A lizard of prostration in my bones creeps; My sober head and sluggish heart have ceased to fight; Fast driving leaves me calm, my soul sleeps; Sharp curves no longer chill my blood and cause no fright. Love no longer grips my throat in a fit; My nerves are numb, I feel no pain when I am hit; My nerves like washing lines are hanging loose, And I don’t care if I win or if I lose. I get a blow And, distressed, I go to pot. Only “no” I possess And only “not”. I drink no longer ice-cold water from a spring; No one and nothing no longer make me dash; My bow’s lying uselessly as I have torn its string, The furnace turned my broken arrows into ash. I strain no muscle and no sinew, feeling slack; I’m not inspired with the chance of an attack; Like glass I am transparent, soft like wax And inconspicuous, like linen made of flax. I get a blow And, distressed, I go to pot. Only “no” I possess And only “not”.                             Sores ache no longer and my scars give me no pain, And sterile bandages protect my wounds and seams; In my indifferent, unconcerned and listless brain There are no questions, no thoughts and no dreams.                             The fight with gravity I lost - it cooked my goose; I’m lying flat, thus, staying farther from the noose; My heart is jerking, so strange and so slow - It’s time to join the netherworld of “not” and “no”.            
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2002
Edited by Robert Titterton