the lily goes down into the sky, unfolds, its petals

cover the water. drops shine in the sunlight.

how far you are, sun, how near, sorrow—

the age of worn-out paths, in vain we've been searching—

for some other peace and calm in freedom, searching

for another way, we follow the same corners, the same footprints.

someone's crying in the air, calling from the depth of time,

I have been here, the wind nursed and petted me—

I have survived wars and famine, I've survived captivity,

I have survived despair and helplessness. now I see again

time repeating itself, making experience similar to itself

as if we'd been made to go through the same, time and again

as if man were to learn what it's like to be man

to suffer and watch, to dare and believe the words

of one's heart—

in the house of a thousand sorrows—

the lily goes down into the sky, unfolds, its petals

cover the water. drops shine in the sunlight—

year by year.


a silver road below the highly explosive sky:

shall I forgive the stars that are so faraway—

at this hour,

when sleep won't come to anyone.

stars, o stars—is it whisper or cry that you hide

above the deserted valley:

people are leaving their long-occupied places, away,

farther still from home.

metal in the hand, a word in the heart—

full of privations to come—we're walking

in long files

into the waves

a seaside desert call

drops dead as a seagull

it's the day of the morrow

peeping into our souls


the sunset sky charmed the brand on the skin

piercing the clouds of events—

with the colour of rust—with night rains

it says, this did happen to you indeed:

an abandoned half-moon, raising its daughter

the moon—the crescent—thinner than wheat sprouts—

blew as a northern wind, slapped the memory

and drops fell into the stellar shroud:

thus life manifested itself—in the sounds, and walking into the night

it surrounded the houses with warmth, knowing it was the hour of parting,

and there wasn't another way; knowing that a stone thrown into the river—

will surface at the opposite bank—as an eyelash planted in the lid:

as an integral part of the landscape, a grieving dance—

as an inevitable destiny that has left its realm and—

as a silent oath of love

that, kept within the heart, begot itself.

— Nikita Pirogov (Translated from the original poetry in Russian by Ivan Sokolov)