Collection One, 2009-2011
Etudes of Gloom (2009)
SOMETIMES, AS SADNESS GENTLY RUSTLES
My memories of dreamt-of lands
More deadly than a love unshared
And paler than rejected hands,
When I recall the ruby sunsets
The roof of home in dewy russet,
Do I regret a lonely boyhood?
Do I bemoan the flurried days?
All gone! They cluster only here
Deep in my bosom, glowing free
Beneath the clay of vanished tears
Below the wings of crawling bees…
Do I reject the doleful right and
The darker canvass of today?
Or mete out memories for sunsets
And mockery for love ungained?
I plight you, sadness, to the merry
Unspoken words in sighs entombed
And with a scythe of love unvarying
I slash the crippled solitude!
There is a touch that heals the soul:
It drains the sorrow, like a breeze
Of all the tears that morning freezes,
Like evening hearth it heats the cold
With flames of peaceful memories…
There is a touch the heart can’t bear
It gnaws it deep and draws despair
Its boldest hopes it strives to dash
Recalling dreams that cannot be,
And like a stone against a sleepy lake
Its surface it in thousand pieces breaks —
Each little flake of memory it spawns
And like a thousand suns they cut the day
They drain the soul and flood the eyes
Recalling thousandfold the old dream
In billows of resistless gloom
Those flakes of memories becloud the moon
And no more stars bedeck my sky,
My little garden’s flowers die —
And … all this brought
BUT BY A SINGLE TOUCH…
COLDER DAYS THAN THESE I NEVER KNEW:
Suns of frost arise on all horizons
Moons of ice recline on every view,
Stars of snow flit glittering and freezing…
Chilling nights like vestal hair —
Rays of beryl through my heart:
Did you hear the spleeny air
Of the unromantic bard?
Yet, it’s just a burning summer:
People sweat — in ice I burn…
Did you hear the gnarly clamour
Of the happy in this world?
Colder smiles than theirs I never knew:
Eyes of frost incise my brittle love,
Only His untold and fiery dew
Thaws my dole
THE MORNING FLUTTERED IN on wings of turtledoves
on rays of crumpled fragrant leaves and ivy
it brought me solace in my triple solitude
with all my former neverlands conniving…
TO A DEAR CHINESE FRIEND OF MINE
One day my heart to beat will cease
There’ll be the grass, there’ll be the sea
And there’ll be you, my dear friend,
For last farewell to touch my hand
For last farewell to utter words
Of love and kindness, never heard
In days of gloom by faithful lips
In days of battle, days of whips,
Of loneliness endured in tears
And sorely unheeded sobs…
One day you’ll know how I have loved
Your land, your people and yourself
One day you’ll wonder why I’ve loved
And never was requited fair…
But for the time my heart still beats
I wish its lonely beats were shared:
Till there’ll be grass, till there’ll be sea
Till there is you and there is me…
I KNOW NOT WHY…
I know not why
So often beauty makes me cry —
A lovely face I daren’t touch
A charming smile I dare not return —
I know not why
This loveliness with tears fills my eyes…
Do I perhaps regret its fast decline
The years that invariably will
Its fineness sweep asunder;
The grave that turns its brightness into grime?…
Do I perhaps bemoan its easily foreseen
And wretched servitude to vice and sin?
I know not why, I truly know not why
Beauty so swiftly into darkness flies…
Oh, beauty, though in awe I stand
And write about you with a trembling hand
You always fill my heart with gloom
Wherein my anguish fights with doom
Wherein my heart denies its hope
And fear that your childish plays
Life with ingratitude repays,
And lust on you gloatingly preys…
I truly know not why,
I know not wherewith
So often beauty makes me weep…
THE MEADOWS SWELL WITH SONOROUS CICADAS
The lily-clouds float gently in the sky,
I walk alone amid the fleecy shadows
And sweep the lonely hills with weeping eyes.
The dew is gone, the skies are blue and empty
My youth is gone, my eyes are dark and huge:
They seek a friendly face… but unrelenting
They only drown in friendless solitude…
My Chinese girl, when will your gentle hand
Rest tenderly upon my wounded heart?
I so much miss you in this lonely, lonely land…
And the cicadas weep with me … and it’s … so hard…
The drifting clouds remind me that my life
Is drifting, too, along a string of pain…
Where will it end?… and will I find a wife?…
A tear of hope yet timidly remains…
THE MISTY DAWN ENCROACHED UPON MY SILL,
In milky tatters perching on its brink…
Upon the leaves I see its chilling blinks
Like thousand lurid eyes
Of dying butterflies…
The drowsy dawn in foggy nightgown still
Awaits the sun as lass — her sunny swain:
The day treads on, alas! And yet the hills
Untouched by its life-giving light remain…
ONCE MORE I WILL BE HAPPY
My smile will shine on you
In rainy days and nightfalls
My eyes will brighten you
In true and gentle spirit
I’ll breathe and love again
In milder, softer music
My heart will sing again.
Once more I will be happy
Your hand upholding mine
In rainy days and nightfalls
Your smile will shine on me.
WHEN SPRINGTIME COMES…
When springtime comes we’ll be together,
We’ll run in sunshine and bad weather:
Take off our shoes and feel the grass,
Take both our hands and let time pass…
We’ll look into each other’s eyes
With loving tenderness, surprised
How great the depth of our love is
And how in minutes it is growing…
We’ll run along the sandy paths
We’ll jump o’er flowers, bugs and moss
We’ll play the games all children play
And stay inseparable, come what may!
When springtime comes we’ll be like larks
Flying together till sky is dark
Then we’ll forget our wings and, tired,
We’ll sing like children round the fire…
When springtime comes, O Gracious Heaven,
Shall we be really together?
Let’s greet the hope, like little birds
Which greet the day before sunrise.
THE BITTER SCENT OF GRASS
That’s freshly mown.
The full of sun morass
The tipsy downs…
They all remember your
They call my steps with your
Unheard of laughs…
ETUDES OF GRACIOUS RETURNS (2010)
I CANNOT HOLD A FRIEND without God’s hold
My thorns rebound upon my dripping wounds
Of friendless solitude without God’s Grace;
At mighty intervals of spatt’ring goads
Toward a dreamish featherland of gold.
I cannot lean upon the reed of human form
For succour and for restoration
Without the true and all-forgiving Palm!
This world dreams a totally unchristian dream
If dreams at all may Christian be…
IN BARREN SORROW vain desires lash
The artless face of golden days bygone;
Impressionless, the leaves of autumn hush
The last remaining visions of the bones.
The wine is dried, the frozen bees reflect
The finest beams of unmolested skies;
Relenting fears subdued by lavish becks
Inhale the tears of unsuspecting eyes.
ONE FINAL GLANCE
Over my native lands!…
There roves a quiet rill
Amid the dusky hills
Awake with autumn chill…
Just one more glance!…
I hear a mother weeping
For her bespattered child.
Oh, dreary native, lands!
Your power fills my veins!
Could it be but in vain?
If only I could die
For bringing Christ to thy
Heedless but dear soul?!…
LAST SUMMER… I was here:
Where did you go, my last summer?
Are you somewhere in time
Where I can never go again?
Or are you only in my heart
Where I can go, but cannot stay?
Places change easily and so do people,
And I caress with all my heart
All memories so dear.
I cannot fall asleep… the wind of time
Sends chill into my heart.
Only in it I hold forever
All dear places, people and my friends:
They’re in my poor, beating heart.
But for how long?
They’re in my poor, but undying soul:
I hate to think we’ll be apart one day.
I wish we could belong together
For all eternity.
I trust we could.
May God bestow this gift onto our souls.
In this elusive world
‘Tis only souls that matter.
Last summer I was here…
Now, where are you, elusive time of youth?
I still can see the sunrays of my childhood:
Upon my little chair
Upon my fluffy hair
Upon the window sill
Upon my mama’s hands
So quiet, gentle, kind and loving–
‘Tis sunshine: everywhere!
No place, no time, nothing so dear is
To me, as that
Which in my soul
I keep for evermore.
A little flower,
And yet my tears gushed
My pillow gleamed
WITH SUNRISE FLASHES
THERE WAS A FLOWER ON MY TINY WINDOW SILL
Left by a friendly hand, while I was sleeping ill.
And when the morning breeze the curtains furrowed
I woke, and by the flower I saw a sparrow…
The little bird just looked me in the face,
Sang out a homely note and, startled, flew away;
But it was such a dear song to me
That tears wetted my unhealthy cheeks.
In life we often fall in gloomy hours
When we need neither wealth, nor fame, nor power,
But just a clement smile, a humble flower
Left by a friend who wants to stay unknown.
The godless world can never comprehend
The wondrous power wielded by a friend!…
With love I took the flower: so much care
That instant filled my room with fragrant air.
HE WAS LYING IN RUFFLED SILK whiteness,
Gleaming at me with the rays of the sadness
Of his wide and dark-coloured child-eyes:
And their beams went deep through my heart:
This infant was I… And I cried,
And towards him I stretched my arms…
But the vision was gone…
I awoke all alone
And my cheeks
Were wet with tears
And my lips were whispering
Only these words:
Don’t go, please, don’t go,
Don’t forsake me so fast
In the dread of my past.
But the child of my dream
Could not hear.
It was I… it was then…
But I can’t understand
Why on earth did it all have to pass.
… I shall keep very silent,
I shall not say a word:
All I beg is, don’t leave me
After all fall asleep.
I will not even breathe,
I’ll just bathe in the sheen
Of your dark childish eyes
While you rest in the cot
Of your innocent hope.
Only this do I beg:
Never go from my life
My immortal child:
My only true I.
BOLDLY THE WILLOWS RESISTED THE RAIN,
Flashes and thunders scattered in vain
Over their shimmering crests:
Only a mother with babe at her breast
Would know how they struggled to keep
The little child under their wings
From the golden,
But murderous lighting…
JUST AS IT WAS
When I was a child
I wished I could never grow up
For I loved my parents just as they were:
So young and lovingly smiling!
For I loved my sister just as she was:
A sweet little girl with the cutest of dimples!
For I loved grandmother’s old house
Just as it was: with its forest of flowers
So fairily basking in the peony sunset!
For I loved the lime-trees just as they were
Filling the lane with their fragrance!
I wished all would stay just as it was
I wished my little face never be covered
With beard, with wrinkles and the rest
Of the carvings of adulthood passions,
Which choke their life
With the pungent perfumes of maturity…
When I was a child
I wished I would never grow up
For I loved the perfume of innocence
Its intangible lightness
Its pale, almost colourless breath
Its pure lucidity and crystalline tears
Its gentle and soft
And inaudible heartbeat,
Just as it was:
Clear as the star-studded skies of July,
For in childhood all little things mattered –
For my sister’s dimples
Were like two oceans of joy
For my Mom’s bluey eyes
Were the two lakes of happiness,
For my Dad’s heavy hand
Was the cradle of fearless nights
And the world was so tender
Just as it was… ?
To my wife
I found out
It is impossible to touch another woman
Because my hands become a bleeding wound,
Even if I try
And all there is without you
Is bitter tears…
Even the shadow of another woman,
With promises most sweet and tantalizing,
Runs through my heart like lion’s fangs
And tears my bosom piece by piece apart.
I found out
In a hesitating moment
How deeply we are bound:
Because it is not love (a word misused most often)
And we are not just a family…
I found out
There is no other woman in this world
That I can trust as you!
We are no different
We are one self –
Since we got married
You and I exist no more,
We cannot divide by two
Our life is only one…
There is no boundary
Between your heart and mine
I cannot tell where my heart ends and your heart begins.
And it is hopeless to distinguish
Where you are I and I am you…
That’s why without you
I feel no life in me
No wonder sadness is my day
And lonely tears – my nights!
You are the better part of me! –
I often bleed with insecure feelings,
I often waver at the scent of flowers…
It’s just because
My better heart is far away from me…
But this I know for sure,
Though my heart be all a sore wound
There is the Cure: your holy love!
I run toward you
As a hunted deer runs toward the woods
Escaping the ferocity of passion –
Toward the springs that cure…
My dear wife!
No wonder that in nights like this
Sleep is away from me:
How could I sleep
When my life is away from me? –
Enshrined inside your precious heart!
So keep my life for me inside of you.
If you were gone – my life is worth no more…
Please pray for me and I will have more faith
Please pray, I will be stronger still
Your words will reach me
And I will breathe again
Those gentle words of happiness unhoped for
Those rare words of gentleness untouched…