POEMS BY Irina Bakovetska-Rachkovska

বাংলা English

* * *

This war, like the fifth season of the year,
So many new prayers! So many new curses
That the seventh knee will not bow down,
Can’t bear the supplication!
Village cellars, dripping with slugs,
Have become churches
Where children and old women are placed in rows
Under the holy omophorion of the oak lid:
They are not so alone,
They are not lonely – The Lord is between them,
Even too palpable, even if secretly…
People learn to live under the world –
In cellars, subways, tunnels.
They emerge from beneath the ground,
When someone dies –
To bear a body that is no longer a messiah…
And no matter how tired someone is,
No matter how busy –
Birth and death in the world of tree roots.
Like in a movie by Raimi,
But the script from Ioan…
Once, having overcome death with death,
People will come out of their
Hades – will see family vaults –
In yards, in children’s sandboxes,
Through the opening of the window frame,
Through the beams of bombed-out churches,
From the sides of burnt diapers,
Children’s withered limbs.
This war, like the fifth season of the year,
Young saints appear for icons,
So that everywhere – in vestibules and altars!
We stand, like communion wine,
In dark cellars under the All-Seeing Eye
And we will learn to live in cemeteries,
As at Easter!

Примітка: A scarf worn by Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox bishops as a symbol of their ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

* 10 *

They say you will tell everything
And even about this Victory,
At night at the Last Supper –
Name the final date.
And I will come to the sepulchre
I will move the stone,
I will see millions of crosses –
From Irpin, Bucha, Hostomel.
Temples will be built from them,
Houses, schools, bridges…
Angels will live there
Happy and tired From the escort of souls…
Your body will be pierced
And you won’t tell them anything
About where people are hiding
Where it didn’t hit, it didn’t fly,
About all military facilities, routes!
And Your robes – Ukraine:
They cast lots in Kruty,
They cast lots for Gurby.
In Ilovaisk,
In Mariupol… Jericho’s trumpets sounded,
Elisha was pointing arrows,
– Today you were met With bread and salt,
And willow – As a Liberator!

Примітка: Kruty (1918) and Gurby (1944) were the sites of noted battles of the past; Mariupol was subject to bombardment from 2014 to 2022, and all but destroyed in 2022; Ilovaisk too has been hard fought over since 2014 as a city in the Donbas; Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel became internationally famous for the destruction and war crimes committed there in the initial stages of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

* 11 *

On each of their rotations,
They are increasingly disembodied –
No arms, no legs…
Without them, as without hands In this hell:
They go there, like gods resurrected,
To lead the soul of the nation.
And they pray to them from the rear,
Inhaling the incense of smog.
And the more they don’t have a body,
The more holy they are.
Every day, they give Communion to Victory
With their flesh,
So that she believes in them.
We will hide you like icons
In the Dnipro steppe
In the Polish swamp,
So that you don’t disappear!
Deliver us from the evil one!
And touching your stumps of knees,
Amputated hands to the back,
We believe in Ukraine!

Translate Andrew Sheppard

Irina Bakovetska-Rachkovska
Irina Bakovetska-Rachkovska -writer,сurator of cultural and artistic publishing projects. Head of Rivne National Union of Writers of Ukraine. Director of KZ of" Rivne regional center of folk art". The author of five poetry and two prose books, among them - "Write, tomboy, write, or If Banksy lived in the city of Ra" (2017), "Plastiline" (2018), "Torchki, or Grant to the trafficker" (2020). The founder of the author's literary performance "Ethno-poems". Laureate of literary prizes. Project manager of "KUST", "SUP-culture", "Angel on rotation", "Ethnoeducation". Researcher of folklore of Rivne Polissia.

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