When waters that had swollen in the deluge Retreated to the margins of the shores, Love softly reached a dry place to take refuge From foam ebbing to levels as before And for a time dissolved and with the air fused, But that time lasted eons by the score. And there are some who, nothing like the rest, Breathe in that mixture till it fills their chests. They don’t expect rewards or castigation But thinking that they’re simply drawing breath They suddenly start falling into step With someone’s same uneven respiration. But emotion for a long time sits Just floating as if it were a ship Till it knows "I love" means only this: That I breathe and that means I exist. And there’ll be many wanderings and journeys; Love’s country’s with vast territories blessed - And challenges that grow ever more stern she Gives to her knights to put them to the test. She’ll make them suffer separations, yearnings; And take from them all peace or sleep or rest. But love-crazed people won’t be turned away For they’re prepared in any case to pay Whatever price and risk their lives forever To keep from breaks or harm in any way The magic thread worth more than words can say That interlaced the two of them together. By fresh winds the chosen ones were drugged, Brought new life and knocked down off their feet For this reason: if you never loved Then you never lived and never breathed. But you won’t reach, however much you call them, Most people once their lungs have filled with love; The wagging tongues make notes and won’t ignore them, But rumour’s notes are mixed up with their blood. Still at the heads of mighty love’s brave fallen We place candles to light them from above. Their voices then in unison may sound; Their souls may rove with flowers all around And eternally breathe with one respiration And meet up with a sigh upon their mouths On fragile piers and bridges tumbling down And on the narrow crossroads of creation. I’ll make lovers beds in fields of bliss - Sleeping and awake may they sing this: If I breathe I love and what that is Is I love and that means I exist.
© Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2008