Borys Oliynyk

Rookie (1935, October 22 / Zachepylivka, Poltava region)

From Where The Ages Sleep... - Poem by Borys Oliynyk

From where the ages sleep
in tombs along the Nile,
From jungles tropical
where blooms the tamarisk -
Birds flying high, do tell
where do you fly the while,
Why are you flying there
where cold blue rime exists?

Here lies first paradise
and cinnamon's spiced air,
Here copper-visaged Ra
has lips of fire that burn -
But there above the lake
the calico sky is bare,
There sedge and wormwood grows
and knot-grass taciturn.

But does your leader know
the hard way you must roam,
And know ye, brothers mine,
what number falls and dies
Before you get half-way
unto your fathers' home
And skies of ultramarine
fade out before their eyes?

The leader silent grows
and looks into his soul.
His biding weariness
is gone like a broken chain…
A sudden wave of wings!
and up to heaven's scroll
Arises slow but sure
his secret sign of the skein.

How many generations
sought that secret sign:
Both oracles and priests.
From common man to kings.
Still, flying wedge-skeins use
the zodiac‘s design
That's hidden secretly
beneath their left-side wings.

Our planet has often known
a global shift of ice,
And many a star in space
in flames has gone to rest.
But still the skeins return
by prophecy concise,
Through weariness and time
at the secret call of the nest.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Translated by Gladys Evans

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, August 9, 2012

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