Scene Outside My Window

Written February 2018


Paint my heart

With this scene—

Gulls of gray

against the

palest blue sky

imaginable,

With snowflakes softly

dancing,

teasing the paradoxical sun


A dome—

golden, shining, beckoning

Worshippers

To humbly come

Bow, genuflect

And kiss

Orthodox cross

standing watch

over the square,

saying

“Peace, peace,

Christ has risen

over you

my beloved

Northern Star…”


Forever etch and chisel

Upon my fading memory

These windows—

Pots of cheerful buds

(To remind us that spring

Will come, must come)

Or maybe growing dill

for our soup today…

Stained lace curtains

Framing murky glass

and last century’s

peeling peach paint

And if I look closely,

I may see

Anya or Fedya*

Peek out from

behind the lace

With pensive eyes and

ink smeared hands,

Searching for the

same inspiration

as I…


Will this snowy, sunny embrace

Last into my

last days?

Will my memory fade

Of the years I spent

In the land of the North?


I can’t lose this.

I can’t lose the pain

The pleasure

The paradox

Of this place--

My crucible,

Desert

Exile

Arena

Stronghold

Fortress

Home.


The Land of the North

Has scorched this heart

And frozen it

In turns…

Ah, Love never alluded me

Here—

Only

haunted me…



*reference to poetess Anna Akhmatova and author Feyodor Dostoevsky, both of whom lived in this area of St. Petersburg

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