Post-Pandemic Planet

DA282E46-5B54-4A1C-B98A-6DC571534718When this illness turns to embers

And the death toll dims at last

Let us promise to remember 

What we all have come to pass

 

Let’s remember all the darkness

When we stand out in the sun

All the panic and the madness

When we thought it could have won

 

When from loneliness we shuddered

When our confidence collapsed 

Let’s remember we recovered

And the dread has now elapsed 

 

In the streets when passing strangers 

Let’s remember they were those

Who we fought to keep from danger

When we stayed inside our homes 

 

Let us never take for granted 

Our dear liberty to meet

Friends and colleagues at enchanted

Cafes, parks, and day retreats 

 

Let us relish simple freedoms

Nature’s breeze on cheeks and hair

Sunny rays on backs and bare arms

Strolls through gardens, crowds at fairs

 

When we go out for some coffee 

Read a book at bakeries 

When we dance, attending parties

Cherish every moment please

 

Let us thank our doctors, nurses

For their frontline bravery

Where the war was humans versus

An unseen feared enemy

 

Let us take this harsh pandemic 

And transform our selfish ways

So the future of our planet

Sees more selfless, joyous days

 

Viktoriya Neverov-Krstic 2020

The Crown of Suffering

470E1F60-EE8C-469A-BEEF-30F8B5C9CCF8I sat upon a lonesome boulder

And wept in grief of wonder lost

Here all my goodness spun in smolder

Here all my summers turned to frost

 

The cymbal boomed in loud crescendo

And rain began to beat my back

Still somehow over thund’ring bellows

I heard soft footsteps on the track

 

A figure stood there, sadness rendered

A weary man of wrinkled time

“Why do you weep in such surrender?

What trouble haunts you? What horrid crime?”

 

“My heart is shattered, dearest stranger

The cold dead ground hides my true love

My home is lost, my mind in danger

I am betrayed by God above”

 

The beggar smirked, though eyes still somber

And deep with wisdom as the night

The glow of suffering red embers

Played in his aura with delight

 

“You’re young, my child, let me tell you

A secret I have learned from woe

That pain in battle is a medal

That no dictator can bestow

 

You win while losing on this journey

The crown of suff’ring is a prize

For only when the stem is thorny

A rose might bloom toward sunny skies

 

The crater blown from sorrow’s power

Within your heart has gifted you

More space to grow your spirit’s flowers

And fill the void with knowledge new

 

Upon the battlefield of being

Where daydreams lay bemoaning death

You can collect the rot for feeding

This present moment’s rooted breath

 

You weep, but you are blessed, child

A door has opened up for you

To rise with courage, not be mild

To rage, to fight, expand anew”

 

And as his words dimmed in the darkness

A light of strength awoke again

So off I went into the stillness

My sorrow crowning a bravery’s reign

 

Viktoria Nikola 2019

The Edge Of Darkness

The edge of darkness keeps a monster

That rules the wall of “now” and “then”

And on this bulwark, this imposter

Instills cold dread in nearing men

 

The air there smells of blood and murder

The wind there moans in loss and threat

One’s heart there whimpers in a murmur

One’s palms there drip with nervous sweat

 

The edge’s monster knows true horror

One’s greatest fear is his to bend

He could command one’s deepest terror

And turn one’s will to useless sand

 

Yet in its claws it holds a secret

That it can too be crucified

For all it takes is one’s defiance

A dab of courage in the eyes

 

To stand up to the dread it summons

And know one might succumb to fright

To weep and see the end as coming

Yet stay and bear the fearsome plight

 

For only then will this imposter

Yield way for one to leave the ledge

Where what-may-come lives in a fostered

Light’s warming loving waiting edge

 

Viktoriya Neverov-Krstic

2019

An Era Gone

I woke to find the day was night

The mist of dew dried out

The morning jay’s song of delight

Replaced by music’s drought

 

I woke to find the trilling birds

Had flown down south for summer

The snow had come of cold curse words

And war beats of fate’s drummer

 

I woke to find an era gone

Its dreams dead for re-gift

An age had come and now twas done

And I never knew it lived

 

© Viktoria Nikola (2018)

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

Paradox

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)