The Borderfor Sasha
I flew over Norway,
I had lived in a cage – a landscape of frost covered wires
and then broke free,
flew away, saw fiords -
and lost fear.
Cliffs shone pure slate, their after-rain luster
when I flew over Norway,
I was finally out, out – and you
were five, you slept on the woolen sleeve of my Moscow
winter coat in the bliss of the stratosphere.
Just think: I can walk, hear whispers, see hues the way
dry leaves fall
with a hollow sound
of clapping hands
into empty symphony hall -
as my limbs, my eye lashes, and the lines of a poem are free
not bound anymore by my eyelids
nor by the gates
of that thirst for
the border below.
(How it gleams in twilight!-
the rim of a forest lake,
moraine ragged edge).
The end of the world. For Ray Bradbury
Time. It belongs to us,
not more than, say, the moon,
Time, oblivious to whatever
a wife hears in the evening
from some misanthrope on the couch with a newspaper.
She listens patiently to the appalling details
of the latest news,
and she sneaks out to bury them in the recycling bin
with an iron weight on top
Nobody sees her but the moon.
So, it’s tomorrow - the last day of the world, at least
until the evening when it is once again
second to last.
Irina Mashinski is a bilingual poet, editor and translator, the author of nine books of poetry in Russian. Irina Mashinski’s work has appeared in Poetry International, Atlanta Review, International Poetry Review, Fulcrum, The London Magazine, St. Petersburg Review, and other literary journals and anthologies and has been translated into several languages. She is the co-editor (with Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk) of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015), as well as co-founder (with the late poet Oleg Woolf) and current editor-in-chief of the StoSvet literary project (www.stosvet.net), which includes literary journals Storony Sveta (in Russian ) and Cardinal Points (in English). She received Russian America (2001) and Maximilian Voloshin (2003) Awards in poetry, and, with Boris Dralyuk, First Prize in the 2012 Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Translation Prize competition.