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    Terra poetica anthology

Preface: Lesya Mudrak, Dmytro Drozdovskyi
Cover and illustrations: Khrystyna Lukaschuk
Editor: Lesya Mudrak
English-language editor: Anna Ivanchenko
Published nn 1000 copies
ISBN 978-617-7182-27-5


Maureen Weldon (Wales)
Morelle Smith (Scotland)
Dimitris P. Kraniotis (Greece)
Athanase Vantchev de Thracy (France)
Hilary Sheers (England)
Katerina Stoykova –Klemer (USA-Bulgaria)
Mitko Gogov (Macedonia)
Ak Welsapar (Sweden)
Juri Talvet (Estoniya)
Dimitar Hristov (Bulgaria)
Jeton Kelmendi (Belgium)
Krystyna Lenkowska (Poland)
Egedeme Franqui (USA)
Mischa Andressen (Holland)
Wender Montenegro (Brasil)
Diti Ronen (Israel)
Slagana Klukaka (Macedonia)

    Participants from Ukraine:

Borys Oliynyk
Ivan Drach
Anatol Kuchynsky
Myroslav Laiuk
Dmytro Lazutkin
Ihor Pavlyuk
Anna Malignon
Dmytro Chystiak
Olena Karpenko
Andrij Voloschyn
Anna Bagariana
Tanya-Maria Lytvynyuk
Andrey Permyakov
Oksana Samara
Oksana Lutsyshyna
Viktoriya Ostash
Anatloliy Chubynsky
Tanya Hill
Olesya Vengrinovich
Vyacheslav Huk
Marianna Kijanowska
Evgenya Chuprina
Lesya Mudrak
Oles Barleeg
Vano Krueger
Olena Gerasymyuk
Igor Astapenko
Volodymyr Vakulenko
Alla Mykolayenko
Tetiana Vynnyk
Oksana Borovets
Svetlana Diduch-Romanenko


Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough

    In the Color of the Hollyhock – Chopin’s Waltz

He played
a waltz then meadow and air
she soared above the bittersweet grass above a sonata
and above a prelude
as if she no longer lived didn’t yet live in her body
she said and invited him to her place
tomorrow afternoon

Mon Dieu!
she smokes a cigar wears pants
(is she a woman?) hats like flambeaux
her white-red costume
it’s rumored the blood of a Polish king runs in her veins
and she used to dance mazurkas polonaises
my God!

before long
he’ll move his fashionable grand piano to her place
she writes smart books each day after supper this new mother
like a pharaoh’s wife
she calls him her genius and her weakling
her children keep guard at the bedroom door hoping
he’ll die
on Majorca
he’s rasping and dying
the clamminess in his fingers and the monotonous
chords of rain are killing him
he fears death and compassion
the island doctors say he’ll die soon or
has died already

in Paris
salons await him
a dandy he puts on a gilet the color of hollyhock and gloves
like buckwheat white as snow
a crimson storm surges in his chest
its sparks will ignite everything
into a perfect fire

he coughs
and spits blood
behind his breastbone Polish homesickness
sleepless like cosmic dawn
she’s so terribly alive and beautiful
all around kings of life drink gobble have fun after them flood
and fire

far away there
he dreamed of light
and of the sky rising over a birch wood in pure fifths
and octaves
here beamed ceilings like tree limbs fall into hellish triads
who’s that?
play sonny don’t spare any sounds
don’t stop.

Translated by Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough and Teresa Cedar

    The Eye of John Keats in Rome

For hours it stands in the window
once in a while it casts itself onto the Spanish Steps
or into the Tiber

on the steps
it bursts and then like a gel medusa
returns intact into the dark-skinned palm of a street vendor

in the water
it swims and then flies to dry its wings
it sweeps the Hadrian arches of the bridges
the sky of the Vatican domes
the horizons’ caravans of pines

in the evening it orders the same wine
in the same bar
at last it returns to the window and writes on the pane with its finger

the crowds on the steps won’t let it sleep
it doesn’t know what to do next
so it starts all over

from the pupil
from the core.

    Charles Bukowski, C’est Moi

Beforehand I never would have thought
how much I resemble Charles Bukowski
that barfly
Henry Chinaski
or Mickey Rourke the actor who was one of them
for several sleepless nights

and days
the scandal monger from old photographs
where he paws skimpily dressed girls

I’m not a prose writer
and don’t belong to the Beat Generation
sex doesn’t inspire me to write
I don’t hang around shady types
I’m not drawn to lowlife
I don’t get drunk

I quit smoking
I like perfect order and nights in my own bed
before I leave the house I primp and preen and check
many details too many
in front of a mirror
even though our names
sound very much alike
their endings suggest a completely different gender
and yet I catch myself being Charles Bukowski

for a short while
to the extent he was never someone like me
and wouldn’t have even imagined that.

    A Poem

I’m a poet
you’re a poet
he’s a poet
she’s a poet
it’s a poet
we’re a poet
you’re a poet
they’re a poet

in a dark suit
in sleeves pant legs
in the right hand pocket
in the noose of a necktie

I read my poem
I listen to my poem
I am my poem
without sleeves
without pockets
without pants
without shoes
without shoelaces
without a noose

I don’t have to write
or read
I don’t have to be a poet
or a poem
my poem
no one’s poem
or no poem’s poem
I don’t have to be
there’s nothing I have to
I don’t have to
I have to
have to

    The Perfect Choice

In the country or in the city?
in the morning or in the afternoon?
to smoke – not to smoke?
curse – kneel?

to kill or to create a purple cow a bird
with the flu someone sneezing in a streetcar
his face yellowing fainting in my bedroom
before he manages to button his shirt on his Adam’s apple?
each of you

to stare goggle-eyed at life slipping away or watch it
with half-closed eyes?

who said you have a choice?

(and your seventy-fifth birthday in several years two watches
on your wrist one doesn’t work your briefcase with your slippers inside and all
your ties: those from the UNRRA from Paris and Bucharest you carry them and walk the streets you see for the first time and passersby tip their hats to you)?

You’re silent on every real occasion just in case
don’t be afraid if you hide something very deeply
it doesn’t exist

the passion of your lips betrays you the words committed like a crime
ecstasy is independent of time it’s an image of eternity
then you speak quickly to yourself all of you at the same time you throw out
thoughts you’ve collected since numerous

when you leave I pick up clothes and bedspreads I arrange them
line them up I surrender
to an empty moment one after another

I carefully touch a white handkerchief folded
into a perfect

    Ode to Snow

You fall like everything else on this planet
you come from silence
from where we also come

you rest against freezing time and hard earth
deer leave traces over you
a dog sinks in you up to its ears with such obviousness
in his eyes as if he had understood

in Slocina in the Carpathian foothills you’re the same
as in Turkish Kars
Herodot’s legend
geometry on glass
black ice on the road
our fragile bodies crash
in your glazed splendor

under you love death and trash
lightly patted over

fragments of rockets from Baykonur drop on your head
while you unshakable equilibrist lie
supine in the Altai mountains

my white idealist.

     Krystyna Lenkowska has published nine volumes of poetry three of which have appeared in bilingual Polish-English editions: Keep off the Primroses, 1999, Eve's Choice,2005 and An Overdue Letter to a Pimply Angel, 2014. Her poems, fragments of prose, translations, essays, literary notes and interviews have been published in numerous journals and anthologies in Poland (f.ex. Fraza, Odra, Topos, Twórczość, ZeszytyLiterackie), the USA (Absinthe, Boulevard, Chelsea, Confrontation, The Normal School, Spoon River Poetry Review), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, India, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Her poem "The Eye of John Keats in Rome" won the first prize at the Sarajevo international poetry competition "Seeking for a Poem" for the year 2012. In 2013, at the XVII DITET E NAIMIT Poetry Festival (Macedonia-Albania), she received the MENADA Prize for the special creativity. Lenkowska is a member of the Association of Polish Writers (SPP), POETAS DEL MUNDO and LAI (Literary Art Institute).