Happy December

Nino, Christmas eve_o

They’re few,
so hold them close —
the final hours
still clinging to the calendar, for ours
are those short-lived bright moments
that we touch
without a hope of keeping them.
They fleet,
and yet remain,
and reappear with such
stark clarity —
it sweeps us off our feet,
when in the midst
of winter’s endless plain
we glimpse our summer,
children once again.

 

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2016 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.

Happy November

Old man and boy, autumn, Nino's art

Keep this November
with its farewell cry
of wild geese flocks
against the ashen sky,
with rusty gold
beneath the shaking trees,
the smoky air
the rain —
pick all of these
small tales of autumn
that will soon depart,
press them between
the pages of your heart.

For this day too
will join the leaving skein
of days that were,
will never be again.

 

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2017 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.

Happy October

Going to school, autumn, Nino's art

Holy is this fall
with its sparkling leaves
coming down on us
from the maple trees.
With its dazzling smile
midst the clouds of gray
holy is this sun…
Blessed is this day.

Carpe diem, friend,
for they come and fleet—
yester days and leaves—
dust beneath our feet.
While today is here
let us simply be.
Carpe diem, come,
catch this day with me.

 

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2018 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.

Happy September

Nino's art, Kite

I’ve no weight,
I’m a kite,
fly me high,
hold on tight,
don’t let go of my hand,
bye-bye, land!

I’m air,
I’m light,
I’m day,
I’m night.
Watch me how I go whee!
Fly with me?

Burning bright,
burning clear,
from this world disappear
in the blink of an eye
you and I.

 

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2017 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.

Once upon a Winter’s Night (poem)

Once upon a winter’s night—
bittersweet, sleepless,
lit by the pale light
of the blue-eyed moon—
you’ll find that your room
is a boat with white sails—
summer bound, ready—
you’ll sail away, away
to the place that has no use
for riddles, because youth
has all the answers, the place
ringing with echoes
of laughter, full of traces
etched on the golden sand.
Meet you there. I’ll stand
on the shore of that place—
so distant, so near—
where time’s but a long tress
wrapped around a girl’s
little finger, twirling, twirling…

 

Image: Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Moonlit Night at Zdravnevo (1896), oil on canvas, 143 x 90.4 cm, The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk. Public Domain

“Two lovers’ union…” (a sonnet)

In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage

Two lovers’ union — stronger than a bond
between a mother and her child. A man
is nothing but a wretched vagabond
till he is whole with his betrothed. What can
persuade a lover, worshiping his love,
to see the presence of another king?
No, neither found inadequacies of
a “perfect” love, nor quarrels, nor the sting
of jealousy that pierces the heart
will cause a man to doubt his love — but time
and time alone will feed its apple tart
to human soul, until—in truth sublime—
a quiet revelation takes the throne:
we’re born alone, and we depart alone.

 

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Woman and Man on Stage, 1917. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm). BF601. Public Domain.

To the Girl in the Sunlight (poem in Russian)

Girl in the Sunlight.

Отчего ты печалишься, дальняя
незнакомка знакомая?
Может я, помогу чем-то —
словом, молчанием?
В саду твоём — солнцестояние,
лето вечное, тень резная
фатой подвенечной легла,
ты из света, тепла, руки сложены
так покойно, покорно… Может ты,
мне расскажешь, что видишь-ведаешь,
зачем в глазах грусть?
Незатейлив секрет пусть,
ты его как ларец дорогой открой —
помоги, научи, помолчи со мной.

 

Image: Girl in the Sunlight. Portrait of Maria Simonovich by Valentin Serov. 1888. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Happy August

Boy and dog, starry night, Nino

I would have said,
no, we could not explain
the physics of the lightning,
or the rain,
stars galloping
across the endless sky…
I would have said,
no, we could not tell why
the world would trade its green
for gold, and fall
onto the earth
we treaded with our small
bare feet of childhood.

No, we surely could
not ever tell.
We simply understood.

 

© 2014 Sasha A. Palmer

Image: © 2015 Nino Chakvetadze, reproduced with permission.