(Neon Bliss by wild-rain-73.deviantart.com)

I shall tell you:
I am seeing and seeing strangers
Who are not strangers,
For there is something in their eyes,
And about their faces
That whispers to me
(But so low
That I can never quite hear)
Of the lost half of myself
Which I have been seeking since the beginning of earth;
And I could follow them to the end of the world,
Would they but lean nearer, nearer,
And tell me….

– Strangers
by: Mark Turbyfill (1896-1991)
—-

If There Is Re-Incarnation I Would Like To Request ‘Here’….

I love this place, with all it’s weirdness, strange inhabitants, and problems.

Saturday:
It’s beautiful here. The last few months have been a real ride on the ferris wheel. With all the changes going on in the world, and all the changes coming it promises to be a remarkable period for the dwellers on Momma Earth. I admit, I wake up in the morning and look at the news on the inter-tubes with equal parts anticipation and dread for what has occurred since I went to sleep. Today I woke up to London seeing Anti-Cuts Demonstrators in the hundreds of thousands gathering to make their voices heard. When social services are cut, and corporations are given tax cuts, and the tax burden falls on the lower classes what do the Gov’ts expect, that people are just going roll over?

Sunday:
Up early, Rowan’s friend from grade school Jake is here, they are playing a game at the table… music low in the living room with incense burning. Mary is getting herself ready for the day, which will consist of us getting stuff together for the back garden, the store etc. In the everyday chores, there is this flow that I enjoy. The time and concentration I observe that she puts into all of these things and events! I know we share in this character, mine are just a bit different. I am preparing canvasses and working on the magazine hopefully for the last time with this edition. Such a haul, but it looks very good. I have been printing giclées of my art for a customer over the last few days of the week. I can’t describe how much pleasure that gives me. I am so excited about the new projects.

I feel at times that I may be arriving where I should be. Instead of looking to distant horizon lines, I find them now within me, where perhaps they always were. If I extrapolate on that, perhaps all of the challenges we face really are interior?

Is anything even outside of our consciousness? Where do we start, and where do we end? What was our original face?

Today is my friend Terry’s Birthday! Have a good one Terry!

Stomacher – Untitled/Dark Divider from Sean Stiegemeier on Vimeo.

Blessings,
G
_________________

On The Menu:
Marianne Faithfull – Sally Free And Easy
For Owsley…
Vision: Revolution Is “Unpredictable and As Beautiful as Spring”
Anna Akhmatova: A Revolutionaries Poems
Anna Akhmatova Bio Link
Marianne Faithfull – Come And Stay With Me
________________________

Went through a Marianne Faithfull mood earlier this past week. Sure love her interpretations.

Marianne Faithfull – Sally Free And Easy

Sally, free and easy,
That should be her name.
Sally, free and easy,
That should be her name.
Took a sailor’s lovin’
For a nursery game.
Oh, the heart she gave him
Was not made of stone.
Oh, the heart she gave him
Was not made of stone.
It was sweet and hollow
Like a honeycomb.
Think I’ll wait till morning,
See the ensign down.

Think I’ll wait till sunrise,
See the ensign down.
See my coffin coming,
To my burial groun’.
Sally, free and easy,
That should be her name.
Sally, free and easy,
That should be her name.
Took a sailor’s lovin’,
For a nursery game.
_______________________
For Owsley…

Dear Owsley,

Thanks for the part you played in the intervention that changed my life. I was able to communicate with you a bit in the late 90′s and early 00′s via email, I would of been honored to have met you in person, but that didn’t happen. There was a lot I wanted to say, and maybe you got that a lot from people you met over the years. You produced pure magick it seemed.

I think you played a pivotal part in so many lives, and so many situations that your legacy of action tied to art, and attention will bear fruit for generations to come. Not to fill your head, but really. I hope your return home was a good one. Hope to catch up with you another time….

G
_______________________

Thanks To Rob Matthews for turning me onto this!

Vision: Revolution Is “Unpredictable and As Beautiful as Spring”
By Rebecca Solnit, Tomdispatch.com

Revolution is as unpredictable as an earthquake and as beautiful as spring. Its coming is always a surprise, but its nature should not be.

Revolution is a phase, a mood, like spring, and just as spring has its buds and showers, so revolution has its ebullience, its bravery, its hope, and its solidarity. Some of these things pass. The women of Cairo do not move as freely in public as they did during those few precious weeks when the old rules were suspended and everything was different. But the old Egypt is gone and Egyptians’ sense of themselves — and our sense of them — is forever changed.

No revolution vanishes without effect. The Prague Spring of 1968 was brutally crushed, but 21 years later when a second wave of revolution liberated Czechoslovakia, Alexander Dubcek, who had been the reformist Secretary of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party, returned to give heart to the people from a balcony overlooking Wenceslas Square: “The government is telling us that the street is not the place for things to be solved, but I say the street was and is the place. The voice of the street must be heard.”

The voice of the street has been a bugle cry this year. You heard it. Everyone did, but the rulers who thought their power was the only power that mattered, heard it last and with dismay. Many of them are nervous now, releasing political prisoners, lowering the price of food, and otherwise trying to tamp down uprisings.

There were three kinds of surprise about this year’s unfinished revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, and the rumblings elsewhere that have frightened the mighty from Saudi Arabia to China, Algeria to Bahrain. The West was surprised that the Arab world, which we have regularly been told is medieval, hierarchical, and undemocratic, was full of young men and women using their cell phones, their Internet access, and their bodies in streets and squares to foment change and temporarily live a miracle of direct democracy and people power. And then there is the surprise that the seemingly unshakeable regimes of the strongmen were shaken into pieces.

And finally, there is always the surprise of: Why now? Why did the crowd decide to storm the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and not any other day? The bread famine going on in France that year and the rising cost of food had something to do with it, as hunger and poverty does with many of the Middle Eastern uprisings today, but part of the explanation remains mysterious. Why this day and not a month earlier or a decade later? Or never instead of now?

Oscar Wilde once remarked, “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” This profound uncertainty has been the grounds for my own hope.

Hindsight is 20/20, they say, and you can tell stories where it all makes sense. A young Tunisian college graduate, Mohammed Bouazizi, who could find no better work than selling produce from a cart on the street, was so upset by his treatment at the hands of a policewoman that he set himself afire on December 17, 2010. His death two weeks later became the match that lit the country afire — but why that death? Or why the death of Khaled Said, an Egyptian youth who exposed police corruption and was beaten to death for it? He got a Facebook page that said “We are all Khaled Said,” and his death, too, was a factor in the uprisings to come.

But when exactly do the abuses that have been tolerated for so long become intolerable? When does the fear evaporate and the rage generate action that produces joy? After all, Tunisia and Egypt were not short on intolerable situations and tragedies before Bouazizi’s self-immolation and Said’s murder.

Thich Quang Duc burned himself to death at an intersection in Saigon on June 11, 1963, to protest the treatment of Buddhists by the U.S.-backed government of South Vietnam. His stoic composure while in flames was widely seen and may have helped produce a military coup against the regime six months later — a change, but not necessarily a liberation. In between that year and this one, many people have fasted, prayed, protested, gone to prison, and died to call attention to cruel regimes, with little or no measurable consequence.

Guns and Butterflies

The boiling point of water is straightforward, but the boiling point of societies is mysterious. Bouazizi’s death became a catalyst, and at his funeral the 5,000 mourners chanted, “Farewell, Mohammed, we will avenge you. We weep for you today, we will make those who caused your death weep.”

But his was not the first Tunisian gesture of denunciation. An even younger man, the rap artist who calls himself El General, uploaded a song about the horror of poverty and injustice in the country and, as the Guardian put it, “within hours, the song had lit up the bleak and fearful horizon like an incendiary bomb.” Or a new dawn. The artist was arrested and interrogated for three very long days, and then released thanks to widespread protest. And surely before him we could find another milestone. And another young man being subjected to inhuman conditions. And behind the uprising in Egypt are a panoply of union and human rights organizers as well as charismatic individuals.

This has been a great year for the power of the powerless and for the courage and determination of the young. A short, fair-haired, mild man even younger than Bouazizi has been held under extreme conditions in solitary confinement in a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia, for the last several months. He is charged with giving hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents to WikiLeaks and so unveiling some of the more compromised and unsavory operations of the American military and U.S. diplomacy. Bradley Manning was a 22-year-old soldier stationed in Iraq when he was arrested last spring. The acts he’s charged with have changed the global political landscape and fed the outrage in the Middle East.

As Foreign Policy put it in a headline, “In one fell swoop, the candor of the cables released by WikiLeaks did more for Arab democracy than decades of backstage U.S. diplomacy.” The cables suggested, among other things, that the U.S. was not going to back Tunisian dictator Ben Ali to the bitter end, and that the regime’s corruption was common knowledge.

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, a 1958 comic book about the Civil Rights struggle in the American South and the power of nonviolence was translated and distributed by the American Islamic Council in the Arab world in 2008 and has been credited with influencing the insurgencies of 2011. So the American Islamic Council played a role, too — a role definitely not being investigated by anti-Muslim Congressman Peter King in his hearings on the “radicalization of Muslims in America.” Behind King are the lessons he, in turn, learned from Mohandas Gandhi, whose movement liberated India from colonial rule 66 years ago, and so the story comes back to the east.

Causes are Russian dolls. You can keep opening each one up and find another one behind it. WikiLeaks and Facebook and Twitter and the new media helped in 2011, but new media had been around for years. Asmaa Mahfouz was a young Egyptian woman who had served time in prison for using the Internet to organize a protest on April 6, 2008, to support striking workers. With astonishing courage, she posted a video of herself on Facebook on January 18, 2011, in which she looked into the camera and said, with a voice of intense conviction:

“Four Egyptians have set themselves on fire to protest humiliation and hunger and poverty and degradation they had to live with for 30 years. Four Egyptians have set themselves on fire thinking maybe we can have a revolution like Tunisia, maybe we can have freedom, justice, honor, and human dignity. Today, one of these four has died, and I saw people commenting and saying, ‘May God forgive him. He committed a sin and killed himself for nothing.’ People, have some shame.”

She described an earlier demonstration at which few had shown up: “I posted that I, a girl, am going down to Tahrir Square, and I will stand alone. And I’ll hold up a banner. Perhaps people will show some honor. No one came except three guys — three guys and three armored cars of riot police. And tens of hired thugs and officers came to terrorize us.”

Mahfouz called for the gathering in Tahrir Square on January 25th that became the Egyptian revolution. The second time around she didn’t stand alone. Eighty-five thousand Egyptians pledged to attend, and soon enough, millions stood with her.

The revolution was called by a young woman with nothing more than a Facebook account and passionate conviction. They were enough. Often, revolution has had such modest starts. On October 5, 1789, a girl took a drum to the central markets of Paris. The storming of the Bastille a few months before had started, but hardly completed, a revolution. That drummer girl helped gather a mostly female crowd of thousands who marched to Versailles and seized the royal family. It was the end of the Bourbon monarchy.

Women often find great roles in revolution, simply because the rules fall apart and everyone has agency, anyone can act. As they did in Egypt, where liberty leading the masses was an earnest young woman in a black veil.

That the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil can shape the weather in Texas is a summation of chaos theory that is now an oft-repeated cliché. But there are billions of butterflies on earth, all flapping their wings. Why does one gesture matter more than another? Why this Facebook post, this girl with a drum?

Even to try to answer this you’d have to say that the butterfly is born aloft by a particular breeze that was shaped by the flap of the wing of, say, a sparrow, and so behind causes are causes, behind small agents are other small agents, inspirations, and role models, as well as outrages to react against. The point is not that causation is unpredictable and erratic. The point is that butterflies and sparrows and young women in veils and an unknown 20-year-old rapping in Arabic and you yourself, if you wanted it, sometimes have tremendous power, enough to bring down a dictator, enough to change the world.

Other Selves, Other Lives

2011 has already been a remarkable year in which a particular kind of humanity appeared again and again in very different places, and we will see a great deal more of it in Japan before that catastrophe is over. Perhaps its first appearance was at the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson on January 8th, where the lone gunman was countered by several citizens who took remarkable action, none more so than Giffords’s new intern, 20-year-old Daniel Martinez, who later said, “It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots. But people needed help.”

Martinez reached the congresswoman’s side and probably saved her life by administering first aid, while 61-year-old Patricia Maisch grabbed the magazine so the shooter couldn’t reload, and 74-year-old Bill Badger helped wrestle him to the ground, though he’d been grazed by a bullet. One elderly man died because he shielded his wife rather than protect himself.

Everything suddenly changed and those people rose to the occasion heroically not in the hours, days, or weeks a revolution gives, but within seconds. More sustained acts of bravery and solidarity would make the revolutions to come. People would risk their lives and die for their beliefs and for each other. And in killing them, regimes would lose their last shreds of legitimacy.

Violence always seems to me the worst form of tyranny. It deprives people of their rights, including the right to live. The rest of the year so far has been dominated by battles against the tyrannies that have sometimes cost lives and sometimes just ground down those lives into poverty and indignity, from Bahrain to Madison, Wisconsin.

Yes, to Madison. I have often wondered if the United States could catch fire the way other countries sometimes do. The public space and spirit of Argentina or Egypt often seem missing here, for what changes in revolution is largely spirit, emotion, belief — intangible things, as delicate as butterfly wings, but our world is made of such things. They matter. The governors govern by the consent of the governed. When they lose that consent, they resort to violence, which can stop some people directly, but aims to stop most of us through the power of fear.

And then sometimes a young man becomes fearless enough to post a song attacking the dictator who has ruled all his young life. Or people sign a declaration like Charter 77, the 1977 Czech document that was a milestone on the way to the revolutions of 1989, as well as a denunciation of the harassment of an underground rock band called the Plastic People of the Universe. Or a group of them found a labor union on the waterfront in Gdansk, Poland, in 1980, and the first cracks appear in the Soviet Empire.

Those who are not afraid are ungovernable, at least by fear, that favorite tool of the bygone era of George W. Bush. Jonathan Schell, with his usual beautiful insight, saw this when he wrote of the uprising in Tahrir Square:

“The murder of the 300 people, it may be, was the event that sealed Mubarak’s doom. When people are afraid, murders make them take flight. But when they have thrown off fear, murders have the opposite effect and make them bold. Instead of fear, they feel solidarity. Then they ‘stay’ — and advance. And there is no solidarity like solidarity with the dead. That is the stuff of which revolution is made.”

When a revolution is made, people suddenly find themselves in a changed state — of mind and of nation. The ordinary rules are suspended, and people become engaged with each other in new ways, and develop a new sense of power and possibility. People behave with generosity and altruism; they find they can govern themselves; and, in many ways, the government simply ceases to exist. A few days into the Egyptian revolution, Ben Wedeman, CNN’s senior correspondent in Cairo, was asked why things had calmed down in the Egyptian capital. He responded: “[T]hings have calmed down because there is no government here,” pointing out that security forces had simply disappeared from the streets.

This state often arises in disasters as well, when the government is overwhelmed, shut down, or irrelevant for people intent on survival and then on putting society back together. If it rarely lasts, in the process it does change individuals and societies, leaving a legacy. To my mind, the best government is one that most resembles this moment when civil society reigns in a spirit of hope, inclusiveness, and improvisational genius.

In Egypt, there were moments of violence when people pushed back against the government’s goons, and for a week it seemed like the news was filled with little but pictures of bloody heads. Still, no armies marched, no superior weaponry decided the fate of the country, nobody was pushed from power by armed might. People gathered in public and discovered themselves as the public, as civil society. They found that the repression and exploitation they had long tolerated was intolerable and that they could do something about it, even if that something was only gathering, standing together, insisting on their rights as the public, as the true nation that the government can never be.

It is remarkable how, in other countries, people will one day simply stop believing in the regime that had, until then, ruled them, as African-Americans did in the South here 50 years ago. Stopping believing means no longer regarding those who rule you as legitimate, and so no longer fearing them. Or respecting them. And then, miraculously, they begin to crumble.

In the Philippines in 1986, millions of people gathered in response to a call from Catholic-run Radio Veritas, the only station the dictatorship didn’t control or shut down.

Then the army defected and dictator Fernando Marcos was ousted from power after 21 years.

In Argentina in 2001, in the wake of a brutal economic collapse, such a sudden shift in consciousness toppled the neoliberal regime of Fernando de la Rúa and ushered in a revolutionary era of economic desperation, but also of brilliant, generous innovation. A shift in consciousness brought an outpouring of citizens into the streets of Buenos Aires, suddenly no longer afraid after the long nightmare of a military regime and its aftermath. In Iceland in early 2009, in the wake of a global economic meltdown of special fierceness on that small island nation, a once-docile population almost literally drummed out of power the ruling party that had managed the country into bankruptcy.

Can’t Happen Here?

In the United States, the communion between the governed and the governors and the public spaces in which to be reborn as a civil society resurgent often seem missing. This is a big country whose national capital is not much of a center and whose majority seems to live in places that are themselves decentered.

At its best, revolution is an urban phenomenon. Suburbia is counterrevolutionary by design. For revolution, you need to converge, to live in public, to become the public, and that’s a geographical as well as a political phenomenon. The history of revolution is the history of great public spaces: the Place de la Concorde during the French Revolution; the Ramblas in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War; Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 (a splendid rebellion that was crushed); the great surge that turned the divide of the Berlin Wall into a gathering place in that same year; the insurrectionary occupation of the Zocalo of Mexico City after corrupt presidential elections and of the space in Buenos Aires that gave the Dirty War’s most open opposition its name: Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, the Mothers of the Plaza of May.

It’s all very well to organize on Facebook and update on Twitter, but these are only preludes. You also need to rise up, to pour out into the streets. You need to be together in body, for only then are you truly the public with the full power that a public can possess. And then it needs to matter. The United States is good at trivializing and ignoring insurrections at home.

The authorities were shaken by the uprising in Seattle that shut down the World Trade Organization meeting on November 30, 1999, but the actual nonviolent resistance there was quickly fictionalized into a tale of a violent rabble. Novelist and then-New Yorker correspondent Mavis Gallant wrote in 1968:

“The difference between rebellion at Columbia [University] and rebellion at the Sorbonne is that life in Manhattan went on as before, while in Paris every section of society was set on fire, in the space of a few days. The collective hallucination was that life can change, quite suddenly and for the better. It still strikes me as a noble desire…”

Revolution is also the action of people pushed to the brink. Rather than fall over, they push back. When he decided to push public employees hard and strip them of their collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took a gamble. In response, union members, public employees, and then the public of Wisconsin began to gather on February 11th. By February 15th, they had taken over the state’s capitol building as the revolution in Egypt was still at full boil. They are still gathering. Last weekend, the biggest demonstration in Madison’s history was held, led by a “tractorcade” of farmers. The Wisconsin firefighters have revolted too. And the librarians. And the broad response has given encouragement to citizens in other states fighting similar cutbacks on essential services and rights.

Republicans like to charge the rest of us with “class war” when we talk about economic injustice, and that’s supposed to be a smear one should try to wriggle out of. But what’s going on in Wisconsin is a class war, in which billionaire-backed Walker is serving the interests of corporations and the super-rich, and this time no one seems afraid of the epithet. Jokes and newspaper political cartoons, as well as essays and talks, remark on the reality of our anti-trickle-down economy, where wealth is being pumped uphill to the palaces at a frantic rate, and on the reality that we’re not poor or broke, just crazy in how we distribute our resources.

What’s scary about the situation is that it is a test case for whether the party best serving big corporations can strip the rest of us of our rights and return us to a state of poverty and powerlessness. If the people who gathered in Madison don’t win, the war will continue and we’ll all lose.

Oppression often works — for a while. And then it backfires. Sometimes immediately, sometimes after several decades. Walker has been nicknamed the Mubarak of the Midwest. Much of the insurrection and the rage in the Middle East isn’t just about tyranny; it’s about economic injustice, about young people who can’t find work, can’t afford to get married or leave their parents’ homes, can’t start their lives. This is increasingly the story for young Americans as well, and here it’s clearly a response to the misallocation of resources, not absolute scarcity. It could just be tragic, or it could get interesting when the young realize they are being shafted, and that life could be different. Even that it could change, quite suddenly, and for the better.

There was a splendid surliness in the wake of the economic collapse of 2008: rage at the executives who had managed the economy into the ground and went home with outsized bonuses, rage at the system, rage at the sheer gratuitousness of the suffering of those who were being foreclosed upon and laid off. In this country, economic inequality has reached a level not seen since before the stock market crash of 1929.

Hard times are in store for most people on Earth, and those may be times of boldness. Or not. The butterflies are out there, but when their flight stirs the winds of insurrection no one knows beforehand.

So remember to expect the unexpected, but not just to wait for it. Sometimes you have to become the unexpected, as the young heroes and heroines of 2011 have. I am sure they themselves are as surprised as anyone. Since she very nearly had the first word, let Asmaa Mahfouz have the last word: “As long as you say there is no hope, then there will be no hope, but if you go down and take a stance, then there will be hope.”

Rebecca Solnit is the author of ‘Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities’.
_______________

Anna Akhmatova: A Revolutionaries Poems

The Call

(From the “Middle Night Poems”)
1963
Which a sonata will you be
Hidden by me in – with a care?
How uneasily, for me
Will call you, utterly unfair
Because so close and so good
You were for me, tho’ for a moment…
Your dream – dissolving in a solvent,
Where death – just levy to the mute.

Four Seasons Of the Year

1959
I shall return today right there,
Where I had been at spring.
I’m neither sorry, nor unfair –
I only darkness bring.
It’s very deep, it’s like velvet,
It’s dearest to us
Like a dry leaf from a tree fled,
Like a wind’s whistle, that’s lone spread
Over the smooth of ice.

Requiem
1935-1940
Not under foreign skies protection
Or saving wings of alien birth –
I was then there – with whole my nation –
There, where my nation, alas! was.
1961

INSTEAD OF A PREFACE
In the awful days of the Yezhovschina I passed seventeen months in the outer waiting line of the prison visitors in Leningrad. Once, somebody ‘identified’ me there. Then a woman, standing behind me in the line, which, of course, never heard my name, waked up from the torpor, typical for us all there, and asked me, whispering into my ear (all spoke only in a whisper there):
“And can you describe this?”
And I answered:
“Yes, I can.”
Then the weak similarity of a smile glided over that, what had once been her face.
April 1, 1957; Leningrad

DEDICATION
The high crags decline before this woe,
The great river does not flow ahead,
But they’re strong – the locks of a jail, stone,
And behind them – the cells, dark and low,
And the deadly pine is spread.
For some one, somewhere, a fresh wind blows,
For some one, somewhere, wakes up a dawn –
We don’t know, we’re the same here always,
We just hear the key’s squalls, morose,
And the sentry’s heavy step alone;
Got up early, as for Mass by Easter,
Walked the empty capital along
To create the half-dead peoples’ throng.
The sun downed, the Neva got mister,
But our hope sang afar its song.
There’s a sentence… In a trice tears flow…
Now separated, cut from us,
As if they’d pulled out her heart and thrown
Or pushed down her on a street stone –
But she goes… Reels… Alone at once.
Where are now friends unwilling those,
Those friends of my two years, brute?
What they see in the Siberian snows,
In a circle of the moon, exposed?
To them I send my farewell salute.

PROLOGUE
In this time, just a dead could half-manage
A weak smile – with the peaceful state glad.
And, like some heavy, needless appendage,
Mid its prisons swung gray Leningrad.
And, when mad from the tortures’ succession,
Marched the army of those, who’d been doomed,
Sang the engines the last separation
With their whistles through smoking gloom,
And the deathly stars hanged our heads over
And our Russia writhed under the boots –
With the blood of the guiltless full-covered –
And the wheels on Black Maries’ black routes.

1
You were taken away at dawn’s mildness.
I convoyed you, as my dead-born child,
Children cried in the room’s half-grey darkness,
And the lamp by the icon lost light.
On your lips dwells the icon kiss’s cold
On your brow – the cold sweet … Don’t forget!
Like a wife of the rebel of old
On the Red Square, I’ll wail without end.

2
The quiet Don bears quiet flood,
The crescent enters in a hut.

He enters with a cap on head,
He sees a woman like a shade.

This woman’s absolutely ill,
This woman’s absolutely single.

Her man is dead, son – in a jail,
Oh, pray for me – a poor female!

3
No, ‘tis not I, ‘tis someone’s in a suffer –
I was ne’er able to endure such pain.
Let all, that was, be with a black cloth muffled,
And let the lanterns be got out … and reign
just Night.

4
You should have seen, girl with some mocking manner,
Of all your friends the most beloved pet,
The whole Tsar Village’s a sinner, gayest ever –
What should be later to your years sent.
How, with a parcel, by The Crosses, here,
You stand in line with the ‘Three Hundredth’ brand
And, with your hot from bitterness a tear,
Burn through the ice of the New Year, dread.
The prison’s poplar’s bowing with its brow,
No sound’s heard – But how many, there,
The guiltless ones are loosing their lives now…

5
I’ve cried for seventeen long months,
I’ve called you for your home,
I fell at hangmen’ feet – not once,
My womb and hell you’re from.
All has been mixed up for all times,
And now I can’t define
Who is a beast or man, at last,
And when they’ll kill my son.
There’re left just flowers under dust,
The censer’s squall, the traces, cast
Into the empty mar…
And looks strait into my red eyes
And threads with death, that’s coming fast,
The immense blazing star.

6
The light weeks fly faster here,
What has happened I don’t know,
How, into your prison, stone,
Did white nights look, my son, dear?
How do they stare at you, else,
With their hot eye of a falcon,
Speak of the high cross, you hang on,
Of the slow coming death?

7
THE SENTENCE

The word, like a heavy stone,
Fell on my still living breast.
I was ready. I didn’t moan.
I will try to do my best.

I have much to do my own:
To forget this endless pain,
Force this soul to be stone,
Force this flesh to live again.

Just if not … The rustle of summer
Feasts behind my window sell.
Long before I’ve seen in slumber
This clear day and empty cell.

8
TO DEATH

You’ll come in any case – why not right now, therefore?
I wait for you – my strain is highest.
I have doused the light and left opened the door
For you, so simple and so wondrous.
Please, just take any sight, which you prefer to have:
Thrust in – in the gun shells’ disguises,
Or crawl in with a knife, as an experienced knave,
Or poison me with smoking typhus,
Or quote the fairy tale, grown in the mind of yours
And known to each man to sickness,
In which I’d see, at last, the blue of the hats’ tops,
And the house-manager, ‘still fearless’.
It’s all the same to me. The cold Yenisei lies
In the dense mist, the Northern Star – in brightness,
And a blue shine of the beloved eyes
Is covered by the last fear-darkness.

9
Already madness, with its wing,
Covers a half of my heart, restless,
Gives me the flaming wine to drink
And draws into the vale of blackness.

I understand that just to it
My victory has to be given,
Hearing the ravings of my fit,
Now fitting to the stranger’s living.

And nothing of my own past
It’ll let me take with self from here
(No matter in what pleas I thrust
Or how often they appear):

Not awful eyes of my dear son –
The endless suffering and patience –
Not that black day when thunder gunned,
Not that jail’s hour of visitation,

Not that sweet coolness of his hands,
Not that lime’s shade in agitation,
Not that light sound from distant lands –
Words of the final consolations.

10
CRUCIFIXION
Don’t weep for me, Mother,
seeing me in a grave.

I
The angels’ choir sang fame for the great hour,
And skies were melted in the fire’s rave.
He said to God, “Why did you left me, Father?”
And to his Mother, “Don’t weep o’er my grave…”

II
Magdalena writhed and sobbed in torments,
The best pupil turned into a stone,
But none dared – even for a moment –
To sight Mother, silent and alone.

EPILOGUE

I
I’ve known how, at once, shrink back the faces,
How fear peeps up from under the eyelids,
How suffering creates the scriptural pages
On the pale cheeks its cruel reigning midst,
How the shining raven or fair ringlet
At once is covered by the silver dust,
And a smile slackens on the lips, obedient,
And deathly fear in the dry snicker rustles.
And not just for myself I pray to Lord,
But for them all, who stood in that line, hardest,
In a summer heat and in a winter cold,
Under the wall, so red and so sightless.

II
Again a memorial hour is near,
I can now see you and feel you and hear:

And her, who’d been led to the air in a fit,
And her – who no more touches earth with her feet.

And her – having tossed with her beautiful head –
She says, “I come here as to my homestead.”

I wish all of them with their names to be called;
But how can I do that? I have not the roll.

The wide common cover I’ve wov’n for their lot –
>From many a word, that from them I have caught.

Those words I’ll remember as long as I live,
I’d not forget them in a new awe or grief.

And if will be stopped my long-suffering mouth –
Through which always shout our people’s a mass –

Let them pray for me, like for them I had prayed,
Before my remembrance day, quiet and sad.

And if once, whenever in my native land,
They’d think of the raising up my monument,

I give my permission for such good a feast,
But with one condition – they have to place it

Not near the sea, where I once have been born –
All my warm connections with it had been torn,

Not in the tsar’s garden near that tree-stump, blessed,
Where I am looked for by the doleful shade,

But here, where three hundred long hours I stood for
And where was not opened for me the hard door.

Since e’en in the blessed death, I shouldn’t forget
The deafening roar of Black Maries’ black band,

I shouldn’t forget how flapped that hateful door,
And wailed the old woman, like beast, it before.

And let from the bronze and unmoving eyelids,
Like some melting snow flow down the tears,

And let a jail dove coo in somewhat afar
And let the mute ships sail along the Neva.

To Boris Pasternak
1960

2.
The echo-bird will give me answer – B.P.

It ceased – the voice, inimitable here,
The peer of groves left forever us,
He changed himself into eternal ear…
Into the rain, of that sang more than once.

And all the flowers, that grow under heavens,
Began to flourish – to meet the going death…
But suddenly it got the silent one and saddened –
The planet, bearing the humble name, the Earth.

1.

(From the “In the Fortieth Year”)
1940

When they are burying the century,
The mournful psalm doesn’t arise,
She will be ornamented sadly
By nettle’s and thistle’s green mass.
And just undertakers are hurried,
Because their dark business doesn’t wait,
And it is so quiet, so quiet,
That clearly heard is the time’s tread.
And she to the surface comes farther,
A corpse – in a river of flood…
A son won’t cognize his dead mother,
A grandson will take off his sight,
And all heads are drooped in deep sadness,
A pendulum-moon goes by.

Like that, over once perished Paris,
Such silence hangs now in sky.

A Nice Bio…
__________________________

Marianne Faithfull: Can And Stay With Me..