Three poems

Transitions №5

Author: Shashi Martynova

Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya


upon deciding to reach his own limit
one person
poured time in a thermos bottle
threw on a suit of space
a pair of coordinate grids
for mosquito
and meteorite netting
tossed over his head
he shut his eyes and off he went
and snap!
he saw a teeniest himself
principally heisenbergian
in his own eye
behind the lid
but the limits of the teeniest self
could not be made out
gravitational lensing


A not-so-large big-eyed bird
told one person three things:
when you grab someone by the ass
without permission,
make sure you are ready, at his request,
to take his most shameful
and least wanted by you
with you to your grave;
when you venture to crack a joke
about someone’s upcoming
death, given whose death it is,
make sure you are ready to pay
for his funeral;
with the keys for their body and their death,
other people give you
the stern heart
of the first breath in
of the last breath out
of theirs.
So it spoke,
slapped that one person
on the back
with its wing
as a friend,
and walked away on the branches
to sleep in the sky.


— you know, Paulie,
I would like my life
to be long, but also
for future in it not to come too soon.
— yes, dynamic and slow, Georgie,
that’s how I want my long life to go,
so that future, when it comes over it,
would let it press itself into soft colored clay
and leave a distinct print
of an obscure yet very detailed pattern,
abstractly beautiful.
— and let it be the wet clay path
which takes foxes and geese to a forgotten
pond, and let their unclouded eyes briefly
reflect that impression and forget it
right then, no big deal.
— and how I wish that future, when it comes,
would not crush us. the footwear of the future is diver boots.