Monday, 16 January 2017

Chernobyl - Volha Ipatava

House. Hundred-year oak. A well-spring flowing
And storks winging from a distant strand.
'Human, grant that we may make our home here,
Very sweet to us appears this land.'

Wide the beaks of stork-chicks gape, appealing,
In the low-land fields the years creep by,
Joyfully above the house are wheeling
Two white crosses, like a guard on high.

. . . Summer rich in sap is growing stronger.
Like molten quicksilver the sun's light.
Two sick children in the nest still linger,
That will never wing away in flight.

'I gave you no warning that the pasture
Is all poisoned to eternity,
Like me, your babes will die of this disaster!'
And the Human cackles evilly.

On the grizzled she-stork as last portent
Of dangers an eternal dream descends:
There a well-spring bubbles with dead water,
And beside the house a Werewolf stands.

Volha Ipatava  (Olga Ipatova) (born 1945) Belarus
Translated by Vera Rich
Source: Vera Rich: Poet, Translator, Author, Compiler, Editor

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