Poems

Preface

I wrote all these poems in December 2020 — March 2021 when I challenged myself to write a poem a day. I wrote 100, these are selected by me as the best ones.

Back then I was unemployed, claustrophobic, but content with having my cat with me and feeling secure. I also felt stuck. Now I’m none of these things.

Poems about my cat

I wish you had some bugs to catch,
Some grass to nibble on, more sun…
But maybe that’s enough that you are warm and fed,
We play when you feel like it, you get pets;
Your fur looks great, less dandruff than last year,
You have a lot of space, a place in every room.
But I still wish you had the best life in the world.
You make my life as good as it has ever been.

***

Will I go or will I stay,
Will I sit or will I lay,
I can not decide all that,
This is all up to my cat.
I’m sincere, it’s not a whim -
All my base belong to him

***

My cat demanded my attention:
He said “I’m better than your tablet.”
And he was right.

***

Nothing brings me satisfaction
And the feeling of fulfillment
More than my cat’s soft, round belly
That he grew eating my food.

***

We call it Yakut kissing:
You press your nose against them
And you sniff them gently.
No sound, no real motion, only smell.
I do that to my cat a lot
And I’m allergic to his fur.
But still, I do it
And he purrs.
It’s soft and quiet
Like that sort of love
You feel towards somebody that you see each day
And know that they won’t leave you.
It’s a sign
Of prolonged happiness.

***

What’s a cat to do to trick you
Into giving it attention
When you’re busy and not open
To some catty intervention?

Should it meow or grab your ankle?
Maybe drop a little trinket?
Maybe steal your pen or scratch walls?
Find your cold ass tea and drink it?

Hit the dog or run in screaming?
Fight the vacuum, cut the curtain?
All these actions mean just one thing:
That it needs you, it’s for certain.

Poems about love

Try thinking of remembered history.
Humanity was never civilised.
Somebody had to kill, commit atrocities,
We all have chaos in our minds.
But at the same time there was always love,
We all evolved from much more noble animals,
It was with us before there was a word,
A tool or a first taste of blood upon our gums.
Someone will say that god is love,
But I will say that love is fully human.
It is the closest thing to happiness,
The key to wisdom and the gate to heaven.
So, measure productivity in love,
Your days will make more sense and have more value.
Love somebody, love anybody even,
And you will never live a day in vain.

***

My love,
You know that I don’t truly love you.
I do not understand you and don’t know you,
I think that you’re suspicious and resent you
And I hate everything that represents you.

But one day I’ll become you or accept you;
I’ll see where you are coming from and get you;
I will find empathy for you or I’ll forgive you;
I’ll pity you or I will try to save you.

Or I will see my wrong and will embrace you,
Or unexpectedly I’ll have to face you,
Or I’ll aspire to be you or want to own you,
Or will stoop to your level and condone you.
Or you’ll free me or maybe I will free you
And then I’ll love you and my love will be you.

***

I remember your face,
How I thought it was mine.
And your art,
It was all my reflection.
When I read about you,
I thought it prophesied
What my life would be.
I reached it few times,
But failed to grasp it.
It never stayed.
And now your face,
It’s still the same
And I still think
That it is mine.
And when I see your lover,
I love him as you did.
Your art still calls me,
But it cuts my soul
For I can not reply
With my own art to you.
I never lived a day
Above a line you drew.

***

My summer has everything:
Cold and bright nights,
Hot days, swimming in a great river,
Dead mice in the morning
And evenings so dark
That ghosts don’t ask if I’m a believer.

It has insect bites
And wasp nests in the wall,
Hopes of rebecoming a reader.
It has too many sweets,
And feet dirty from walks,
Planning things, but not being a leader.

My summer has everything:
Only two months
And then ten more months of
Anticipation.

***

If there ever was a woman who was loved and valued too
And who lived in times when there were wolfs or tigers all around
And she bled as much as I do,
Would then her beloved hide her and protect her through the night?
Would her tribe build stronger houses and surround her with their walls?
Would they give her all the nice food, let her drink the blood of deer?
Would they help her wash her clothes and then spin and saw some more?
I believe it is the reason why we live together still.

Poems about angst

I’m like a monk without a monastery,
A prisoner without a prison.
Like an oath taker without honesty
Or an exile without treason.

I have no vows to break,
No walls to dig in,
No grandiose steps to take,
No embassies to sneak in.

I’m buried under my ambitions,
Surrounded by all things that I can do.
It’s my own personal perdition.
With my achievements I am through.

Yes, maybe I’ll one day awake!
But I’ve no promises to give.
With every passing day it’s getting easier
To never live.

***

A notion of death isn’t a premonition,
But mold takes your attention and it holds it.
And certain times you think “this is too good”,
And seconds later the cascade just falls
Apart, from grace, into Hades…

And so, you try to stop your thoughts from storming
Into a cloud and getting every time more loud.
Because what if your thoughts leave trace
And all you think about is death.

***

Sometimes the idea of death brings comfort to me.
The fact that all ends is not scary, it’s there.
Things end before starting, no being is free.
I live paralised and I’m not even scared.

But then I wake up and see: premature death
That I have embraced simply isn’t the way.
And I make a new step, and I draw a deep breath,
And I build a new life that is not quite that stale.

But I leave it. And then I am back at my home.
Like a child who’s unborn back inside the warm womb.
Cycle’s always the same, I’m back after I’m gone.
If I take home with me, will it break up my doom?

***

My ancestors were many different people,
But each of them had children and survived
To adulthood.
Not all their siblings did,
But they are not a part of glorious story
Of people who survived and bore some kids.
There was a tribe at some point, up the line,
They lived in isolation, cold and hunger,
Dependent only on their hunting skills.
But when the winters got too cold and there was no meat
They had to eat each other starting with
Those women who had not yet born some children:
The useless, weak and needy, scum of earth.
I always knew I’d be of them if I was born then,
But luckily I live in better times.
Except,
I’m still seen as not worthy of their efforts.
My fruits are not what they can find use for.
I am a weird, weak tree whose growth is hindered
By anything, I’m always sick and wrong.
Maybe I’d have a chance if I could see the
Sun and go for walks outside.
But no, I’m not allowed a chance.
And this cold lightless land will be my rest place.
Here I will freeze to death, at least my heart and soul.
As childless and as nameless as my sisters
Who fed their families despite themselves.

Poems about self

I teach myself to show compassion
I teach, I teach, I teach, I teach…
But then I see a word that I dislike and feel a hateful passion.
I still believe that I can one day reach
That calmness that exists I hope at least some place,
Ability to stop before I pass a judgement.
I’m not a judge and not a judge I want to face
I’d love to live a day without judging or being judged.

***

The more people know me the more
I feel like there’s more left to know.
I’m not endless, but I am not open.
So maybe nobody’s a book,
But people are caverns instead.

***

Whenever I skip something for a day,
I’m scared that I’ll abandon it completely.
Because my brain I know might say
“If we’re not doing perfectly and neatly,
We might as well not do it all the way.”

***

Among my many transformations,
I spend some time in a cocoon.
Where nothing else exists but me
And everything that happens’s nothing.
No thoughts, no feelings.
Just metamorphosis.

***

The world keeps saying “you must find yourself”,
But I think I am here just for the journey.
I’d like to know all things there are to know,
But I don’t think it’s possible to manage.
I might as well die trying and I will.

***

No, I can’t find a siren with magical voice
Who will sing me about me herself.
Only I can come up with a song about me,
Even if it’s not perfectly sung.
Even greatest of writers
Can’t enter my thoughts
And describe what I think, what I know.
So, it’s up to me to get my stories be told.
I’m the only one good enough for it.

***

There’s nothing to my life
But numbers, images and words.
There are, of course,
Occasional good meals
And fluffy pets.
But they don’t occupy as much
Of my imagination -
That’s a pity.

There’s gotta be some poetry in touch,
In other feelings.
Wind or rain or warmth
Or smells of flowers
And electric fields
Of animals.
I’d love to live with only those in mind.
Experiencing growth of trees
And feeling buzzing of the bees and wasps…
Dissolving, disappearing in the nature.

***

I wished to be Orpheus when I was young,
Both when I was twelve and eighteen.
There’d be many songs that I would have sung,
I’d have endless fire within.
I’d have inspiration each day, every night
With my Eurydice by my side.
If hated by maenads, I’d still win the fight,
I’d step out of Hades right into the light.
Losing nothing.

But now I know that
Being Orpheus would take a toll.
And I am not Orpheus, nor am I sad,
I’m a joyful Sisyphus, that’s all.

***

How does my brain know that soon there’ll be spring
When it’s minus fifty outside?
Or my cat how can he see it’s time to wake up
If the sun won’t appear any soon?
It’s all cycles on cycles on cycles, it’s life.
We all live in a wave, on a trembling rope:
Each vibration’s unique, but it will come back soon.
Recognisable, changed but unchanging.

***

I’m going to bed early,
I took my sleeping pills,
Cause nothing makes me worried,
I don’t have any feels.

I’ll wake up in the morning,
Have breakfast with my mum,
I will be free of yearning
And nothing’ll cause me harm.

I’m ready for calm evenings
And uneventful days.
Let nothing stir my feelings.
I hope this calmness stays.

***

When you grow up disabled and different and queer,
All you see are the heroes with bright big blue eyes.
And at first you think you are the same as they are,
But your eyes aren’t blue, you’re not tall and not blonde.
And you start recognising your type in their foes,
And at first you deny it, but you can’t unsee.
That you’re less like Ivan, more like Baba Yaga.
And you look at her asking “what made you like that?
Why are you mean and crooked, unloving and wild?”
And you see that her reasons are valid to you
And you know how and why she became what she is.
It is part of your life, understanding the bad,
Recognising it and not becoming
One of them, but you still do feel kinship with them.
And you watch Doctor Strangelove and find it empowering.
And if somebody says “you are evil if you
Like bad characters”, all you can think is
That if they only see themselves as the good guys,
They would cut off your head without blinking.
Because what do they know about what life can make
Out of someone if they are unlucky.
And they probably don’t see how they can become
Monsters too if they just let their guard down.
Because empathy is what can make us be good
And not righteous and just knightly anger.
If you’re ready to punish, think first about why
Mercy wasn’t your choice, you, the kind one.

***

Uncertainty, the underlying thread
That ties me up and leads me and connects me.
I don’t know what will be done, thought and said
Tomorrow. This uncertainty begets me.

We all are so much braver and so much
More cowardly than we would be securely.
Each step is like a jump caused by a touch
So light that you can hardly feel it surely.

A year from now where I’ll be I don’t know.
What’s better, many changes or no progress?
I’ve tasted both and both have many problems,
But I do not control how life will flow.

***

I think, “I’ve come out, that’s my part of the deal.”
I think, “I do accept myself, what else is there?”
I assume that’s the end of the entire ordeal
And I wait for the world just to lay itself bare.

But you don’t vanquish evil by saying its name
And revealing the truth does not equal solution
And the more nothing changes, it still stays the same,
No inaction has ever led to revolution.

If I said, “Hey there, feelings, I’m open to you!”
It would not call them into existence.
Hardest part is accepting that it is on you
And that love still requires assistance.

If to love is to trust and I can barely do,
Full acceptance is also required,
Then I need to take chances, at least just try to,
But mere thought of it, it makes me tired.

Coming out might be more than acceptance, than words,
It’s not something I own after I merely chose it.
Not just closet, I have to come out of my core,
And it’s harder than going back in and then closing the closet.

Poems about the world

Having home and having freedom
Are the opposites, I know.
But complexity is everywhere.
Don Quixote, Ulyssus and Bilbo, all three
Can exist at the same time as one.
One who left home for good;
One who fought to come back;
One who had to leave home
And was helped to return.

***

Ah, tell me! Do you miss travelling?
Booking a flight, booking a flat,
Packing a bag and all that?
Falling asleep very tired in the air,
Walking at night in a city unknown,
Having but one thing that can make you care:
Getting a bed in a room of your own.
For a week. For a day. For a month. For a while.
Then exploring the sights, walking dozens of miles,
And each break is serene, you relax, you can feel.
And you talk to someone, make a friend o’er a meal.
They seem lovely and nice, they are so close to you:
You know why they are here and what they want to do.
This connection is real, lightning caught in a cup.
And you talk and you talk right until you both stop;
You both have other plans, other places to be
And you promise to meet once you get to be free.
Whether you do or not, doesn’t matter at all,
For a year after that you can not quite recall
What was that that made you feel connected to them,
You don’t know who they were, don’t remember their name.
Was it real connection, could you now still be friends?
You will meet them again when another plane lands
And you look at new sights and you walk down new streets,
They’ll be there, not the same, but again you will meet.

***

It’s hard remembering continuously that
Each person in the world is very human.
Yes, each of them, including mum and dad
Who aren’t just a metaphor for god.

And everyone who hides behind the shield of qualities
They are not all the same.
And everyone who’s done bad things
Is justified by something in their minds.

And everyone who’s kind is not a statue
With “good” on it engraved in golden letters.
And even famous people change and grow
Or become worse, they are not static figures.

And those you see without knowing them
Are not complete in any way or form.
A habit of as much as ninety years
Can become broken in one day,
Replaced by something.

The beautiful don’t get less talented as they grow old.
And everyone can have a bad day now
Or when you don’t know.

Stagnation’s death.
How easy it is still
To see it as the norm.

***

A Russian poet said, a thought
Once spoken out, becomes a lie.
Our inner truth forever trapped,
Why do we still just even try?
What if the poet then was wrong?

***

There’s melancholy in bad things
When history is in the present.
There’s not much more than sadness.
All I feel
Is apathy because it had to happen
And it had done before
And we don’t learn
And how many will die this time
We do not know,
But certainly not zero.
And while it might be decent to protest,
To spread the truth and do at least the small things,
It might be safer just to eat and sleep.
If it’s the most you can, then be it.
It’s always been this way and always will be
That some of us get paralysed by what
Reality can be.
The mind gets stuck in trying to imagine what might happen.
But it can never quite.
And so, just eat and sleep.
Survive.
Don’t be a casualty.
Don’t be a killed civillian.

There will be flowers still come spring,
Smile when you see them.
Life is not just in hope and certainty in what the future brings.
Life is in good things that are found in any day.

***

My city, Yakutsk, is the coldest on Earth.
But here I am, in bleak December
Enjoying the light, electricity, warmth
That Edgar Poe would not remember.

It’s cold outside, there’s hardly an atmosphere,
But here in my house it’s cozy and clean.
It would be the darkest of times with that myst out there,
But from my window I can see the orange gleam.

It’s hard to keep in mind the beds of everlasting snow
That are not far from here, but rather near
When you are never left by buzz and glow
That keep you safe, make you forget your fear.

Fragile or not, this guardian is real
And it will hardly fail me in my life,
But under ice and over it is cold that makes me feel
Like I’m dismissing an eternal strife
That’s there and will be there, it’ll never leave.
Unchanged, eternal, there’ll be no relief.

Poems about dreams

There are cities that only exist in the dreams
Or in video games played by children,
When each pixel is seen as a universe.
There are foods that are tasted in imagination
That in real life don’t live up to it.
There are deepest emotions that are conjured up
By the stories made up in a hurry.
And sometimes in a dream one is pinched,
But not woken and let to believe
That most ludicrous lies are reality.
And I long for it.

I remember remembering that I remembered
Who I was prior to being born.
I know I used to know where I wanted to visit
And what fantasies were almost real.
Looking forward to things,
Being curious.
Children still do exist,
But it’s hard to believe.

***

Rest. Rest and revive.
Be ready to be alive
Yet again.
Sleep is not vain.
For you might see flowers
Growing from walls
Before
Your consciousness falls
Asleep.
And tomorrow
What comes, let it be,
You’ll have a clear mind to see
And feel
If it will be real.

***

It’s nothing, it’s nothing, it’s nothing.
I’ll sleep and then I’ll be myself
Once again.
Maybe not.
But I’m willing to gamble.

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