The gate swings wide.
An oak leaf glistens,
spinning from a spider web.
Hard showers of an afternoon storm
drive the street play indoors.
I carry a wound to the world,
a greedy, grinding complaint
that mirrors ruined city rows,
a scattering of ravens under a lynching limb.
I watch old friends get sick, go soft, go Socialist.
A brother who wished a death
found it at the hanging end of a leather belt.
This is not my war. They are not my poor.
Two flags fly below a full moon.
Impatient with clenching beauty,
I rush sunset to see another sunrise.
beautiful spruce at neighbour’s window
proudly fostered by hundreds of lanterns
that say the family will arrive in droves
while worrying whether
there will be enough space for them
here it is so quiet, so quiet
I read the yellowed letters
pages covered with the patina of time
turkey is lazily walking in the garden
asking for survival
children are looking from frames on the walls
so small and joyful
clinging memories to the heart
wafer is crying on the plate
Light is born on the longest night.
Love and goodness show the way in the darkness,
A chance to break selfishness.
Time slows and strikes the hours reflectively,
Faces appear from the crowd,
It’s possible to smile, say a few nice words.
Empathy and tenderness have a sweet taste,
Mercy generously bestows gifts,
Time for rebirth
This is only once a year –
For heaven is approaching Earth.
Quiet flows like the veil.
Disputes, quarrels disappear.
Emptiness in the hearts
Lonely old men.
Love and mercy.
It is a pity, that this is not every day
Man to man – brother.
Empty chair by the Christmas table.
Thousands of glittering flames
Dance on colorful ornaments.
The whole world trembles, it slowly rocks.
Green spruce smells like the woods.
Like Ariadne, I weave
Angel hair into memories and silence.
I return to happy hours,
To events that are now but dreams.
I listen to every murmur, rustle.
It seems, that at last I will hear
Familiar footsteps on the other side of the door
Bio: Larissa Shmailo is poetry editor of Madhat Annual and editor-in-chief of the anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry (MadHat). Her translation of Victory over the Sun by A. Kruchenych is now available from Cervena Barva Press; her novel, Patient Women, is forthcoming from BlazeVOX [books]. .
It was kind of you to ask for work, and thanks for the review as well!
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee. She has authored eight chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems:Epistemology of an Odd Girl, newly released from March Street Press. She a recent winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition for her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep and according to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. http://www.clgrellaspoetry.com