

          Paper filth.

    Poems to Orphans

          Baby walked along the road
          Shivering and turning blue
          An old woman walked that road
          She took pity on the orphan...

          Icy tiara of mountains -
          Is a frame to sight transitory.
          On the castle's granite today
          I traced parting to ivy.

          I have chased today on all roads
          Towering figures of pines.
          I have taken a tulip today
          Like a child to the chin.

          With surrounding of mountains I hug you,
          With the granite crown of rocks.
          (That you breathe easier and sleep tighter
          I am busying you with talk.)

          With the sides of a feudal castle,
          With the ivy hands of down -
          You know - in four hundred streams and rivers
          Is the ivy, hugging the stone?

          But I'm not woodbine - and not ivy!
          Even you, dearer than my hand,
          Are not flattened - and freely let out
          Onto every side of my mind!

          Round the flower-bed, round the well too,
          Where to gray-haired ones stone will come,
          With the round pledge of an orphan -
          With the loneliness my round!

          (Thus not one silver braid did weave
          Into my light-brown braids!)
          And with river, into two parting -
          Island to create - and embrace.

          With entire Savoy and Piedmont
          And - cracking the ridge a bit -
          I embrace you with blue horizon,
          With two arms I embrace you yet.


          If I could - I would take you
          Into the womb of a cave:
          Into the cave of a dragon,
          Into the panther's grove.

          Into the panther's - paws -
          If I could - I would take, so.
          To bosom of nature, to bed of nature.
          If I could - my own skin of panther
          I'd take off... I would give in the grove - to study!
          In bushy, in firry, in streamy, in ivy -

          Where in darkness, in dusk, and in dreaming
          Branches weave for eternal weddings!

          Where in granite, in milk and in bast
          For centuries intertwine arms -
          Like branches - and rivers...

          Into cave without light, without trace into thicket.
          In leaves, in ivy, in ivy - like in coat...

          Not white light, not black bread: in dew
          In leaves, in leaves - like in relationship too...

          That did not knock on the door,
          That henceforth did not happen,
          That did not shout in window,
          That for century didn't end!

          But not enough - cave,
          And not enough - grove!
          If I could - I would take you
          Into the womb of a cave.

          If I could -
          I would take.

          On the ice floe -
          Loved one,
          On the mine -
          Loved one,
          On the ice floe, in Guyana, in Gehennah - loved one.

          In the scab - desired one,
          From churchyard - desired one:
          Be a desired guest! Only teeth and bone - desired one!

          With the under-knees angst
          Till ruined darkness

          With the last seizure of smoke - pitied one.
          And there's no such hole, and there's no such abyss:
          Loved one! Wished one! Pitied one! Full of illness!

          With rapid speech - with stream of water
          Beating: - Loved one! Sick one! Dear!

          With recitation - lingering blues:
          Weak! Half-alive! Paper! See-through!

          With lengthwise cut from stomach to pharynx:
          Loved one! Wished one! Pitied one! Full of illness!

          Finally I've encountered
          One that I do need:
          Somebody possesses
          Deadly need of me.

          What to eye is rainbow,
          Ground to the grain,
          To man - is being needed
          By another man.

          I need more than rainbow,
          More than rain or hand,
          Need of this my hand
          By another man.

          This - wider than Ladoga
          Than mountain more true -
          Is need of my hand
          By another's wound.

          And for that with ulcer
          Palm had brought to me -
          This my hand - immediately
          In fire after thee!

          In thoughts of another, otherwise,
          Like a treasure chest not found,
          Step by step, poppy by poppy -
          Garden's I cut off the head.

          Thus, sometime in a dry summer,
          On the very edge of field,
          Death my head will sever
          With an absent-minded hand.

    x x x

          "It's time! I'm old for this fire!"
          "Older than me is love-desire!"
          "All fifty years has this hill!"
          "Love's older than that hill still:
          Old like a snake, old like a plant,
          Older than ambers of Livan,
          Older than all the ghostly boats,
          Older than seas, older than stones...
          But agony that's in the chest -
          In years, love's less, in years, love's less.

    x x x

          "I dressed the table for the six"
          I still convey the word and still
          The first one verse I do repeat:
          "I dressed the table for the six"...
          But seventh one you did forget.

          It is not merry for us six.
          On faces are the streams of rain+
          How could you over such a table
          Forget the seventh - seventh one+

          It is not merry for the guests,
          Idle is pitcher of crystal,
          Sad are they all, sad are you too,
          But saddest is the one uncalled.

          It is not merry and not light.
          Ah! You don't drink and do not eat.
          How could you have forgotten this?
          How could you have erred in the count?

          How could you, dared, not understand,
          That six (two brothers, the third -
          You, with wife, father and mother) there
          Are seven - that I'm in this world?

          You dressed the table for the six,
          But with six the world did not die.
          More than the scarecrow midst the live
          I want to be a ghost - with (mine),

          Yours... Shy just like a thief,
          O - never touching but a soul! -
          Behind the silverware unmade
          I sit as seventh one, uncalled.

          At once! I overthrew the glass!
          An all that thirsted to be poured -
          All salt from eyes, all blood from wounds -
          From tablecloth - on the floorboards.

          And - there's no coffin! No - parting!
          Broken is spell, wakes up the home.
          Like death - onto the wedding feast,
          I'm - life, that to dinner have come.

          And I still scold, for nobody -
          Not brother, husband, son or friend:
          "You, dressed the table for six souls,
          Did not seat me upon the end."