Sofiya Yuzefpolskaya-Tsilosani-poems-engl 2017-02-08T03:02:38+00:00

Poems by Sofiya Yuzefpolskaya-Tsilosani

elephants and grasshoppers

if you want i will tuck you in bed
and i will give you warm milk in a clay mug
smell the grass of the far away meadows
where elephants roam free with grasshoppers
in a tall grass of my land|
growing medicine for your cold

and while you are sleeping
i will sit in the corner
growing huge wings
of a black bird — so black — so black|
but if you wake up
in the middle of the night
you should be not scared
they are just the shadows
of my past
the shadows of black wings

mein klein schtern

Some sad knights still confuse her pale appearance with the majesty of the moon…
“mein shtetl vingl,mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern”

The baby screams of a violin from under the window of
her childhood memory, the tiny bells from under the slides
on the Volga planes, the dull light of the soviet New Year
tree star — in the frozen gardens of Russian winters —
there piercings and sparklings of open colors:
“mein shtetl vingl,mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern”

The snowflake stars singing on the Saint Petersburg theater squares,
falling through the magical street lanterns, through the milky way
of Russian vowels, poems discovered in the rustling gloom of the Russian
decadent autumn — there piercings and sparklings of open colors:

“mein shtetl vingl, mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern”

The needle rays of the grandmother’s old ruby broach
worn at the first ball, the first bloody night stand,
the pale numb senseless loss of virginity —
there piercings and sparklings of open colors, the shadow cries:

“mein shtetl vingl, mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern”

The stars of the milk drops spilled from the bucket of Tevye the Milkman
on to the book on the night stand of her loneliness,
the “Wandering Stars” of Sholom Aleichem. the brooding stars of
the ancestral blood squished from the grapes in each Song of Songs,
the dancing shattering hot ecstasy of the star of David,
the cool showering light of mercy in the Bethlehem Star,
there piercings and sparklings of open colors, the shadow cries:

“mein shtetl vingl, mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern”

the stars of rosebud bosoms spark the kindest laughter
from under the shiny shoe nails of Charlie Chaplin,
the flower flies into the lilac stars on Chagall Paris paintings,
the stars of sweat transpiring onto the cello bodies of Modigliani nudes,
the blue stars of the souls drowning in their empty eyes —
there piercings and sparklings of open colors, the shadow cries

“mein shtetl vingl, mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern”

the empty eyes of the Auschwitz stars: the empty night
stares into the yellow sorrow of the eternal silence,
but there – behind the barbed starry wires of cosmic void
are the piercings and sparklings of open colors: the shadows cry

“mein shtetl vingl, mein klein foigle,

mein klein schtern, mein shtetl meidle” *

And then the dawn of despair. The distances stretched through
the million light years of cosmic exiles with the chandeliers
of fluorescent darkness in the millions perished souls,
with no encounter as
she conspires to break her rays into
a few small pieces of colored glass, a kaleidoscope
for a dying man to play with — there
piercings and sparklings of open colors: the mirror shadows cry

“mein shtetl vingl, mein shtetl meidel,

mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern” —

— just a few pieces of a cheap colored glass which screech an echo
of the dead little star — the simple promise forever
in an ancient Jewish lolling that some knights still confuse
with the majestic sound of the sea waves caused by a pale moon.

“mein shtetl vingl, mein shtetl meidel,

mein klein foigle, mein klein schtern,”

the shadows cry.