Tuomas Ollikainen / Sculptor

Can you find Mr. Lenin in this photo?

Can you find Mr. Lenin in this photo?

Postcard from Russia: A Poem

June 2017

When I try to understand this vast country, I imagine a canvas of rivers, roads and railways cross through the forests and fields, finding their beginnings and endings on the sea shores, the lake sides and the mountain ranges. I imagine the endless small village roads divert and lead deeper in to the woods, deeper in to the unknown... "Yesenin! Yesenin! Oh he is the Russian soul", I can still hear in my ears, two days later, Bogdan's voice saying with a considerable elevation. We had almost reached the end of the alphabets of Russian literature, and also the end of the bottle. Now aboard on a train, I think about the poet, a young fatherless man, who wrote about the seasons, the birds and the trees, who wrote about the sun and the moon, and their endless variations in the pastoral landscape, with a melancholic yearning. He was a simple man, who liked to drink, who loved women, who wrote perhaps to compensate the losses in his life. Outside the train window I see again another dusty winding road, like a pulsing vein, leading through the houses, shacks and fences, passing the birches and wells, deeper towards the woods. I can see the same path crossing the fields in the etiquette of the water bottle in my hand. The fellow passengers, who sit discreetly and withdrawn, know it, I am sure, and if I would be able to look in to their eyes long enough, I could see what the poet wrote. Somewhere out there, by some worn-out dacha, in a dimly lit room with a chair, a table and a cup, or in the half-wild garden, among the fragrance of the blooming bushes, the Russian soul hides, grows and dies.

A Walk on the Wild Side

October 2017

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