The air is split into black branches,
like old glass.
Pray to Our Lady of Autumn!
The windows of autumn’s chapel,
smashed by a hurtling bullet,
A tree was burning,
a bright spill in the golden air.
It bends; it bows down.
Autumn’s flint and steel angrily
struck the sparks of golden days.
A forest at prayer. All at once
golden smells fell to the ground.
Trees stretch out – rakes
gathering armfuls of the sun’s hay.
Autumn’s tree resonantly evokes
a sketch of Russia’s railroads.
The golden autumn wind
has scattered me everywhere.
by Велимир Хлебников (Velimir Khlebnikov)
a.k.a. Виктор Владимирович Хлебников
(Viktor Vladimirovich Khlebnikov)
translated by Robert Chandler