After Metamorphic Awareness (Island of Dead) by Viktor Safonkin
After giant waves whipped the rocky shoreline devouring cliffs at its passage, what
seemed from a distance a snail hovering over a rock drifting like cork, or small islands
bobbing over the dark waters has filled my heart with consternation as I realize these
volutes of smoke rising all over like messages of distress appear now to be fumes spewed
by the combustion of sins, the world turned upside down, and I who yearned to rescue,
set out in my small skiff searching for life on coral islands, ventured so close I can see
this giant hovering snaillike figure blowing, alimenting the furnace, with his metal face
forged by Hades and all I can do is lower my head in consternation but do not mistake me
for Charon, and note that my companion has only one head.
Mesmerized by her oscillating
feet, my pulse accelerates,
I walk faster at her cadence.
Within seconds, her shirt vanishes
in the sinking light.
I envy this red-haired Atalanta's slender
figure, her secret bet
with the hourglass. Were I to follow
her footsteps, my dreams
would drown in the setting sun.
Through a hedge of honey-suckle,
my slower pace discloses twins,
a double illusion out of a picture
book. Their blond hair woven
in a thick braid, they water a bed
of purple impatiens,
sprinkle each flower one by one.
White puffs race across the wild
undergrowth. Under a tall oak,
a fledgling hops helplessly,
stronger at each leap, disappears
into the woods.
Wafts of freshly cut grass permeate
the air. A blue spruce displays new
shades of tendrils. Birches' charcoal
eyes, hieroglyphs drawn on papyrus,
carved in the barks’ tender grey
by nocturnal elves taunt me.
Tall stems of Queen Anne's lace
unfold symmetrical umbels. Beneath
the diaphanous efflorescence, carried
by invisible strings, a procession of
yellow leaves glides over a horizontal trunk.