Comrade Scientists, PhDís and candidates. Youíve messed it up, your xís and your naughts. You sit there and logarithm your antidotes While the potato crop just quietly rots. From compost and dry mould you try extracting A magic balsam, like some square root. Maybe itís amusing, and maybe itís attractive, But itís the potato root thatís rotting underfoot. By bus to Skhodnya station, donít be late! And there just leg it and be snappy, When the honored spud is on your plate, A pinch of salt and youíll be happy. You show your patriotism here, digíem tubers, Then bang, world fame will explode like ammonal. Instead, your whole gang are out slicing tumors, And also legs of dogs - and that is criminal! Comrade Scientists, enough of all your probings, Quit your experiments, hydrite and antihydrite. Get in the trucks and drive down to Tambov province. Your gamma-rays can wait before you setíem right. To Tambov we are driving, donít be late! And there just leg it and be snappy, When the honored spud is on your plate, A pinch of salt and youíll be happy. Bring your families along, your brothers and your sons, Weíll put them up in comfort and later youíll exclaim: To hell with those blue-genes, those other chromosomes, Weíve had a hard dayís work, and now itís time to play. Drive over, Comrade Scientists, Einsteins prized and rare, Inestimable Newtons, together weíll be one. "Cos our earthly suffering, it fills a common grave: The earth she jusí donít care, itís phosphates or itís dung. By bus to Skhodnya station, donít be late! And there just leg it and be snappy, When the honored spud is on your plate, A pinch of salt and youíll be happy. Head over, my sweet ones, in ranks without hiatus, Although youíre major scholars and never wear a cross, Youíre wilting there behind your apparatus, But here the air is clear, like medicine, dross. Comrade Scientists, relax, if something breaks or bubbles Or goes wrong, like, say some bezerk phenomenon. In a flash weíll be there with our pitchforks and our shovels, A few dayís deliberation, and itíll again be running. To Tambov we are driving, donít be late! And there just leg it and be snappy, When the honored spud is on your plate, A pinch of salt and youíll be happy.
               
© de Cate + Navrozov. Translation, 1995