The nation is in flames! The nation is consumed! The flashes rage, the sparks they bang and wallop. Then both Fate and Time just let their horses zoom. The hoofs they ring, the bullets sing, as the world is shivering from this frenetic gallop The bullets chasing us are blind and dumb and mauling. And, while our horses dashed, in flight they followed us. The horseshoes were heating up, and loosening, and falling To bring luck later to the one who finds them in the dust. Like eels the reigns are thrashing in the air! The hair locks are tangled up, the thoughts are intertwined. But then the wind would straighten up our hair and clear the confusion in our minds. We dared to escape the fiery cascade. Both Fate and Time were racing by our side and grinning. Rays of the sun have crossed the riders’ blades... A poet took his steed to ride. The fire ebbed and then it died, but the race was just beginning! The world had never seen such madness and such frenzy. The hoofs would pound the earth. The raindrops made it chime. The stupid bullets, smelling blood, were now going crazy, They’d suddenly wise up and hit the bull’s eye every time! The hurricane in fury wails and moans. Now, who is quicker? Win or die! This race is such a thrill! Meanwhile the wind would rip the meat off our bones and give our skeletons a pleasant chill. Good Fortune lies ahead, and she will heal the sick. Time charges straight, and not in circle, we’re hopiiig. Tomorrow’s airy promises are bittersweet to pick. An easy ride: the foe’s in sight, the friend is also by your side... Fate’s flying in the open! The gullible Grim Reaper was taken for a jester: He hesitated with his scythe and missed a sure shot! The bullets started to fall back, as we were riding faster... Oh, will we ever bathe in water, not in blood? The wind is blowing quieter and sadder... Both Time and Fate are wounded: they both got their fill! The winds, the tired horses in their saddles brought out the souls.
© Vadim Astrakhan. Translation, 2012