Red bird

by Katjusha Kozubek  

transl. by Veshengro M. Smith 

 

The red bird came to me,

the red bird, he comes, when you expect him least,

when you don't expect him.

And he flies away when he wants,

the red bird who only sings of freedom...

 

On my shoulder he alighted -

Left, where there is the heart.

He spreads his wings

and all around me

            The smell of ripe woodland berries

           the laughing of clear water

           the creak of wagon wheels

           the endless green

           the hot breath of the bear

           and the soft whispers of the forest

           A fire fire blazes up

            and a silvery rain is falling.

 

He spreads his wings

And a Gypsy song begins:

            Soft - like the fluttering eye lids of a child,

           wild - like the autumn gales,

           and much like whirling snowflakes,

           high-spirited and proud like the dancer

            and a little “mato” (drunking), like our uncle.

           Sweet - like the first kiss and the bread after a long journey,

           bitter - like the tears of the deserted.

           Like the anger of the outlawed ones,

           like the pain of the derided ones

           - unfathomable.

      

            High into the heavens,

            Deep into the bottom of the soul, to the heart of the earth,

           it now sounds in me.

 

The red bird came

upon my shoulder and settled there,

kissed my heart

and filled my blood with memories.

In the morning he flew on, towards the forgotten ones,

left me behind

with his song in my soul

and a red feather in the hand...