Last manuscript of an exiled Russian poet


Pick up a yardstick to measure your life against anyone else’s, and you’ve just picked up a stick and beaten up your own soul.
~ Ann Voskamp

55

And I cannot inherit back
my childhood from a photo-album
what I was, what i am

is transferred in silence
and most probably lost
like all living things
I accept the change of it all

that which expands, contracts
like a flock of birds in flight
I am at ease & I am alarmed

you hold your own hand in smiles
And I cannot do that, I’m not you
the pieces of my soul
Were already given to words

lost on words like a poet
writing after midnight
not destined the next morning

to remember what possessed him
not able to make up all the alphabets
that changed his life as the
seconds overtake me

I will be that irregular snowflake
as misunderstood as the
hands of the clock

the golden speck in sunlight
the stranger who smiled
at me, or with me, strangely.

i dreamed of a familiar stranger


Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
~ Anatole France

54

We’ve lived our lives and not
Seen each other, never met
we looked up at the same stars
felt the same things, tried

to give kindness to strangers
oh what an evening it is now
together in the same light
beneath the same lamp?

we were young and vigorous
for a time, and now both have
graying temples and diamond truths
to take from the particular obstacles

of our birth and fate, though
your exclamations stir my heart
with the spiritual truth of your wonder
and the honesty of your perception

we ask if we could have become good friends?
perhaps it as as though we were there
all along, from what direction did we come?
that such similar souls could have

not known each other, it seems unreal
in the rainy summer night, walking in the dew
with ten cups of things to talk about
tomorrow we will just be two spirits
in a boundless world of human affairs.