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.

song of death


If you die you’re completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I’m not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I’ve got.
~ Kurt Cobain

47

The night, it is a path of stars
to which no visitor can wander
ankle-deep in the ocean

from forests to cities, to the sea
nobody can falter
though the night be deserted
though there be no shelter

i am not alone, i alone
can visit thee, in my
spirit’s secrecy

from my eternal spark
but i, am the one who holds you
i am not alone, this world
forgets its origins

all flesh is sad to see
but shone, or dark, or together
or alone, in solitary bliss

death the ticker loves the taker
who is the greatest lover
anti-mother who always remembers
i am not alone, let wind or salt
take me, dive me into final hours.

Autumn’s True Tenderness


15

you have come to me, all tenderness & meekness
to give solace to me, my dear….
this portends perhaps to my forsaken doom
or to some suffering that God wants to quantify?
all things being equal, I am not here forever
no, mortality is a brief window closing
don’t you know? didn’t you?

come now, stay a little longer
won’t you, if you could, for yourself and all
you hold dear, for your health that is
to meet me with a torch, while lunar gleams
unsteadily behind you, your smile never faltered
even as your voice is strangely altered
from former years, your face hangs low now wrinkled

what might have been, had our hiding places
of timing matched, I cannot say
i’ve a certain smile, thanks to you
these years have not been as lonely
as I might have feared, and this
that’s the promise of the greatest hand
who lends their heart to uplift a fate

as low as mine, gold before me are alter and road
the fire has settled deeper now
my soul is full of light and freedom
but the mirror of my body is gathering grey
life, what a letter, what a bouquet
to think that i’ll miss this too
was once almost inconceivable

in servitude you know i languish
at the edge of awkward anguish
my fragrant heartached years weren’t what
i might have expected, i can still hear
the old gate creaking, and remember the
yellow stains of my youth, but that
is not important, we are sometimes so unaware

of our good fortune and spiritual calling
nothing is quite as glowing as
gratitude in our last autumn on the Earth.

CAN YOU WRITE ABOUT LOVE?


113

Death is a preferable subject
For a poet died of writing about love
These diseases, suicides, war, religions

Have to be put into perspective
Why? Because love turns
Literature into a poor resurrection
Of dead poets, it’s better they stayed dead

To be honest, Death teaches us immortality
Reuniting with our parents who
Didn’t have the courage to face
Their psychologically flawed relationships

Worse than unhappy, to be indifferent
I’d prefer to die honestly, though
It just so happens I forget
For the sake of lyrical exercise

What I once considered so important
To summon a single moment I felt
Completely loved, it’s that absence
That makes Death a literal personal subject.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Never-Want-To-Say-Goodbye-467542629

ODE TO ANGELOU


23

i

You may write me down in history
With faint acclaims of martyrhood
But we were all heroes for living
We faced and trod in this world’s dirt
And still, like dust, we rise

ii

To the stars from which we came
You won’t see us any longer
But we’ll be back with new faces
Hungry minds, stronger hearts?
There is no stopping change
How many teardrops did we catch
On our shoulders? That day, those years?

iii

We were shot with words, and killed
By discrimination, prejudice and politics
We outlived history, with our soulful cry?
Because we believed in doing Good
Doing good anywhere is good everywhere

iv

We took the time to speak to the people
Without being victims or seeing enemies
You may write me down as anonymous
But I strove to be a good citizen
To laugh and cry in balanced measure

v

Never to be afraid of life’s energy
Don’t complain, if you can’t change it
It takes courage to display empathy
Day after day, don’t be a coward
Even if you have just one smile left
Give it to the people you love
And if you have nobody, smile to yourself.

UNTIL BIRD-RACKETING DAWN


35

When night comes back
Back in black with her Royal dreams
Death with lift us all apart
Though aging does that just fine
Our wings of where we
Once flew, the sunlit open skies
And when red breaks out

Blood-dropped Sunsets spill
Across the ancient Lullaby
Of the setting West alongside
All that we once held dear
That nightlong spin on Time
Peels the stars from our rooftops
A canopy of light-hunted mistresses
All screaming the same name, LIFE.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/dark-bird-450866660

CALL to POETS

The Festival has a unique theme this time, poems about poetry, do you have any to offer up?

It’s one of the most decorated topics so if you are up to the challenge:

LINK

http://www.writerscafe.org/contests/Wuji-International-Poetry-Festival-IX%2A/49886/

Theme is Metapoetry.

PAUSE BEFORE DEATH


14

Death is the pure potential
Of a life to be more, to go Beyond
Anyone, still we meet God

Though if God be but not Immortal
But a cultural refuge, this must be
An instrument for our Creation

The longest enduring Friend
To hope, with faith, for a Future
That might evolve from our Pursuit

Itself, everyone, to be dissolved in God
The Galaxy that remembers
Ancients, inheritance, ancestors extinct –

Death is the pure potential
Glowing in the metaphors that endure
And Everything that happens
Should be perceived as a Miracle.

Treatise on Du Fu


87

Vulnerable while we ride the wind
We are as gulls drifting slowly up the river
Dew is heavy on the lips of sunsets
With a loving morning in view

I can feel the edge of Heaven, tatters of Autumn
Beginning to drip with the frost of Winter
The spider’s web is ready for me
Nature’s plan for me is being revealed

Long rains have turned to frontiers of snow
And the red fruit of pomegranate drops into our mouths
Like the rubies of a fastly approaching giant Comet
While we will all be separated by a human death

I will see you in my dreams in the after-life
Old friends in exiles with only words
My poetry already knows how much I will miss you
Caught in a net of a thousand nights of laughter

The setting moon will spill of our stories
As the moment when I first saw love on your face
The waters of time are deep, deeper than memory
Don’t let the river gods take you, I know the stars

Are a country of petals shed like ancient tears
Where all the grief of the worlds turns to love
In a super-nova that has the mouth of pure love
My heart is a world of water and crystal

Already ready to be reborn, like clothes damp
With the time of spring rains, long rains
Heal everything, long rain has not harmed the land
Our weeping voices will rise and join the clouds

In the blue skies our wings will not falter
But wavering, flinching, I will reach summits
Of the Sovereign in the ordinary, the rainbows built
In the supreme architecture of my descendants.

Treatise on Socrates


54

Knowing nothing, I am wisdom
Beginning to wonder, by all means
Marrying my time on the Earth
contentment being the wealth of my nature
Since all men’s souls are immortal

What should I fear, tell me?
I’ve got a good wife, I’ve become happy
though if I took a lover, it would be
Philosophy, that dead pursuit
Of men who like to admit

That true wisdom is following our nature
Sincerely, God knows best what is
Good for us, and be as a child
For an honest man is always a child
Avoiding the bareness of a busy life

Let him that would move the world
First move himself, becoming one’s own teacher
Wonder is the beginning of wisdom
Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle
The self is its own casing of ignorance

Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events
Weak minds discus people, therefore learn
To gossip of higher stuff, an education of living.

In These Times You Have to be Terribly Careful


27

As a result of being confirmed
As unable to breathe or think
Confined in the dark, my friends
That is how I know I am dead –
Only occasionally is my heart now moved
By the plight of mortals and

The weight, of their mischievous mortality
They can’t reconcile themselves
To their condition, since their
lives are so full of change
They raise their heads clumsily
Like infants, only to live with a limp

Fearing the inevitable, I was once
Like light, adjusting myself
In the crypt of empty space
As a result of being, after the symphony
As unable to hear the empty music
Confined in the light, my friends

That is how I know I am yet alive –
I will take every occasion thus
To let my heart be moved
By the awkward wonders here,
And the stems of silence like levels
Of the hotel of flesh, where the carpet
Of my biology is somehow too soft.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Petrova-3-412362390

At The Hinge of All My Days


84

If I shouldn’t be alive –
Let others do, what I could not
Let them not save me
Any memorial crumbs

Our stories are all retold
Again and again, like being fast
Asleep and dreaming life
Our lives, they come and go

So quickly, if I should die tomorrow
Perhaps I will have been asked
To go abroad, to some further star –
And there I shall take compact Sunshine

With me, my first well Day in ages
If I shouldn’t be alive –
Let poets rise from every circumstance
Uncertain of themselves, so –

We all cheat ourselves, dropping
Threads of our youthful dreams
We conform to routine lives
If I shouldn’t be alive –

Maybe it is for the best?
To fade into tomorrow with
Rainbows held, like brief recompense.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Winter-Spices-412283366

I Died for Beauty


79

I died for beauty many times
Though my heart was scarce
I poured it on the page to be a poet fair

A dead breed, adjusted only
In the tomb, I died for beauty
Like the extinct Romantic –

All of us speaking of love
In wild adjoining rooms
I questioned God softly

Why I failed, to be a writer
In such a world, it was because
The world had grown ugly

Over the centuries, without nature’s
Touch, ‘I died for beauty’ I replied
The future cared not for beauty anymore

My ancestors wept and my descendants
Did not know, that the moss had
Reached the lips, of all wombs

That came before, I died for beauty
For a poem, lost and covered up by names
Of all the poets that came before

The Universe does not applaud the meek –
And poets’ love a royal dress
Distinguished to nobody in particular

I did for beauty anonymously
Without a trace, a unit in diversity
My own wheel in the starlit dark

I cannot say why I turned for beauty
In tides of Supernova, I died for beauty
Like last night, on some unfrequented road.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/dari-411941266

A Brief Definition of Longing


65

My longings died for the youth
beautiful bodies aged and with
roses by the head, jasmine at the feet

time did not save anyone, longing passed
like the words of the dead, who lived
in the presence of sensual pleasures

so fleeting, temporary, the vivid aches
but radiant mornings drove us on
the timid imaginations of a lifetime

in blood flesh and hot striving for survival
exalted young sensualists have to become
something else, mystical longings

that have a difficulty defining the goal
a forbidden ecstasy of meditation otherworldly
where synapse kisses the universe

my longings died past mid-life
the beautiful angels did not age
the spirit would never die

love’s height lifted above a person
we would become separated forever

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/autumn-408633691

To All Good Nights


61

Good night, because we must
Say how to elude strife is to sleep
Father! They won’t tell me
What the light knows

That I shall never know –
Good night, I fumble at my spirit
As players at the chords & keys
Before they drop full of music

Before the end of poetry
Good night, prepare your possessions
You will not need them beyond here
Father! They won’t tell me

Why your breath is so timid today
What the light knows
That we shall never know –
Good night, we are dealing

With Imperial thunderbolts
With a fate that scalps my naked soul
The stars above my head
And my feet pointed to the sea

Good night, because we must
Not know what to do next
Father! In our hour of doom
All evenings steal our purple flight

Reasons profound and Daffodils
Good night – merit and fear qualifies
Humanity, to my beloved need
That never met a more sufficient proof
Than saying good night,
With but itself to rest upon.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Secluded-404857664

Saucy Seraphs of Death


60

Death sets a thing to its significance
That was insufficient in life
The eye that hurried through

Goals, perished for its workmanship
We all work in crayon, and wool –
Industrious by passing necessity

As other creatures who have eyes
I see no other way, this world
Profits from the business of death

The distance of youth floods
Departs like the Grace departs
For each beloved hour, each beloved year

Death sets a thing to its significance
There are no tears that measure for the dead
Incognito, dust, how intricate the weeping dust!

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/autumn-rain-404842271

Felicity of Doom


39

Death and conscience, O’ she –
Will easily classify achievement
Achievement being a forgetful thing

Dare you saw a few souls
Deep straight down, a white heat
Of harmony at the best & worst of times?

Then crouch within the door
Of possibility, and listen for –
The metaphysics of vanished others

Who mysteriously appear and suddenly
Take leave, we quiver at the forge
Of the social fire’s flame, that unanointed Blaze

Where we marry others for a moment in words
And sacrifice a bit of ourselves, to please
Death and conscience, O’ she will –

Easily disseminate our mutualities
Love being the most memorable things
It is not a question of who or stability

But how much did we give & love
On what Anvil did we place our heart
That celestial soundless tugged-of-within.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Amaranth-402725392

I Pause Below the Earth at Last


102

Where I have lost, I softer tread –
And I have failed, upon the lillies
Of so many tongues, women, roads
That I pause and mourn in every verse

Whom have I lost, but myself, this
Ruthless figment of my reality
I vanished from the garden bed
Where I once blossomed and bloomed

Where I have lost, I no longer come –
Down the rumored-path of love
Why, I have lost, the people I knew
Like being bathed in loneliness

An entire lifetime, who dressed in flocks
Of the purest snow, that was me
Dressed always in white, how many
Centuries ago? Next is bliss, the last stop
Where the feelings of stone can feel.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-other-way-392647290

Death IV


70

From the monarchy of the past
We are chilled for her coming
Death, that spark of our reincarnation

Who sums up our karma in her Will
Beloved are the changes of our fates
That destiny spills with such great beginnings

Our ill health begets for what she came
That many times our body might rise again
For the supersession of breath
*
And a hundred alternate futures
Our mind confronts the murderous men
Who orchestrate wars in her gaze

Death, how she knew me to the bones
Man created this, for his own profit
As women enjoyed giving life in all that they did

But we live on an Earth that serves
The profit of a few, so death offers them
No final freedom either, only the power of knowledge

The fleeting pleasure of a few kingly years
From our station of birth we are built
To confront the meaning of our brief life
In the shinning darkness of a final abyss.

Photo Courtesy: http://browse.deviantart.com/art/Irene-377267462

Breath Seized from Lung Where Foam-White Pencil Flew


Ataraxia

Death halves us with every loss
Divided we lose each an encore
The dwarf memories
Do not suffice, we remember
Wrong, we suffer those wrongs

Still – Our narrowness we become less
In age, after grief, we love not
The same, we were grandeur once
We fled into each other, for a time
Brief like the pain halved

Dividing our sorrow we walked on
Without choice, beneath the common tide
The world swallowed us up
In days of absence, disbelief
Shock, tension, the past’s separation-plots

The curve of love had mountains to move
And seas to drown ourselves in
After grief, there is clapping hands
New faces in this exultant community
This countryside of loves

With each relationship or friend
A bit more sinister, a bit less real
I still wail inside for you
But you no longer have ears for me
Because I have died to you
But my feelings will never die.

Photo: http://browse.deviantart.com/art/Ataraxia-371437545

Divorce, Death & Taxes


49

I’ve come to realize, the day will come
My mother will die, maybe
Before my daughter is even born
It’s a cruel world, where this is possible…
Sometimes I wait for something

Special to occur, especially to me
And then I stop myself –
Feeling guilty for those with serious
Disabilities, in war-stricken countries
I’ve come to realize, my ability

To practice social justice, is limited
Like altruism turned on its head
I’ve grown weak with failure, rejection, poverty
Whereas I once wanted to change the world
I’ve come to realize, I’m not so different

After all, my mother will die
And then all this abandonment will know
That this truly is a cold cruel world
Where we are bodies in transit
I’ve dreamed enough about bodies
Maybe it’s time to be spiritual again.

Final Harvest


20

‘Tis not that Dying hurts us so
Love is dying in a different way
Being let go, like yesterday’s memory

By someone we still love –
‘Tis living, the ambush of little hurts
That aren’t so shrill if we make

Bliss, our mortal baseline
And bow to everything, and learn
‘Tis not that dreams pass too slow

It’s that we have a set number of choices
We can ever make, hitting Reset
Is not the same as an involuntary rebirth

‘Tis not that Dying hurts us much
Life is not the mourning attachment it once was
When our heart is broken forever, by one final episode
That allows us to live another way.

Only a Passing Shrine


8

I live with Him – I see his face
Death, the sundown visitor
The look that claims us from the invisible
I’ve seen people die of grief
I’ve felt the enormous conviction
Of hopelessness, going unloved

The Stillness of the Room
When the brain stops being creative
I’ve looked in the eyes of the elderly
Tried to find the light in their eyes
There is an uncertain stumbling buzz
In the way I feel incomplete, in

The notices of feeling alive, intense
Is the lack of beloved visitors
The absence of true friends
Proof that physicians are wrong
About the human spirit, do I have
Permission to recant, permission to forget

That this life is a series of goals
That I learn and am growing
From traveling proceeding?
To Ache is human, it’s not polite
It’s just mortality’s oldest custom
The little toil of Love, on the edges
Of all that I hold dear….

Uninterrupted Poetry


These poems are lost to me
Like the dead, there is no returning again
To what was, old loves

My mind feels them shouting there
Those who have died to us
Once here, now gone

It is the same with the music of the night
Grief dies to my renewal
I regenerate my lips, my ears, my thirst

Like a mausoleum of longing
I am, without ever being satisfied
I wake up to radiant mornings

Each and every day, jasmine at my feet
And I write poems, like lost waterfalls
Missed sunrises, broken comets

Stars on the tips of forgotten inheritance
These poems are lost to me
Like the emptying fulfillment of breath

Like a kind of solution to what I am
I create a rhetoric of distinguished ambiguity
Legislating my soul to be free

An embroidery without worldly cares
These poems are lost to me
I am not a thief of possession

But rather, a common beggar
With the guarantee of unearthly words.

Without a Sequel


Today I am in the longitude of faith
Last night, I did not fight for sleep
I became a legend of my own struggle
And in most lovely lapsing

I forgot my self importance
My little raw soul on a row like this
Turned its slow features on like warm milk

Towards the greatest goal
Today I am in the latitude of invisible
Reaches, last night I let yesterday go

The golden echo of those sobs were drowned
I have begun to die, each and every day
I become a legend to my own gains

The lovely body of my unique mind
A blank interim before divinity
As a fury of flowers and light

My sacred earth in my day was my curse
Today I am compass at my own reaches
Inextinguishable like a most treasured dream.

Under the Hands of Art


This rapture of the colors shivering
Strikes at the heart of my instinct
I secretly want to join

The future without consequence
To flood forward with the whims
Of imaginations not born yet

To strive, astonished and irreversible
Cutting all sense of abandonment
With the infantile revolt

Of seeking the last freedom
The hidden God within the eye-of-youth
Like a revolution of pure enthusiasm

I secretly want to join
The optimistic hoards of perfect melodies
A specter of notes, proverbs of lost moons

I give myself to quantum fragments
On a green canvas I plant my hunger
As an illusion, that no longer wishes to exist.