My Favorite Pushkin Poem

Like the typical Russian, I love Pushkin’s work. It’s so profound and heartbreaking and it captures the very essence of all tortured souls. Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to translate and make it sound as good in English as it sounds in Russian. Nonetheless, I tried. Here’s my favorite Puskin poem, translated by yours truly.

The Angel

By the gates of Eden, an Angel, gentle

Shone with his softly drooping head,

And in the darkness a Demon, rebel

Over the hellish ravine fled

The sp’rit of doubt and of negation

Looked at the other one of good

And in a flame of forced elation

For the first time, he understood

“Pardon,” he said, “but I have seen you

And not in vain you’ve shined me light

Not all in heaven I had hated,

Not all on earth I had despised.”

Alexander Pushkin

Translated by Viktoria Nikola


I didn’t choose to be a paradox

It’s simply so unorthodox

And seem to be a dark anomaly

A weird asserted mystery

Somehow defined by ambiguity

Make rational decisions stupidly

I didn’t wish it, but here I am

I am a lamb; I am a ram

I’m definitely undefined

Confused, refused, then re-defined

I am not sure and yet assured

That when time comes I am insured

I’m two unlikes on the same end

I am a good, which good amends

Stranger than thou, weaker than thou

But somehow plow a larger plow

Two parallels run within me

Both magnet polars, complexity

I seem to live in joyous death

Yet I take pleasure in every breath

Unsatisfied in my content

And happily at times lament

I live inside pure non-conformity

Thus love’s a burden, hence I am free

© Viktoria Nikola

The Finish Line

I’m running to the finish line
And I ignore the pain
I’m running to the finish sign
Soon I will win; soon I will reign

I’m running, but the goal’s far-set
Nor do I hear my chanted name
My victory’s a silhouette
For I have promised the crowd my fame

Deep in my veins I feel the rush
Of triumph’s gold-heaving breath
And in my ears the audience’s hush
Is pumping, throbbing, killing death

Inside my heart I feel the joy
I sense the soon relief
And then despite the ache decoy
I soar, I fly, and I believe

There is no one to say I can’t
Although I hear this cry
For blessed God, whose blessed grant
Is confidence doubts can’t defy

For me, there’s no more time
I’ve won, I’ve reached my goal
I am the victor, calm, sublime
And I am great and I am whole

© Viktoria Nikola

Finding Ourselves in Nothing

Between the words that are spoken, there lies a fragment of truth

Where life exists unaltered, where being roams in sooth

Where spirit finds its essence and egos cease to exist

Between the words that are spoken, before it fogs over with mist

Between the breaths that are taken, a hint of forever dwells

The shards of immortal presence, the songs of eternal bells

The nothing in all existence, the everything in a void

Between the breaths that are taken, we live, before we’re destroyed

Between the thoughts that are rising, our consciousness dares to be

Our limitless burning power, our soul’s perpetuity

Our senses in endless directions, impervious to demise

Between the thoughts that are rising, WE ARE, until silence dies

But with every quiet instant, we resurrect anew

Like the stillness of a sunrise, like the drops of a morning dew

And in these silent moments, we are love and truth and space

We find ourselves in nothing, then in something lose the trace

© Viktoria Nikola (2018)

The Human Moment

This moment is now fleeting, though aching for its life

It’s pulsing to its death bed, surrendering its blithe

A bitter-sweet conclusion to a severed fairy-tale

This moment we are living, our truth within unveiled

Tis like maestro’s playing his concert’s final note

The heartache in the silence before the verdict spoke

A glance exchanged by lovers before their last good-bye

Their eyes, in mind, immortal, but in time that instant dies

The last remaining ornament taken off the tree

The final gaze upon the coffin after the last eulogy

The closing of the eyelids before a long awaited kiss

The tremb’ling lips first contact before their parted bliss

Our lives are made of minutes that tear us at our core

Remind us we are mortal, we’ll face that closing door

One day that final minute will come – our final breath

And we shall realize every instant is living through its death

This moment is now fleeting, though longing to survive

It’s yearning to outlive its temporary life

And yet, despite its dimming, it burns with unmatched might

One hundred years of passion…

And then it yields to night

Viktoria Nikola

A Confession


Let towers fall, let bridges crumble

Let thunder roar and lightning flash

Let comets strike, volcanoes rumble

Let heaven turn to ash

Let worlds collide, gravity surrender

Let Armageddon scream its strife

Let illness plague; let gold lose splendor

Let death rule over life

Let shackles break of all the Titans

Let chains of hell lose all their might

Let Hades vanquish Mount Olympus

Let darkness be our sight

Let stars lose foresight of what’s fated

Let every color be one hue

Let hate be loved, let love be hated

And even then…

I’d still love you

Viktoria Nikola



Modern Fairytale

I’ll sail to the edge of the cosmos

Where the novae thunder their storm

Where light surrenders to darkness

Where love looses its warmth

I’ll walk in the footsteps of heroes

Courageous and driven in stride

When Scylla and Charybdis taunt me

I’ll shudder, I’ll weep, then I’ll fight

I’ll battle the three-headed dragon

The one with fire in its breath

Ouranos shall meet my sweet vengeance

Then Cronus, then Zeus and then death

I’ll triumph where others have failed

En guard! Parry! Then, attack!

I’ll wield that steal sword as I sail

Look forward and never turn back

I’ll voyage to the edge of the cosmos

To save you, I’ll journey that sea

But when I shall find you my darling,

Will you want to be saved by me?

Viktoria Nikola



To All Poets

I know, my darling poet, how you bleed

A gushing wound of bloodied metered rhyme

And yet this gash is what us humans need

To deal with life possessed by pain and time

I know the ache and tears that haunt your soul

The broken heart you carry in your chest

I know that all you wish is to be whole

A modicum of joy from life to wrest

But, ah, the only treatment left for you

Is like a humor doctor t’bleed your thoughts

And for the briefest moment, you are new

Until the fragile thread of wellness rots

Accept your fate, my dearest poet friend

For with your illness you can heal the ill

And with your literary blood on lend

You might restore another’s broken will

Viktoria Nikola

God’s Art

Impervious, impregnable, unnerving

Undoubtedly the best in all of me

Unnecessarily I wished to be

But here I am, the life within still churning

It’s burning, aching, trembling, weeping

Like someone said “I love you,” then “goodbye”

And even worse, the light it held is seeping

Through every cleft created with each sigh

It dies with daylight, then resurrected

A trick it learned drinking dreamless nights alone

Or rather drunk on darkness as expected

By universal laws of “reap and sow”

Impervious, impregnable, unnerving

Involuntarily I’m cast a diamond heart

But underneath the stone, I’m bleeding, hurting

I’m guessing God perceives this as his art

Viktoria Nikola

The Universe Within

I have the universe within me

It is a wonder of a thing

It borders with eternity

And carries me on wings

Its billions stars of fire

Its trillions moons of ice

Give rise to bright desire

Then drop to arctic vice

There gods consort with angels

There demons scheme a war

There Logos is no stranger

Truth there turns into lore

There emp’rors build their kingdoms

And priests anoint their heirs

There queens fight for the freedoms

That pauper peasants scare

I have the universe within me

Though others think me mad

“Too grand a thought, chéri”

“Come down to Earth, comrade”

To them I’ll lean in slyly

“A secret you I’ll tell:

This universe within me

Is within you as well”

Viktoria Nikola