About the Author

From the book Kliazma and Yauza
From the book The Wild Rose
From the book Tristan and Isolde
From the book Old Songs
From the book Gates. Windows. Arches
From the book Stanzas in the Manner of Alexander Pope
From the book Stellae and Inscriptions
From the book The Iambic Verses
The Chinese Travelogue
From An Unfinished Book
From the book The Evening Song  
From the book Elegies
From the book The Beginning of a Book
From the book The Evening Song
Trees, Strong Wind
Doors close behind us,
and, preserving the darkness,
they close up and alternate
with an ordinary voice in a mouth that does not speak,

poor trees, trees of a summer home,
trees of the wind contained inside a grain:
eyes different, translucent to the end,
and roots deeper than the depths of the eye.

It isn’t the warmth you feel entering a clean house from the cold,
nor the priceless conversation between good friends;
no, you, beautiful ones, are fate without a response,
the language of the heart’s fortresses.
And dressed in silk they rise
over the undistinguished shame of fences
and they alone in this peaceful village
want nothing, nothing at all.

So we all who have drifted to the infamous shores
have never known God’s grace,
we raise our ancient hands
toward what we cannot escape.

They stand as if they had been awakened
by some watchman’s rattle made of glass:
let be what will be, fate has already ascended!

Or so that a trampoline would toss us up
over multitudinous death –
you think: would we give up any sky
for a single friendly glance?

They stand, fulfilling an oath,
which called them forth from a grain:
there is a homeland like a banner,
which you carry to the end like a war.

Straightening up, the wind cuts
the weak circle of a certain lamp into strips
and it returns warmth and rustling to them,
both the blood and sound of a stolen voice:

“Father, you see that everyone needs something.
I need your grace
or I will lie like the debris of fallen leaves
from impenetrable roots.”
Slava I. Yastremski and Michel Naydan
All the Works
 Trees, Strong Wind
A Song
To V.V. Bibikhin
A Lullaby
A Childhood Visit to a Village
In Memory of Father Alexander Men’
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