Lyudmila Chersonska / Two poems

Lyudmyla Chersonska is a Ukrainian poet and translator. She was born June 16, 1964 in Moldova. Since 1981 she has been living in Odessa, Ukraine. To date, Chersonska has published four books of poetry. Her last book talks about a Russian hybrid warfare against Ukraine.

In the following page you can read two of her poems, She Dreamed a Humanitarian Convoy and When a Country, both translated by Valzhyna Mort.  / NWCC says thank you to the poet and the translator!

 

SHE DREAMED A HUMANITARIAN CONVOY

 

She dreamed a humanitarian convoy entered the city.

Covered with a sheet head to toe, she sleeps, tucking her knees,

always on her right side, while a wall watches her back,

this is how one sleeps in the time of

humanitarian wars.

This is how in all times

all tribes sleep,

waking only from silence, silence is a threat,

during silence, do not open

your door –

they are there, humanitarians with their inverted eyes.

 

Translated by Valzhyna Mort.

 

/

 

WHEN A COUNTRY

 

When a country of – overall – nice people

turns – slowly – fascist,

nice people do not notice this transformation all at once.

As when a person we know intimately

goes, next to us, through

an imperceptible process of aging. Imperceptibly, new wrinkles

slice the skin, frightening, deep.

Nice people nod when they run into each other,

and try, more and more, to lower their eyes,

until finally, raising them becomes an inhuman act.

 

Translated by Vazhyna Mort.

 

//

 

Ночью ей снилось, что ввели гуманитарный конвой.

Она спит, поджав ноги к животу, укрывшись простыней с головой,

на одном и том же правом боку, укрывшись стеной со спины,

так, как спят во времена гуманитарной войны.

Так, как спят во все времена все племена,

просыпаясь только от тишины, тишина страшна,

во время тишины нельзя открывать ворот —

за ними гуманитарные человечки с головою наоборот.

 

/

 

Ночью ей снилось, что ввели гуманитарный конвой.

Она спит, поджав ноги к животу, укрывшись простыней с головой,

на одном и том же правом боку, укрывшись стеной со спины,

так, как спят во времена гуманитарной войны.

Так, как спят во все времена все племена,

просыпаясь только от тишины, тишина страшна,

во время тишины нельзя открывать ворот —

за ними гуманитарные человечки с головою наоборот.

 

 

//

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