English poetry

Poems in English


Today your things depart. Your faience cup
Fell off the table at sunrise and cracked.
Your old grey dog did not come up
The stairs. I went to look for him, he had died
In the long grass, near your library,
Under your favourite mango-tree.

The silk ribbon you tied on the scroll
Was eaten by the mould, it doesn’t hold at all.
The scroll has opened up, and shows your blanched words
Like a beggar his few coins.
The last couple of butcher-birds
Flew away yesterday, and now only silence trills,

Roams through the forlorn garden, with a reed,
Its huge eyes gazing around.
The air itself smells like raw meat
Attracting death here, the hungry hound.

What else can be said? I don’t look in the mirror
Any more, not because I’ve become too old,
I don’t wish to see that unrelenting door
Which separates me from your brittle world,
From the slight immutable images, their bitter taste,
Your dog running now to you with all haste.

Frail beauty of eternal things,
A silver arrow buzzing like a mad beetle,
Slowly spreading around its magpie’s wings,
Becoming a serpent with a gaudy rattle,
Waking up slumbering plants and fruits,
Trees of the rainy garden, with mossy hoods.

The more my time runs out and I am drawn
Towards the inner need of this half-life,
The more I recognise that I won’t know
Your hands again, the mole of your left shoulder,
Your ink-spotted fingers, your defiant laughter,
That you won’t be, that I’ll replace you there
With my own defeat and my own despair.

Inhaling deeply the air saturated with dew,
Forcing green lances to turn away from the sky,
With the jasper moth on my shoulder I will go to you,
The ladybirds flying into my rampant eye
And out, away, to the stagnant pond
Brimming with violet algae mixed with my hair,
Catching tadpoles and newts in its snare,
With my hand getting a tighter hold

Of the cluster of skunkweeds. You will write to me
That my grey dog died under the mango-tree,
That the ribbons fell off my old wedding-dress,
That the mirror still bears the trace of my lips,
That you know you can still sense my caress
Within the spinning gut of eternity.

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Poem EXCHANGE - Vladislav Nekliaev