How is it to see today, how is it to breathe? Air is thick before a storm, thick and viscous. What am I to sing today, what am I to hear? Mantic birds are singing, all are from a mythos. Birds of Sirin are playfully grinning: Occupying, and urging to their nests, And across are, lamenting and grieving, Soul tormenting odd birds of Alkonost. Like old precious seven chords, Ringing out, each in its turn: This is birds of Gamayun Are suggesting hope. In the vault of heaven, punctured by belfries, There’s a brass toll, there’s a brass toll: If it has rejoiced or else has got cross... Domes, in Russia, are finished with pure gold So the Lord took more notice of hers. I am standing, as if facing an eternal riddle, Looking over great and mythical climes, Ruminating o’er a salty-bitter-sour-sweet Azure land of pure wellsprings and rye. Champing, floundering in greasy and rusty mud, Up to stirrups, the horses get stuck, Nonetheless they drag me on by a drowsy land That is limp, that is swollen from sloth. As if seven harvest moons On my way, were rising up: That is birds of Gamayun Are suggesting hope. To the soul, confused by losses and bereavements, To the soul, frayed by disagreements, Lest the skin thin away till it hurts, I’ll apply the patches of gold leaf So the Lord took more notice of hers.
© Vyacheslav Chetin. Translation, 2009