Iím diving deeper, out of breath; My ears are pounding, but Iím stubborn. Why am I reaching for the depths? Whatís wrong with land all of a sudden? On land I had supplies, a roof. Thatís where I sang and got exhausted. And there I swam, though it was tough, But I kept íself above the surface. Old passions molt under the moon In the mundane miasmic matter. Into the next world Iíll float soon, The safe return is getting harder. Iím breathing with my mouth at last, The void is boiling- I wonít fret this! Iím sinking, and Iím sinking fast: In spite of Archimedes thesis! Iíve lost my bearings, I feel swirled, But I recall the myths and legends. Iím to discover a new world Beneath the coral reef formations. The coral cities of the deep... Theyíre full of fish, but thereís no ruckus. The underwater lifeís asleep, Itís sapient and full of colors. Where is that evil liquid gloom That mothers name to frighten children? Itís bright, though neither torch nor moon Illuminates the darkness hidden. A genius misunderstood, A splash of brilliance ill reputed, All hid themselves and saved for good! All thatís forbidden, prosecuted... God willing, I will sink as well, They will not sit there all forgotten. Iím digging deeper in this well, Itís harder still to reach the bottom. The pressures crushes down my spine, Inside my skull - a graveyard ringing. Iím being lifted by the brine, The depth is keeping me from swimming. I left my polespear on the shore, I took a stone with me - for penance! So I could reach the very core, The greater depth, the utmost essence. I threw away my knife - why harm? There are no foes, we all are people, Here, every man whoís carrying arms Reminds a wayward carpet beetle. Iíll match you, underwater brain, Letís all forget our rank and status. We come to live like fish again, With gills for diving apparatus. O Neptune, will you answer me? Please ease the mind of your supporter: Why have we parted from the sea, By choosing dry land over water? Iím seeking answers - Iíll be damned! - My doubts were drilling, doing damage: What for did we turn into men? And why did we develop language? Why, living freely on four legs, Did we stand up, our backs are straighten? The answer - Godís my witness, friends - The stones and clubs were for the taking. We strove to learn much on the fly, While building scaffolds where it pleases, And to betray, to crucify, And to harpoon our very species! Iím calling, yelling "Save our souls!" As I am going down on purpose. And if I do not reach my goal, Escape, my friends, flee from the surface! Go back - but not to pain and woe, Not to the path of no returning, Go back to water, shelter, home, Back to the womb, the womb eternal! Accepting me for its own breed, A starfish tapped me on the shoulder. Iím spitting out the tube, Iím free! My lungs are open to the water! Insert your earplugs one-by-one And tighten up your line formation. One took his leave - no harm is done, But I will come for your salvation!
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2023