A Few lines etched where no words give weight.
Good riddance say the veterans
Of a nation gone sour with grief
Like a lemon slice evaporating onto the tongue of the sick.
But when the young yearn for White Nights,
The old claim they are blinding lights to the cold sugary substance
That supplants an easy path.
The bullithole rush of renewal and loneliness and progress thwarted and abandoned,
Inertia seeping through
Into a cold summer's day.
Between the cursing slant of sleek paved roadstrips,
And the burning briars that thresh the border's haunt,
What is picture postcard emerald
Is in that same instance soviet architect gray.
These are the sleepers bereft of the dream
whose twenty-five stories high
or ghost estates
are domes to cast out the howling banshees, those suffrage of the real
to be re-thought as mere props which surround the haloed glowing screen.
So sheen the Motherland glows in untarnished eyes
Familiar solely with glass behemoths parading with their reflections
In grey water-drizzled streets,
Only to be replaced by iridescent rainbows that foster a hope.
A hope that was packaged and sold two decades back
Since it was not worth carrying into the New World.
The water-trough falls to where the electric line banishes, connects a spike,
"rejuvenate the breakfast table"-some far-off God reports, Hades still waiting,
Intel-chip Blue, epiphany at the gates.
This poem is a collaboration between Russian-American poet Mariya Timkovsky and Irish poet Westley Barnes, reflecting their respective cultural landscapes and cultural antagonisms. Each writer contributed lines in response to each other's work using their own individual style. The result is a collage of both approaches to their subject matter.