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Sixth Sense

Шестое чувство

Fine the wine that loves us,
Good bread baked for our sakes
And the women who torment and tease
Yet please us and in the end let us take them.

But what do we do with the red
Hue of sunset that lets the sky grow cold
With blue in a still, strange serenity?
What to do with a poetry that lives forever.

You can't eat or drink or even kiss
The color of a setting sun or sound
Of poetic line; even as we wring our hands
And try to grab it quick, beauty flies.

As the boy sometimes watching girls bathing
In a lake forgets what he was playing at
And knowing nothing of love sublime
Is tormented by mysterious desires,

As in the primal jungle of the world where
Some mud covered creature, wet and bare
First felt upon his shoulders wings
Unfurled, and in helpless fear howled

Into dense veldt; so through the centuries —
O God, how long? — under nature's knife
art, the soul cries out
of its pale, trembling flesh — from some sixth sense.

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Alongside the reeds of the sluggish Nile / Where birds and butterflies flit in the sun, / Lies the forgotten tomb’s rubble / Of a tyrannical and seductive Queen. / / The hazy night spreads deceptions, / White wisps of fog shift through the air / The moon is like a guilt-ridden s...


To the blessed memory of I. F. Annenskii** / My fortune rises from a lofty power, / Not even gods are so proud. / Marble columns beneath burning skies / Bring shelter into my garden. / / Wells in the grove flow out to rosy pools / With delicate azure moss, / While slaves, dancers,...

Don Juan

My fantasy is proud and plain: / To grasp the crop, leap the stirrup, / Outrace sluggish time, / And always kiss fresh lips; / / And in old age before Christ’s grace, / With ash on head and eyes cast down / Breast burdened by an iron cross, / At last to take salvation’s ...

A Reader of Books

As a reader of books, I yearned to come across / My quite paradise in obedient consciousness. / I loved them all, those strange expanses, / Where there are neither hopes nor memories. / / To swim unflaggingly the streams of lines, / To enter eagerly a channel’s chapters / Watchi...

Flowers don’t survive with me...

Flowers don’t survive with me / Their beauty pleases but a moment, / They last a day, or two, and wilt, / Flowers don’t survive with me. / / Indeed no birds survive here, / I rescue them, forlorn and mute, / Next day - small tufts of fluff are left... / Indeed no birds s...

At the Shore

O heart - abundant hive, / Peerless golden honeycomb! / I stagger through surf, and I dive / Through tatters of frothing foam. / / Exhausted, at my trireme helm, / My chest bared to a storm gone mad, / I raced toward my island home / Against the blue-gray thunderhead. / / I ent...