Polina Kopylova


Translations by Maria Goes


A piece of land.
Diagonally from south to north.
Or the other way around.
Depending on how you see it.
Or rather, measure it.

Nothing special. 

A house as children draw it.
A gable roof, a square porch. 
Sunny yellow walls 
under the grey cloud of calico.
A red shelter and
a stone stable nearby.

Nothing special. 

One’s own copse of trees
growing bare deadwood.
Thick wild lumber. 
An eagle-owl in a walking dream. 
A deer torn apart.

Nothing special. 

Quiet neighbours, 
whose hands still feel the touch of 
a hayfork’s hilt,
a bottle of moonshine,
the trigger of a rifle,
the foe’s throat.

I confirm the deal –
Quite a good location for a motherland.  


In an — almost – empty bus an unknown girl
(the village fool got lost in the city?)
and insistently
as a nurse who got used to human pain
repeated with the same intonation
why are you screaming? 
why are you screaming? 
why are you screaming? 
Her voice enveloped me 
and all the time I had a feeling  
that she was addressing me. 
The village fool that got lost in a big city
is usually harmless  
but sometimes may hit you in the head with an axe 
– I mean literally –,
that’s why I’m shielded from her by
a glass wall.
I learned this skill from the locals who
with will and imagination created
a glass wall
which cuts the gazes off
and throws back the words 
into the mouth of the speaker. 
As usual, it worked. 
I couldn’t stop thinking: 
what if she
my inner scream.


is no more an essential condition for murder.
The destructive power of our instinct of self-preservation
is enough

to tear flesh into steaks,
to grind up bones for fertilizer,
to blend brains into smoothies
where dreams, sweetened with sweetener,
dissolve into a lie.

And only when our victim
seeks to take revenge on us from the within coffin,
he will experience the power of our hate,
as we kill him again.


In our village it’s better not to imagine too much.
Although we built a new village shop and gave a church the status of a roadside attraction,
although we have white chairs in a summer cafe,
and a former stable turned into a gallery,
although we even have one municipal deputy from the “Greens” – at least,
judging by the hair colour. 
Nevertheless, in our village it is better not imagine too much – neither about
the village, nor about oneself.
Especially, about oneself.
The people of our village are quiet.
On Fridays, of course, not so much. But usually, silence.
But if someone imagines too much, the cry will rise above the bell tower, up to
the sky.
For the sake of God, look at our grey church, explore the puzzling Swedish names
on the gravestones.
For the sake of God, sit down on a white chair, and a heart will be drawn
on the surface milk of the coffee – it will do for Instagram.
For the sake of God, go to the gallery, which – surprise! – is called “StablEE”:
buy some cool graphics there.
The green-haired deputy has a summer job there as a supervisor: chat with her
if you like.
But do not imagine too much. This is just the village.
Here, they don’t tolerate burning eyes, fiery words and other flammable items
– what if there’s a fire?
But this is just an excuse.
The real reason is that the living dead live here. The eternity is so cozy with this roadside church, white chairs, the “StablEE” gallery and the green-haired
maiden, that we don’t want to hear about imagination: only mortals
imagine, not the dead; the fruits of imagination belong to life, not to eternity.
Our village is called Eternity,
where we spend eternity.
No need to imagine.

Polina Kopylova (Russia/Finland) is a bilingual poet and writer, translator, journalist and blogger specialized in culture, integration and Russia related issues. She is part of Literarus, the most renown Russian language literature magazine in Finland. Molina´s latest book Rakkat vainajani (My beloved dead) appeared in Russian and Finnish.

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