Clouds that whiten in a dome of blue
and twisted trees sharply delineated,
the dust aglow, each shadow elongated
and phantoms that pass through the heart anew.
Why was the tale so brief? I cannot say.
Was there a second half I didn’t know?
In pale skies the clouds dissolve away
and night roams through the blackened tree below.
That man, the bench he sits on in the dusk
are growing heavier and more grotesque…
Don’t move! For as carnations start to shine
and leafy bushes melt and intertwine,
the poet shakes away his uniform
of tired bronze and prings on the lawn.
by Иннокентий Фёдорович Анненский (Innokenty Fyodorovich Annensky)
translated by Peter Oram
Fun fact: Annensky is thinking of a statue of Pushkin in the Lycee Garden in Tsarkoye Selo.
We remember wartime
The leaves were red
And skies were tight.
Singers in uniform
Cracked burst buckled
The living the key workers
The throats of loyal trumpets
The minds of washed out cockpits
Our prayers were pistons
Our leaders in bunkers
As indestructable as rats
The tongues and necks
Of true survivors
In one cold wood
A headless boy
A thin man prays
In his own blood
On every side
Wait to be counted
In old blood
Are not doors
They are the walls
Of empty tombs
At stated times
By true survivors
by Emyr Humphreys
Fun fact: He registered as a conscientious objector in the Second World War, working on a farm, and later doing relief work in Egypt and Italy. After the war he worked as a teacher, as a radio producer at the BBC and later became a lecturer in drama at Bangor University.