Poetry

Civil topic

I recognized by shoulders of the country

* * *

I recognized by shoulders of the country, 
by walking of victorious years, 
by wrinkles of bloody roads 
about the fate of poor grieves, 
about inglorious spots of history, 
about common graves of the war, 
about immense fatigue 
of unrepentant guilt.
 

ON VALAAM

by Alexander Gofeld
1
Without arms or legs, living birds,
who had found shelter in pubs,
away out of spring, of fate, of the capital
fly to Valaam in heated goods vans. 

The country bestowed victories to us,
I wish it had awarded death,
and a barbaric force of life
ruthlessly beat to the heart. 

Caring Comrade Zhukov
solved the problem at once:
no you any more- no rumors,
frightened happiness awaited. 

And instead of cages there were grids-
you were walked in the trees so.
And branches were writhing in pain
and the hell was opening the door to them. 

 

2
Babies were carried to the hillock,
newfound settlers
were put in stacks in a row,
a premature squad of the country. 

Out of lead bullets clouds were cast,
looking into their bottomless eyes.
The chance to shoot doesn’t come,
rifle scope is shot down and a tear is rolling. 

And tourists are sailing across Ladoga Lake,
looking at the bizarre people,
a choir – not a choir, bedridden artists,
just a rejected by the homeland “rabble”. 

And a confusion appears in souls,
and the ship is sailing by itself.
Wait, nevertheless, listen,
how under the blue sky the pain lives. 

 

3
Touchy death, but what else,
if no hands, and feet to boot.
Dances with her “samovar” doesn’t lead –
so we were called among people by the streets.

Ladoga, meet the prisoners with victory,
we can’t sit still, riotous fidgets,
memory writes long letters  home,
but mad convoy is always on guard. 

And the heart of tired minutes started to beat,
it’s not for us to wonder how winds are scurrying
as in severe distances, burning dreams
commissioners of life make a fire of spring. 

Live to see the summer, it’d be better not to live,
sharp knives cut our souls.
The heart stops, night in the eyes gets cold,
the dust of bitter truth falls to the ground.

 

“Stumps” of the war

In the late 40s in the streets there were a lot of war veterans-invalids – 
with disfigured faces, blind, without hands and legs, but with orders and 
medals on their chests. Those, whose injuries were particularly severe, 
moved on makeshift wheelchair carts. Invalids sang in carriages, railway 
stations, markets and other places of gathering people, begging, drinking … 
In 1949, before the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Stalin, it was 
decided to push  mutilated soldiers, victorious soldiers of Zhukov Army, 
to the most remote and inaccessible parts of the country, mostly to abandoned
monasteries so that persons with disabilities couldn’t spoil with  their 
ugliness flourishing cities of the socialist fatherland. They were gathered 
for one night by special outfits of police and security – loaded into the vans 
and taken to the “boarding houses of the closed type with a special regime.” 
One of such houses was located on the island of Valaam (the northern part 
of Lake Ladoga), in the former monastic buildings. About the horrific details 
of life of the inhabitants of this postwar reservation there is not much 
evidence, but they do exist, no matter how hard “good faith” historians and 
publicists tried to hide the facts of unprecedented crimes of the Soviet power 
in relation to its own defenders. On Valaam, according to various sources, 
were kept up to a thousand of mutilated soldiers, living for a meager allowance, 
for who the act of “caring and compassion” turned into a camp hell. Those who 
had no arms or legs, they were called  Stalin’s “samovars”, were hung for the 
whole day on the branches of trees in baskets or grids. Sometimes they were 
forgotten to be taken off … Dead heroes were buried, like criminals – 
nameless, under the sign with a serial number.



 
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