The peaceful sky of fear (Protests, war, immigration 2020) Poems

By Frydrych Samotny
Translation: Hanna Komar, John Farndon


Has a womanly face
A woman gives life
A woman takes it away
A man here
Is only a servant
But he tries
To outdo himself
In quantity
In quality
All in vain
Not in his hands
Are those energies
Not in his capacity
Not in his understanding
That’s why he uses
Cruelty and callousness
To prove things
Some value
In things he’s not an expert
All in vain

Have you heard it? The war
A word from books
Short and dim
Like a break
Like a nail driven
Into a living body
Just like that
Without no purpose
Nor high-flown ideals
Horror breaks
Into a living body
Destroying the world
Death breaks in
Interrupting the flow
Hiding itself behind
Balance and order
Existence is transformed
Into escape and angst
Into preservation and shelters
Into burning smells and explosions
Of hell and freezing cold
Of basements
Of dirt and stench
And captivity
Here again
All those qualities
That bring joy to monsters
And voyeurs.


Strangers live in our home
Strangers play with our children
Strangers walk around our town
Strangers buy ice-cream
Strangers are at the theatres
Strangers on different stages
Strangers are at the microphones
Broadcasting their foreign meanings to other strangers

We ourselves are foreigners too
In a foreign environment in a foreign society
We live in foreign apartments
We walk on foreign streets
We pet foreign dogs and cats
We lick foreign ice-cream
We go to foreign theatres
We go on foreign stages with foreign microphones
On which we will not be heard
For who cares about foreign traumas

Someday we’ll return to our home
Our children are waiting for us
Our streets have frozen without us
There is no shortage of ice-cream
Microphones and stages are in their places
And with some people who
Will become our own again
but not with everyone

And also very close
Are someone’s ruined houses and flats
Killed fathers, wives and children
Razed cities, parks and streets
What kind of walk can you have without a leg
Why care about ice-cream or microphones
Theirs are completely different traumas and problems

So comes the insolent insidious and savage primitive vile and voracious
Insatiable foreign

‘Go away!’[1] we shouted
But we are the ones who went away
Now we live wherever
But not worse, for sure
New impressions
I feel sorry for my house
Possessions, the future
To hell with it, says A
There’s no future anywhere, says B
V, H and T have something to say as well
We are not fighters, we are observers
We chew on meanings
Accumulate fat
Refined poor wretches
Foolish, we believe
In our own prejudices
In forever after
Which means never
What does it mean – who cares
No one owes anyone
A recipe for isolation
For crystal loneliness
For freedom

[1]The protesters often chanted ‘Go away!’ during the post-election demonstrations; it was intended for Aliaksandr Lukashenka. 

Life is
A lame joke
Of forever tired and absent parents
Who had them at all?
Killing time
Wasting health air and space
For some obscure success
Among the same failures as yourself
There’s no time to live – everyone is on the eternal hunt
Satisfaction fortune prosperity
Your own herd dividing the pie
Tails and ears
To the dear earth to fathers and gods
To Musk and Zuckerberg
For the world of splashy possibilities
To the cops the president and other scum
For the peaceful sky of fear
For the dim stairs of the cold
For the eternal corridors of everyday grey life
The victories of our grandfathers
Who fought just because
There was no life
Now it’s our turn
We want to live we’re going to live
We have to it’ll be our victory
Deferred and stolen
But we are going
We still are