fisherman and other poems

Transitions №3

Author: Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya

Translated by the author


i wait for a crack in the clouds
to fall with meandering light
for a tree to split from the centre to the edges
trembling with leaves
and disappear in an instant
the next morning it is only a sandlot
no branches nor rubble nor shadow on a cheek
a flat plain from horizon to horizon
just ripples on water
and by the shore – reeds or sedge
a flock of fat ducks emerges out of the depths
when no one is looking

a fisherman on a jetty stays still
not turning at the sounds
of splashes in the fog
of wings over water
at the sounds of steps
at the sounds of breathing
at the sounds of crying
patience slips into his shoulders
fingers holding the fishing rod
firmly as a flagpole

i raise my eyes to the clouds
where the crack is already running
from an edge to the centre
and celestial eels
tickle the heels of the storm

evening ride

soon after sunset
asked for more
soft fruit drink a pie and some sweet sun
whipped to absolute whiteness
by bicycle tires
to put it on a plate
warmed by bright berries
waves of low grass run to horizon
spokes rotate over the heads
of hot foliage
toads woke up in a ditch
dogs grunt behind fences
and right behind you so quickly
sunset hops on branches
and kneels ahead of you again so quickly
rumble of a rim over sand
up to the field of sunflowers
waiting for a pipe signal
of permission to relax and take off uniform
to stand at ease become free
it becomes easier to breathe easier to breathe
the last ray goes around the cobblestone too heavy
to take to the air like the rest of them
larks blackbirds and crows
starting from the western corner
until covering the whole sky


in a bowl of late summer
the house reddened its cheeks with powder of the flower dust
it is not aware yet we are leaving
bashfully hiding our suitcases under the beds
waiting for the old walls to fall asleep
not going to say goodbye when a taxi arrives in the morning
over the green hedge
only one proud myrtle tree
will understand we are parting
but it will not budge will not bloom either the next day
when we will not see it
it will not be such a shock
sweet peas still braid the fence
it will get absolutely dry soon hanging with its dry stems
until the rain knocks them down
mice rustle in the grass no longer afraid of our cat
commas burst with a litter of dots
and dashes in their last effort
crawl across the road
to the house next door where windows glow at night
till In the morning it realises the mistake:
that was the sunset reflection
everyone left
before rush hour and dead season
freezing signs get together into a short phrase
of farewell
they try to keep warm together
to save
the memories
before homecoming