V. Ulea (Vera Zubarev)

V. Ulea (Vera Zubarev) received her Ph.D. in Russian Literature from the University of Pennsylvania where she is currently teaching. She is a scholar, a writer, an author of eleven books of poetry, prose and literary criticism, a filmmaker, a director, and the editor of a Russian language journal, Gostinaya. Her book of poems, "A Treatise About Angels," (Zurich, 2003) won The Top Book Award and four diplomas in the International Book Fair "Green Wave"(Odessa, Ukraine, 2004). Her full feature movie, Four Funny Families, was a winner of the Fresh Frame Contest (Philadelphia, 2003).

* * *
Poems are letters forever answered.
Thrown in a drawer, still free to cross
Channels with dusty ancestors,
To observe through holes
Leaks in space through which time is seeping.
Poems are treasures, which no one is seeking,
Castles that always shatter,
Dances with one’s own shadow,
Monologues in front of the blank page
Stubbornly offering resistance.
Poems are consonance, unlikely to match
Our rhymeless existence.

* * *
A woman in the empty house.
The shore is silent. Through the open window
The smell of mermaids trapped in seaweed’s spreading.
Behind her – emptiness. Before her – silence.
On the horizon flocks of airy fish
Float clockwise, circulating around the Earth
To keep it on its orbit day and night.
The woman sleeps. Her eyes are open wide.
She notices all movements in the depths,
She sees the ocean cultivating morrows
From wreckage of all hopes and disbeliefs,
She sees her shore extended like a desert,
Her sunken house stuck on coral reefs.
She seeks the answers. But she only sleeps.


End of year… End of story…
The prevalence of the mundane…
Beyond the end – the world is snowy
And unpredictable again.
Will something grow from that resistance
To the routine well-memorized
That stakes all lives on nonexistence
With cold like cosmic wisdom eyes?
What does it know, what does it care for
There, on its never melting top
That freezes you, your pain and effort,
With emptiness beneath and up?
It makes your way a march to nowhere…
Another year, another turn,
Another hope to beat the order,
Another flashing thought – “What for?”

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