This grief for homeland! It’s despair
And hopelessness of daily worry!
I’m equally indifferent where
— Alone, entirely and wholly, —
I am, which way I slowly stagger,
Back from the market, walking homeward,
Into a home, that like a barrack,
Still doesn’t know that I’m the owner!
I am indifferent among whom
I am, — a captive lion, rising,
Or which establishment, which room,
I’m banished from – it’s not surprising —
Into myself. Kamchatkan bear
Can’t bear without ice — (I’m jaded!)
I am indifferent, I don’t care
Where I am shamed and desecrated.
My native tongue, which often sung
To me, as of this day, can’t tempt me.
I am indifferent in which tongue
The passerby misunderstands me.
He reads a ton of news and then
He milks the gossip from each entry…
He is the twentieth century man –
But I — belong to any century!
I stand, a tree stump, in the distance —
Left from an alley, green and tall,
Equal to all, I’m — indifferent
To all of it, but most of all
To that which once made all the difference.
All signs and marks are now erased.
All dates – have vanished in an instant:
My soul, — born in a nameless place.
My native land did not protect me, —
Examining my soul with care,
Even the most precise inspector,
Won’t find a birthmark anywhere!
Each temple’s vacant, every home
Is strange to me, — I care for no one.
But if a tree blooms where I roam, —
Especially, if it’s the rowan…
Translation by Andrey Kneller