შუალედი - დან - მდე

Rayfield Donald - რეიფილდი დონალდ

I and the night
მე და ღამე

As this very line is written, midnight's candle  flares and gutters,                                           
The breeze brings through my open window stories that the meadow utters.

The moonlit world attempts in vain to shed its covering of silver,
The breeze before my window makes the lilac gently sway and shiver.

Dove-grey, glaucous beams transect and illuminate the sky,
Making it as full of  magic as this letter is of rhyme.

The outside world is softly shrouded in mysterious rays of light,
Overflowing with its feelings, like my heart this sleepless night.

For many a year my heart has kept deeply hidden my darkest secret.
Nothing, not the breeze, may touch it, no one here will hear me speak it.

Of the anguish in my heart, what can any friend suspect?
How can he know the things that lie buried in my heart's dark depth?

Even the most ecstatic moment cannot steal a thought from
Inside the darkness of my heart, nor can the arms or touch of woman.

Neither languid sleepy sighs, nor a chalice full of wine.
Can unloose what I have locked deep down in this heart of mine.

Through my window, sleepless, radiant, only night is entering.
Night alone knows of my secret, insomniac night knows everything.

Night knows that I am an orphan, spent, exhausted, agonised.
Two of us exist on earth: I and the night, I and the night.

Without love

Without love
No sun rules the heavens,
No breeze blows, no forest tremors
For joy…
Without love there exists
Neither beauty,
Nor immortality, which exists
Only with love.
But quite another love
Is last love.
Like the flowers of autumn it often
Outdoes first love.
It arouses no stormy, rough and
Aimless passions.
No youthful lusts or savage voices
Does it arouse…
Growing in the open air
In autumnal cold,
It is unlike the tender
Flowers of spring…
It relishes not gentle breezes,
But the stormwind.
Not passions, bat voiceless caresses
Encircle it.
And love fades, fades away if
It is last love,
Fades sadly, tenderly and yet
Without joy.
For nowhere on earth is there
And immortality cannot exist
Without love!

Blue-grey horses
ლურჯა ცხენები

Like floating misty patches, red and setting-sun saffused,
Yonder in the eternal land, distant banks were shimmering.
Nothing was discernible: revelations were refused.
All the promise that I saw was vagrant, silent shivering.
Save for the vagrant silence, the lethal cold's wild pillaging,
The eternal land is sad alas, sad and utterly desolate.
Lying buried in cold earth, eyes have lost their glimmering:
Cold and fireless in the grave, the soul lies joyless, desperate.
Skeletal stands of lifeless trees, forests of mad faces and forces,
Disembodied run the days – quicker, crazier they race.
Dreams, mirages manifest,these my blue-grey horses
Are to speed you here to rest. Every one is in its place.
Second after second speeds, yet I cannot feel contrition.
Pillows of eternity stay impervious to tears.
Martyred passion vanishes, insubstantial midnight vision,
Like the soul's sonority in the searing heat of pravers.
Like sporadic bursts of fire, or the Fates' revolving wheel,
Blue-grey horses blow – a flash, a blast of thundercloud.
Gone are all the flowers now: dreams diminish till they yield.
Only burial remains, in a cold grave underground.
Who will recognise your face,who will know and speak your name?
Who will hear and trust your call, a call remote, ephemeral?
No consolatory breast, no seraphic solace came:
Spiral stairs down to the dark hide the cryptic chimaeras.
Darkness cannot overcome beams that form a vault of light.
All but listless ciphers gone, in the wilderness it shone.
Skeletal stands of lifeless trees – staring faces crazed with fright
Roused the days and sent them back, into the pit, daylight gone.
Still, in pillaging flocks of mist, overhanging the eternal land,
Damned with an eternal curse, on the earth or underground,
Like sporadic breaking waves, like the Fates' revolving hand,
Blue-grey horses blow – a flash, a blast of thundercloud.


I deeply love the violet virgin
Spread of snow away from the bridge,
The sad wet coldness that I feel surging
In patient love's enduring spirit.
Darling! My soul is filling with snow.
The days flit past and I age too.
All I have done is explore alone
My country – a velvet desert of blue.
Alas! My life begins and ends there:
January and I are on good terms
But eternally I shall remember,
As white as snow, your pallid arms.
Darling, I see, I look, I stare at
Your weak arms drooping in snowy wreaths.
Now, in the desert, your mantle flares up,
Dies out and flashes, bright but brief.
That's why I love the violet virgin
Spread of snow from our river bridge,
A feeling of grief, of blowing, of swirling,
A row of iris, blown down, outstretched.
With blue, tired dreams this day's glad tidings
Have snowed me down. Still falls the snow.
If winter would somehow leave me behind it,
If the wind would leave me and cease to blow.
There is a way, a game, but slow…
And you walk alone, always alone.
I loved in your voice – as I love the snow –
That secret melancholy tone.
Then I was drunk, in love and fevered:
Quiet days passed, a crystal white dream:
Your hair that the leaves of the meadow dishevelled,
The wind that blew your hair in a stream.
A thirst has com over me, a thirst as strong
As a homeless wanderer's for a home.
White forests follow me in a throng:
Again my self and I are alone.
With blue, tired snowflakes sach a day's tidings
Have snowed me down. Still falls the snow.
If winter would somehow leave me behind it,
If the wind would leave me and cease to blow.

The eagles slept
არწივებს ჩასძინებოდათ

The eagles slept,
The oak boughs drowsed.
Dark night is ripped
By shrieks of screech-owls.
The eagles slept,
But not sly fate.
Far flames crept
Till fire was in spate.
The forest burnt, rapid
As outumn straw.
The eagles slept,
Dreaming of wor.
Like strings of red beads,
Moss paths are swept.
The fire's course leads
Where tired eagles slept.
The eagles awake.
„Fire!“ they shriek, shout.
„Fire!“ – the forests ache –
 The eagles are on fire,
Their wings are singed.
They cannot fly far
With burning wings.
Though longing to fly,
They fell and kept watch.
At the Aragvi, tired
Wings were drooped and scorched.
„I saw a wounded eagle,
Attacked by crows and ravens.
The wretch, now feeble,
Struggled to stand – in vain…“

Azure-land, or rose in sand
სილაჟვარდე, ანუ ვარდი სილაში
Ave Maria, Virgin immaculate!
As, after rain, a rose in sand,
Life's path is a mirage I battle at,
The faraway sky's far azure-land.

Mountain chasms are wrapped in half-light.
Can I believe another dawn likely?
Worn out with wine and sleepless nights,
Weary as woman, I'll go to the icons.

Worn out with sleepless nights and with wine,
Collapsed on the altar I'll free my soul.
A beam will shine and cut into Sion,
Irradiate the priest's white stole.

Then shell I say: „Here I am, hearken:
From gardens of dreams a wounded swan.
Look down, be comforted, maidenly Parca
With agonised face and handsthat are wan.

Look down. Be comforted. My eyes, once bright,
Used to pulse whith dew and violets,
Worn out with wine and sleepless nights,
Now weep a threnody of vengeful violence.

Be comforted then… Must every poet
Waiting for thee surrender utterly?
My soul is stunned: prayers destroy it,
It dies at your feet, a short-lived butterfly“.

Where shall I find a fair redress?
What soul is certain to be well?
From Dante Alighieri's paradise
I'm barred by purgatory and hell.

And when on a road accursed by fate
I finally see the shade of death,
At the last communion rite
Thy name will be on no-one's breath.

Arms crossed in peace, I shell be borne
By horses on a tempest blast.
With wine and sleepless nights forlorn
The grave will give me rest at last.

Ave Maria, Virgin immaculate!
As, after rain, a rose in sand,
Life's path is a mirage I battle at,
The faraway sky's far azure-land.

The wind blows
ქარი ჰქრის

Oh the wind, how it blows, how it blows.
The wind whirls the leaves off afar,
Arches trees, trees in ranks, trees in hosts.
Tell me where, where you are, where you are.
How it rains, how it snows, how it snows.
You're not to be found any more.
Your image pursues me, it haunts
Everywhere, every day, every hour.
From the sky drizzle far misty thoughts,
Oh the wind, how it blows, how it blows.


A sarcophagus opens. A pharaoh arises.
What silence. Blue silk the atmosphere.
Orchids drift off into the Nile, while the
heat groans on the sandbanks.
He must free himself of sand, he must find
the grave of Ramses.
Once he was king. Now he is dust. To cast the
passing centuries ashore,
He mast forswear hypocrisy: he must be dust
and nothing more.
Sun or samoum, the ages pass: a mummified
Pharaoh maps the years.

Nikortsminda – an ode
ქებათა ქება ნიკორწმინდას

My lyre, about to play,
Will sing perhaps of glory.
Magnificent is the ray
Of light that shines out for me.
Solidly he built it,
The unknown man who built it
And let the clear sky fill it,
Noble Nikortsminda.

Swooning with impassioned
Ornaments of delight,
Sculpted lace-frame patterns,
Follicles of soft light,
I wonder who raised up,
And how it was raised up,
And what hands raised up
Loftly Nikortsminda.

This treasure that we own,
How vital and profound
A harmony in stone!
The sun shines all around.
How brilliantly he carved it,
The unknown man who carved it
And with wisdom carved it,
Mighty Nikortsminda.

Wherever there's a vault,
The interlocking pillars
Are so astutely wrought
That dreams begin to fill us.
I wonder who created,
Whose genius created,
What blessed gift created
That pillar Nikortsminda.

You feel the twelve immense
Windows perpendicular
Burn for Candlemas
With fire not secular,
I wonder who ignited,
So feelingly ignited,
And to the years confided
Shining Nikortsminda.

I see the stonework spiralling
Grandiose, abounding.
Time's wrapped a diadem
Of veneration round it.
Who made the decoration
And in that decoration
Whith generous adoration
Fired Nikortsminda?

Cutting and yet supple,
The builder's lines are born:
Here in one are coupled
Wish and final form.
This the cutting edge is
The secret of its riches –
The solid presence which is
Memorial, Nikortsminda.

Arisen from the people,
Towering in the heights,
The dome shines like a beacon,
Habitations' light:
Heavenwards aspiring,
Tenderly aspiring,
Fitting Nikortsminda.

Your looks are Georgian:
Emptiness is given
Form – our eyes can gorge on
Maned and bird-winged griffons.
Wings and wings you need,
Yet more wings we need,
You want to supercede
Emptiness, Nikortsminda.

From time's remotest spheres,
Dove-like hovering over us,
Our era keeps you, cares
For what we sense is closest.
Mighty work of art,
A people's work of art,
For Georgia an ode,
Resplendent Nikortsminda.

*** You're going… and you carry your distress,
*** მიდიხარ... ისე მიგაქვს წვალება...

You're going… and you carry your distress,
Scything grass by the sea, as it were.
Who said anything about your decease?
No, this in fact is the day of your birth.

You're going… Earth's, heaven's accidents
Cannot upset you, no matter what happens.
Who said anything about your lucklessness?
No, this is the day that you are happy.

You're going… may you enjoy an easy journey:
No oter shelter could be vouchsafed you.
Who said you never had a home to turn to?
No, now at last you've found your refuge.

You're going… many would envy your fate's
Beautiful and unique fatality.
You have been lodged by open space –
You are the lodger of immortality.