On the mounds of burning rubble, where the air is thick with smoke

Where I stand upon the scorching embers of charred floorboard oak

Where I flailed in searing torture, where I screamed, by torment caved

Where I died and resurrected, where I rose up on my grave

I stand tall upon these ashes, gazing at the dawning sky

Where the clouds still coil in smolder round the firebirds up high

Through my pain, I hadn’t realized, into wings, my tears had rolled

Into songs that hint at wisdom, my pained screams of death did mold

Into glowing mythic feathers, my dull skin released its hue

Into stirring lively soarings, my dim walking blazed anew

Into magic, into mystic, through the alchemy of fire

I transformed my mundane being, though I wished it weren’t so dire

Now I fly the way I couldn’t, Now I see past what I had

I’ve expanded through the ravine, through a journey anguish-clad

And I’ve risen to the heavens, where the sunshine weaves my home

Where in joy,  in light, in laughter, I can freely rest and roam 

Lina’s Poem

A poem in honor of my beautiful Aunt Lina who passed away in January 2021

She journeyed through her life 
Collecting rays of light 
A basket full of gem-like 
Luminous sunlight  

Her heart was always ready 
To gift these beads of glitter 
Words made of sunrise threading 
And rippling laugh’s flitter  

She weaved the strands of sun rays 
Into her flowing braid 
So in the darkest stormy days 
Her light streamed unafraid  

She spun the fabric of the sun 
Into her beaming smile 
So when you felt alone, undone 
She’d spark your world for miles  

And with her voice she took the care 
To drape it with sun’s glimmer 
So when she’d sing her soulful prayers 
She’d wrap our hearts with shimmer  

But maybe it’s her gift of light 
That couldn’t be contained 
For God had called her to his side 
And now the sky a star has gained  

Her flowing braid and beaming smile 
Now shine upon creation 
And someday we shall meet again 
And gleam together in elation

Viktoriya Neverov-Krstic

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