by Ivan Karastoyanov

Translated by Konstantin Pchelinski

My room floor is cool, of 12 square metres,

And, humpback and mute, supports firmly my bed;

Above, through the window, the rising dawn scatters

Gold o’er the azure sky. But what of that?

What of that, outside, the dew brightly glistens

With drops like small coins all silver and clean,

All flowers are dressed up in colourful laces,

And trees boast their crowns all emerald-green?

What of that women have taken much care

To make their lips ruby-red, with lipstick,

And neatly to comb their reddish-brown hair,

Each hoping to touch her beloved man unique?

When I wake, with my eye-lids half-open, again

Dense fog does veil my eyes thoroughly.

I don’t let my soul cry hotly with pain

For that it this beauty will fail to see.

I surely remember the three questions’ answer

The French pilot’s book full of wisdom imposes

Revealing the truth very simple and clear:

‘Each visible beauty’s but pollen of roses.’

Should I need things, each in various colours,

Now that a rose grows in bloom in my mind,

And, in my head, I’ve a hangar of rockets

All ready to fly to stars and dreams bright?

I don’t think the long workday full of vain matters

Would ease me with sympathy and love for me too.

I leave the protecting-me edge of my mattress,

Inspired by thinking of what I must do.

My cheerful smile reveals my elation.

It’s my kept-up trademark, my medal hard-won

That shows that I, though blind, to Exhaustion,

Will never surrender but fight on and on.

This poetic work was awarded 1st prize in the 14th edition of Sighted Hearts annual competition in poetry broadcast on Hristo Botev Programme of the Bulgarian National Radio on 29 May 2023.

Categories: Travel