On the Turkish or, perhaps, Turkestani border, There’s, of course, the neutral zone, and, where bushes grow, On the right - our captain with his daredevils keep order, On the left, in front of them - the outsiders’ post. It’s known that flowers on the neutral zone Are of uncommon beauty all. For the captain’s fiancee, their separation was soured. She arrived, said, “Darling...” and put her charm to use. So the captain had to get at least a bunch of flowers - What’s a marriage with no blooms? Just a chance to booze! It’s known that flowers on the neutral zone Are of uncommon beauty all. Their commander also had an impromptu visit, Bang on cue his dearest one upped and came to stay. “Darling,” said she in their tongue, “it’s the will of kismet. We’ll be wed and, over that, there’s no more to say.” It’s known that flowers on the neutral zone Are of uncommon beauty all. There are ’mongst our border guards only having brave hearts, With the captain, three of them for the flowers went. And it turned out that before their counterparts from Asia Just that atramentous night the same task was set. Because that flowers on the neutral zone Are of uncommon beauty all. Rounded by the flowers’ scent, felt the captain hammered, Meanwhile their commander was also drunk as hell. As he sunk into the blooms, he in Turkish stammered, And in Russian mumbled his words the captain as he fell. It’s known that flowers on the neutral zone Are of uncommon beauty all. The captain sleeps, and in his sleep it’s opened Our frontier with Turkey just like the Kremlin gate1... He had no need and no desire to reach somebody else’s homeland, What he wanted was to walk where it’s owned by no state. And why’s this action banned? Lies in nobody’s hand The neutral zone - it’s no man’s land! It’s known that flowers on the neutral zone Are of uncommon beauty all.
1 In 1955, a part of the territory of the Moscow Kremlin was opened to the Soviet citizens.

 
© Akbar Muhammad. Translation, 2015
(akbarmuhammad.awardspace.co.uk)
[Adapted from Margaret and Stas Porokhnya’s “On the Neutral Ground”.]