the dark man

Hear me, hear me, friend.
I’m very, no, seriously ill.
What’s the reason? This pain I do not understand.
As if wind whistles, listen
Over desolate, vacant, still field.
Like a grove, leaves blazing I feel.
And the drink sheds my leaves as I bend.

Head of mine is a-flapping my ears
Like a migrating bird – wings.
Near my neck, no legs want
To waver and pause; to and fro.
Dark man, here he is,
Dark man, here he is,
On my bed, near me sits, haunts me.
Dark man…
He won’t let me rest all night long.

The dark man
Runs his finger over a horrid tome,
And a-mumbling over me,
As if at a deathbed, a monk drones,
He reads a strange life to me:
Of a swindler, a no good looser without a home.
And my soul is veiled in sadness and fear of him.
Dark man, here he is.
Oh, so dark.

“Listen up, listen,”
He screeches at me,
“In this book, plans a plenty;
Good thoughts and some wonders.
It says, a man used to live
In a haphazard country,
Which ruffians and charlatans
Tear asunder.

In December, that place
Shows off snow, pure as hell,
Which the blizzards spin in
Joyous layers.
Hero of ours adventures befell
He was
A schemer, yet kind
And debonair.

He was well mannered.
A poet, it appears.
Not so brawny,
But with a solid, strong grasp.
And a chic foreign woman
Of some forty plus years
He renamed “his naughty girl”
Called “his love” in the past.

Happiness – he’d say is
A trick of the mind and hands.
All naïve, clumsy souls
As despairing, are always known.
C’est la vie
Life brings pains
And cunning, deceit
As dresses are simply worn.

In downpour and lightning,
When life is a chill,
Or if you loose someone dear,
Just keep on smiling
Switch to “happy” at will,
It’s “Haute art”, young man, do you hear…”

“No, you jest, dark man!,
Don’t dare show me the “light”!
I do not believe
That you’re in the lifeguard trade.
I do not care about
A scandalous young poet’s life
Please, find yourself some pals
And spin yarns elaborate.”

Dark man stirs and stares at me
Looks beyond and yonder.
Rolls his eyes and they turns sickly
Bluish. Vomit… Flee…

“Do not tell me that I am
A thief, crook, and scoundrel,
So shamelessly and rudely
Having swindled somebody.”

………………………………………………………….

Hear me, hear me, friend.
I’m very, no, seriously ill.
What’s the reason? This pain I do not understand.
As if wind whistles, listen
Over desolate, vacant, still field.
Like a grove, leaves blazing I feel.
And the drink sheds my leaves as I bend.

Frosty night. I look at a
Still fork in the road.
It’s just me by the window
No guest and no friend I await.
The whole meadow is covered
With crusty, yet soft snow foam.
Orchard trees are like warriors
Riding to feasts with slow gait.

Somewhere is cryin’
The ominous bird of the even.
Wooden warriors hoofs echo
Clickety clack. And again
This dark man fills my chair
At the stroke of eleven.
Tips his top hat and winks,
Flips his coat tails and starts in same vein…

“Listen, listen,”
He breathes in my face. Hoarse voice…
He leans closer,
And closer. “Don’t mean to spy on you
But I haven’t seen
Other bastards and rogues,
Who by choice,
So needlessly suffer from insomnia.

So, perhaps I am wrong,
Since full moon lights the street,
Is there anything else,
which this slumbering world does desire?
Maybe She’ll come slyly with her
Thick thighs. Will you gravely read,
All your lifeless and sensual
Lyrics to your honest admirer?

Ah, how I love poets!
What curious folks.
One would always discover
Among them, a story so commonplace.
How a long haired guy in
Deep sexual lust tries to coax
A pimply young girl with titillating
Tales of stars and of outer space.

Sweet past… Just remember,
In one small town,
Perhaps in Kaluga,
But maybe… Ryazan.
A boy lived
With peasant folks in a house run down.
A gold haired kid,
Pure blue eyes, who loved to run.

He became an adult
A poet, it appears.
Not so brawny,
But with a solid, strong grasp.
And a chic foreign woman
Of some forty plus years
He renamed “his naughty girl”
Called “his love” in the past.”

“Dark man!
You’re a horrid guest.
The ill fame of your tricks
Is well known by everyone.”
I’m enraged, I’m possessed,
Hurl my walking stick
Towards his mocking mug
And his collarbone

…Moon has died
The dawn grows rose over the blue.
Mother night!
Is that your brew? You’re in error?
In the top hat I stand.
No one’s there. That’s the truth.
Me… Alone…
With a shattered mirror…

Sergey Esenin

 

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