The fallen ones do return, Marina,
With many roads to death, one exit;
Restored in rosemary and verbena,
They’d laugh at Pandemics and Brexit.
You see, nothing will change or fade,
Wheelwright’s brand humanity,
Where only wheels were ever made
For conveying misery.
Your golden hair was poet’s fire,
Verses like arson, exploding malpractice;
I could not disrobe the clothing of liars
The way you exposed them, a female Atlas
Condemned to bear a crate
Of man’s rotting apples, the weight
And the shape of a globe. Your gate
Wanted oiling, your river in spate.
So I thought again of my childhood,
Suppression is more than state-welded;
It spores like moss and ferns in the wood
Until darkness and sunlight are melded.
I rode a bike like a horse into battle,
The driveway my Sevastopol,
My pen’s an unsheathed sabre’s rattle,
Through fields of rye for alcohol
Fermented, how adulthood lamented
For the limits and shackles it made itself;
Carefully the state had creatives cemented;
Two decades later, your book’s on the shelf.
I am blessed, I could escape as matter stands,
I hope to never know the pressures
Which exist in the mind and the hands
Of wheat in the wake of the threshers.
Use powerful words to sentence strife,
Fly me, poets, to Yelabuga; 1941;
Let’s bring a poet back to life,
Let’s fill old age with her song.