“unicorn”, “grass icon” and “Bradbury’s butterflies”

Three poems by Dmitry Blizniuk


It’s a murky morning of the fall;
lampposts quietly wonder in the fog like giraffes, 
slanting clots of shadows shudder
behind the trees – that’s the dace of the past night 
got trapped in the sea grass at the low tide.
it smells of smoldering felt and rottening plums;
autumn, thin-boned, is shivering 
like a rickety colt
with cabriole bow-feet.
a little old lady is dragging an apple cart.
some leaves still redden – color of bale with blood.
a drizzle suddenly falls,
hundreds of ghosts rub dripping branches with palms, 
extracting the mist.
two college girls took cover from mizzle in an arbor;
they’re smoking and tenderly feed each other with chocolate chunks
(like birds feed O-shaped orifices of their nestlings with worms),
and care not to smear lipstick on each others’ lips.
and the tipsy yard-keeper Yefim grieves on the porch,
missing his ancestral apple-tree orchard;
but in a less than a month 
a pure-bred winter will enter,
and – lo! in the morning a snowfall is strolling outside the window,
like a noble, fairy-tale unicorn,
he is stung by a cluster of white gadflies,
and nervously brushes them off with a snowdrift tail…

grass icon

In a grass icon I’ll find you,
in a sticky whisper of juvenile maples,
the sun's shining through them.
I am almost tempted to ask the world of the dusk:
are you still here?
But a redolent silence 
is dancing barefoot on a warm sand in response,
with a blue ribbon of wind in its transparent hair.
Or is it the younger sister of silence?
She is jugging a song of grasshoppers, with freckled, delicate face,
teasing an ear with splintery sound of a distant saw,
shuddering as a clank of a kennel chain…
So in which world am I now? In the best of impossible?
And the right bank of the conscience 
gradually disappears into electric mist;
I hear a quiet murmur of the world – 
the song of a parturient cat
(spilling her body with elegance on a windowsill),
I am harking to insubstantial, 
instantaneous, non-eternal. 
Thus a baby in mother’s womb 
discerns the smeared, like jam, sounds of music from outside
and kicks, out of sync, with his tiny feet and miniature fists. 
All these light senses – the sixth, seventh, or eighth – 
they are yours, o Lord, weightless steps.
And all my words are some three-ton disposable anchors;
I cast them into an unthinkable deep,
never to heave them up to the surface…

Bradbury’s butterflies

The metro car is rocking like a nightmare’s metronome.
The Berlin wall of faces and crooked glances.
Here is a basalt woman in goggles. What was her dream tonight?
The whole planet’s fate depends on it.
Is she a spare tire in a self-sufficing world?
An outsider throughout, with migraines and lust for white chocolate?
Life is inevitably aging and losing its chestnuts;
The Universe drops down its hands with felt pens  –
all these billions, everything is going to hell!
I wonder, if the rainbow spectrum contains no color
of her hazel, apprehensive eyes? Someone has torn out
a wire from the cable of the humanity – perhaps no one will notice.
I am looking at her and feeling that
something is going wrong with this world. 
An egotistic logic is casting pearls,
but I am not a 'swine sapience' – aim higher!
She is one of the diamond’s carats, the meaning of my life,
yesterday is falling to pieces without her,
like a trump’s shack in a downpour. Without her
the lines will smear like melted ice-cream.
She stares into me with that rhino look,
and instinctively presses to her side her handbag
with the purse and keys to the house. To another world.
And the whole planet is hopelessly swarmed with Bradbury’s butterflies,
is flaring with Bradbury’s people like in a silent movie.
And the image of the world is changing every second, minute, hour,
as if it’s mercilessly whipped by an electric charge, a tank, a Tanka.

* Translated by Valentin Emelin from Russian
About the Author

Dmitry Blizniuk

Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared "River Poets Journal"(USA) ,"The Courtship of Winds" (USA), "Dream catcher" (UK), "Reflections" (UK), "The Ilanot Review" (Israel), "In Layman's Terms" (USA).He is a finalist for 2016 Award "Open Eurasia", "The Best of Kindness 2017"(USA), He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine.