Posts tagged ‘2015’

Monday, 24 February 2020

9 March 1823 by Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky

You stood before me
So still and quiet,
Your gaze was languid
And full of feeling.
It summoned memories
Of days so lovely…
It was the final
One you gave me.

Now you have vanished,
A quite angel;
Your grave is peaceful,
As calm as Eden!
There rest all earthly
There rest all holy
Thoughts of heaven.

Heavenly stars,
Quiet night!

From: Dralyuk, Boris, “Three Poems from the Golden Age” in Pushkin Review, 2015-16, 18-19, p. 139.

Date: 1823 (original in Russian); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky (1783-1852)

Translated by: Boris Dralyuk (19??- )

Monday, 25 November 2019

Tantaliad by Ana Gorría

A raft capsizing
in your gut;
a far-off sun,
an empire of thirst.


Date: 2005 (original in Spanish); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Ana Gorría (1979- )

Translated by: Yvette Siegert (19??-)

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Little Red by Peter Leight

Children are born brave,
hardly a day passes,
wedged into the hood like a soft room,
deliberate but not-always-knowing,
she has a lot on her mind,
her body is another story.
This is what she has:
a growing mind,
knowing body.
Or is it the other way around?
Hardly a day passes,
loosening her straps the way you leave a room without even thinking,
never wilting under cross examination,
she could have said
I don’t want any,
but she isn’t very good at word problems.
Her body is smooth,
her mind is rough
the way oysters are slippery while toast dries out.
Or is it the reverse?
It isn’t really an emergency, but the hunters arrive sooner or later,
they always promise to take you away.


Date: 2015

By: Peter Leight (19??- )

Monday, 14 October 2019

Life and Limb by Hannah Stephenson

This is a song for the body that crumbles,
that does not fear its own enfeebling.

In one life you had a great ass.
There are bones beneath it.

This is a song for the mostly-obedient
body. The shaking foot that lifts.

Children guard other children walking
to school. Oh, beautiful crossing guards,

this is a song for the orange vests flapping
against your small bodies, uninflated

life jackets, for the stop signs you hold up
like torches as you wade into the street.

This is a song for the body protected,
the body desired, the body melting away.


Date: 2015

By: Hannah Stephenson (19??- )

Monday, 7 October 2019

Security Light by David Mason

The glow outside our window is no fallen star.
It is futility itself. It is the fear of night
a neighbor burns with, nightmare of a stubborn child.

I dreamed of chasing crows in a dark of sea fog
and no wind, the chill smell of kelp and changing things,
knowing the sea’s edge and the sand met where the fish lived.

I saw the waters running out to meet the water
coming in, the small crabs lifted off their claws.
I saw the trysting place of cormorants, the cliffs

of guarded nests where eagles watched like sated kings
alive, alive at the moving sand clock of the sea
where all’s dissolved, where earth itself is taken down.


Date: 2015

By: David Mason (1954- )

Friday, 4 October 2019

The Other Immigrants by Saba Husain

As if the light from a zodiac      spilling onto rose floors
and a clock chiming      on a waltzing concourse
were not enough      how many

have stood      in the Whispering Gallery
and stuttered      into silence
when they heard words      from its walls

and were transported      to the childhood
counting to ten      playing under lemon trees
anticipating      more afternoons

roamed the red brick streets      forts
lush garden      Lahore      and held on
to its ditches and lanes

till they found themselves
standing under a dome
in Grand Central                  whispering.


Date: 2015

By: Saba Husain (19??- )

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Not One Thing Bright by Florence Chard Dacey

I hoard the gold
of poplars, silver bark of birch
till they brown in earth
and fade as we do
under the witness of trees.

My bulls and bears
trample and snarl at my need.
I’ll eat each slice
of moon’s shadowy bread.
Live on waves.
Dash on rocks.

Nothing keeps me safe
as colors found then squandered.
Not paper made to buy our separation.
Not one thing bright that cost a life.


Date: 2015

By: Florence Chard Dacey (19??- )

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Warchild by Yomi Sode

We clasp onto wishes for hope.
Wishes, that wet the dryness of our tongues
while our parents pile bricks and ruin against
the door from inside.

Sweat drops from my father’s face,
He smells as though time has run out.
We hear the music in their feet
the percussion in shell cases ringing concrete,
greeting our door like neighbours
for Sisi, who talks about London and France.
And, me.


Date: 2015

By: Yomi Sode (19??- )

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Home by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.

no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child’s body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying —
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.


Date: 2015

By Warsan Shire (1988- )

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Flies Like Thoughts by Innokenty Annensky

Flies, like black thoughts, have not quit me all day …
                                                                   A. N. Apukhtin (1840–1893)

I’ve grown weary of sleeplessness, dreams.
Locks of hair hang over my eyes:
I would like, with the poison of rhymes,
to drug thoughts I cannot abide.

I would like to unravel these knots …
Or is the whole thing a mistake?
In late autumn the flies are such pests –
their cold wings so horribly sticky.

Fly-thoughts crawl about, as in dreams,
they cover the paper in black …
Oh, how dead, and how dreadful they seem …
Tear them up, burn them up – quick!

From: Chandler, Robert, Dralyuk, Boris and Mashinski, Irina (eds.), The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, 2015, Penguin Random House UK: London, p. 122.

Date: 1904 (original in Russian); 2015 (translation in English)

By: Innokenty Annensky (1855-1909)

Translated by: Boris Dralyuk (19??- )