The Toast

To all the moments of sheer beauty

To all the breaths we’ve held in awe

To all the words of all the stories

We heard as youths our jaws ajar




To all the hues of every vista

To all the petals of perfume

To every stem an ant has conquered

To every plant that ever bloomed




To all the faith of arms outstretching

To all the trust in every truth

To all the gusts in every glory

To every heart that’s loved anew




To every note of every concert

Or every tone of every song

To all the chords of all the voices

Who shouted louder than a wrong




To all the waves of all the changes

And all the waters of stern seas

To every mind that wandered strangely

Towards darkened depths, yet let it be




To all the tears of joyous smiles

To all the hope of days to pass

To every star in every trial

That led us through our daunting past




To all of you, oh treasured presents,

I toast a drink of bubbly whim

Continue to defy our limits

Let’s fly upon your wings of vim




Viktoria Nikola

2012

Freedom

When freedom comes – your being feels it

In every corner of its soul

Unleashing that what’s been forgotten

Recalling that what’s labeled old



And you, within, a winged creature

Run towards the brink of your despair

And then with loud and joyous laughter

You jump! You fall! Without a care!



Let freedom come, let fear surrender

Let your unease become undone

Let’s fly away on airy whimsies

And let us do what’s NEVER done!



Viktoria Nikola

What’s in a Dream

I’ve waited for you waterfalls, I’ve longed to hear your voice

Your roaring thrilling love poems, your deaf’ning stirring noise

I’ve waited for you mountains, I’ve yearned to feel that breeze

That medal of your zenith, that zephyr of your tease



I’ve waited for you jungles, I’ve longed to venture through

Those spellbound coiled pathways, those verdant lavish hues

I’ve waited for you oceans, to take me far away

Cocoon me in your journeys, awake me with your spray



I’ve waited for adventures, savannahs, mounts of snow

Safaris, canyons, ice bergs, a rushing river’s flow

I’ve longed to feel the soaring, of the tallest redwood pines

To feel the thrill of swinging from timely vine to vine



I’ve waited for you kindly, I’ve dreamt of only you

Not seeing my surrounding – the modest, simple truth

I’m not on rushing waters; I see a humbler view

A quiet stream aholds me, in a just as meek canoe



No epic haunting soundtrack, no growing climaxed plot

No melodramas, heartbreaks, no loud exciting lot

There’s simply me, my presence, my mind, my heart, my soul

And then sometimes a chirping, of a blue jays heartened drawl



The trees that stand around me as I slowly drift on by

Are not as green as jungles, are not as tall as pines

But in their leaves are details that I didn’t seem to see

In all my restless dreamings, in all my passioned glee



The sun is brightly shining, veiling the path ahead

But his rays are warm and cozy, so I lie down instead

And there the azure greets me, with a smile that stretches on

And I feel safe and stable, in a humble wooden palm



True, these aren’t my mountains, my canyons, waterfalls

But I can’t betray this beauty, its vivid silent calls

And though my heart is grieving, for the lost could-be

I breathe this moment in, and shed the last should-be


Viktoria Nikola

2013

The Human Gift

 

Here is my heart, though, how silly it is

To give you a gift, as faulty as this

I’d give you my mind, but I fear it’s away

In some faraway land on indefinite stay




I’d give you my soul, if only I could

But lost in my body is the thoughtless ol’ fool

I’d give you my spirit, but embarrassed I am

Of how small and how dim the light has become




And thus I am left with a beaten bruised heart

The one where the seems are coming apart

Don’t worry the wounds will fester, but heal

And then it's the scars, the seems that will seal




The bleeding will stop, the ache should assuage

It’s drumming might fade, It’s hearing might age

A Band-Aid or two and some gauze would do well

To send it towards heaven, or at least not towards hell




Please hold the poor darling, tell it you care

It might not believe you, but let us be fair

It’s fallen, it’s shattered, it burned and then froze

And now by it’s master so rudely disposed




I’d rather you have it though, horrid it is

For I do not trust me with such delicate things

I’ve tried and I’ve failed, and it’s time to give in

Farewell, my sweetheart, forgive me this sin



Viktoria Nikola

A Novel Warning

I wrote this poem after I wrote my first novel. If I could, I'd make this the preface to all my works of fiction:




Don’t judge too harshly my rhyme and prose

My Russian soul – the lachrymose

For Pushkin’s ghost possessed my mind

And thus I build his verbal shrine


Let’s cast aside our logic’s reign

Let sane be lost to the insane

Let’s muffle screams of reasoning

Let our hearts sprout those fragile wings


And let us dive into the blue

Where shadows live, where truth’s untrue

Where all that’s wrong and all that’s right

Are switched at birth, and switched by sight


I weave a web of tale and lore

Where all our folly skips and strolls

Where civil wars divide the shards

Of broken hearts and fallen stars


Where cities die and people pass

And sands escape the hourglass

Where souls anew rekindle life

That tiny light put out by strife


Where all our hate is justified

And all our wars bleed out our pride

Where brittle hearts grow faith to soar

But chains of fear entrap that door


I weave a web, so we could learn

From fairytales how fires burn

That we need not, such travesty

I’ll weave this web, then set it free



Viktoria Nikola

2012

A Revolutionary Revolution

A quiet revolution, Is quite a unique thing
It’s strange in it’s unusual, it walks by using wings
It’s subtly romantic, with meaning in reverse
It’s neither hist’ry nor present, a dance that’s unrehearsed

A peaceful revolution, no bloodshed, tyrants, not a sound
Where we’ve revolted from revolting from legendary crowns
A tranquil insurrection, a paradoxal twist
A time with no more suff’ring, a place where love persists
Existing in obscurity, it shall illuminate its key
Then, with its delayed enlightenment, it’ll bring recovery
A revolutionary revolution, believe it, it shall come to pass
And with its unconforming reforms, its change will ever-last

Viktoria Nikola

Ashes Ashes

The dimming cinders of my spirit

Lay glowing feebly in the night

The smoke escaped my every merit

The arsonist: life’s pain and plight



My vessel’s blood rolled with a smolder

My passioned breath – a fev’rish dream

Here I have died, my ash grows colder

The air still vibrates with my scream



And yet a tale, I dare remember

Intangible, deep as the skies

That I exist still in these embers

And that a phoenix I shall rise



I’ll rise, and soar above my ashes

The pain I felt – a memory

The blaze, my death, might come in flashes

But stay a dying reverie



I’ll rise, but I am dust in limbo

The fire scents my senses stir

I’ll wait to cool, then from this pyre

I’ll rise. And be the firebird


Viktoria Nikola
2017

I Think Too Much

I think too much and about everything

Does faith exist without our doubt?

Can we believe while never wavering?

Is this true faith that preachers spout?




I think too much and about everything

Are people good or evil-clad?

Or is this thought of these too severing

Can stains exist on a stained pad?




I think too much and about everything

Do we live life by choice or fate?

Can freedom be in actions following

A certain act, retort, debate?




I think too much and about everything

I question questions that I ask

And once I know, again I question them

I’m drunk on probes I might unmask




I think too much and about everything

Though is the key that I must stop?

For without thought, might I be burying

The aim for this, soul-body swap?




Viktoria Nikola

How Are You, God?

Tell me, God, how are you? Do many people ask?

What is this moment bringing? What is your current task?



Does anyone remember, to see how your ‘now’ is?

How many people pray, to not to pray for bliss?



Does anyone invite you, on a rendezvous of souls?

Where no one asks for something, where silence is the goal?



I can imagine what your world must now ahold

What novas you awaken, what planets you unfold



What angel you must council, is Gabriel of those?

Who pleas and pleas for something, till you undo his woes?



And what about the demons that you must now assuage?

Do they beg less than humans? Perhaps that comes with age.



Perhaps you’ve quelled a riot, of beings yet unknown

Or lit a revolution, in some forgotten zone



Or maybe in the belly, of the darkest galaxy

You paint a dance of colors, a nebula’s decree



How many deaths you witness, while I sit and write these words?

How many lives created. How many loves unfurled?



Your day must be a full one, for time is yours to wield

So in my daily praying, my begging I shall yield



I thank you for your greatness, and thus my prayers I quench

And if you have the time, come join me on this bench

Viktoria Nikola

One of my favorite Russian Poems

So I endeavored to translate one of my favorite Russian poems by Nikolai Zinoviev:

"I'm Russian"

On the steps of mortal dust and vapor 

A human sat and cried with dread

Then past him walked the God creator

He stopped and sat and to him said



"I am a friend to those downtrodden 

Protector of the broken, blue

I know enriching words to trod in

I am your God, there's nothing I can't do



Your gloomy face is to me crushing

What tragedy fills up your brim?"

The human said, "I am a Russian."

And God began to cry with him.



The original: 

Я Русский

В степи, покрытой пылью бренной,
Сидел и плакал человек.
А мимо шёл Творец Вселенной.
Остановившись, Он изрек:
“Я друг униженных и бедных,
Я всех убогих берегу,
Я знаю много слов заветных.
Я есмь твой Бог. Я всё могу.
Меня печалит вид твой грустный,
Какой нуждою ты тесним?”
И человек сказал: “Я - русский”,
И Бог заплакал вместе с ним.

Н.А. Зиновьев